How did it all start?
In 2016 members of Afera organized ‐ with the support from Municipality of Tilburg, Portagora organization, Emmaus France and Word Solidarity Alliance Franco Bettoli, the ‘Srebrenica Wave Festival‘. The festival helped us to exchange local and European knowledge and experience, with huge progress in making contacts and building bridges between our town and our culture and European countries, the Netherlands in particular. The festival is both a socio‐economic and a cultural event in our town that brought back the hope for a brighter future. That is how the organization ‘Srebrenica Wave’ started.
PortAgora is on one hand a thrift store, and on the other it is a ‘Centre for European Cooperation’ which has a long history of initiating and/or supporting various humanitarian, social, cultural and economic projects in countries in (former) Eastern Europe, nowadays mainly in Balkan countries. PortAgora is working in Bosnia since 1995. With subsidy from the municipality of Tilburg, and with revenues from the store, PortAgora was able to organize a lot of social, cultural, humanitarian activities in Tuzla, Doboj Istok and Srebrenica. In 2016 PortAgora applied for a three‐year program ‘Youngsters are building on in Srebrenica‘ within the framework of ‘Een Wereld T Winnen’, a new subsidy program in Tilburg. Together with Afera we wrote a plan which was accepted. In that plan there are three main goals which are related to the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ of the United Nations:
- To create a multifunctional centre for culture, music, education and working places
- To create jobs by using microfinance for local initiatives
- To work on peace and justice
Srebrenica Wave Organization
Our mission is to create and exploit a multifunctional center in order to contribute substantially to ‘community building’ in Srebrenica.
To change the (internal and external) image and everyday life experience of the town of Srebrenica and its inhabitants, connecting people, and create economic perspectives through a multifunctional center offering social and cultural activities and tourism. The center is a place where people can develop their talents and skills, to improve their chances on the job market.Needs and demands of people and groups in the community are always the starting point and framework for initiating changes and activities. Meeting each other, connecting, networking are always central.
Our Goals are:
- Realizing a multi-functional center where people can learn, work, music, organize and meet.
- Organizing the Srebrenica Wave Festival where young people from European countries share their knowledge and experiences with local youth.
- Setting up microfinance for more employment and entrepreneurship. There is a great need among young people in Srebrenica for a place that offers space for cultural entrepreneurship.
- Working on reconciliation by organizing meetings between groups who have a different view of one another.
Attached below are our ‘Business Plan 2017’ and ‘Fundraising Plan 2018’ which you can also find on our Support Page.
Afera’ (band) was founded in 2008 in Srebrenica, under the name ‘Stari Grad’ (Old Town). Our band is multiethnic. Band members are all from different nationality, and in their free time, they are doing different jobs, not directly connected to music. Band members are Serbs and Bosnian muslims, two sides of our Civil war (1992‐1995), so by playing together, we are the best example that living together and interacting harmoniuously is very well possible in both our town and country. We are trying to re‐connect people and to build a better future for everyone in our town. The band came up with an idea to organize gigs in all the places in town where there used to be cultural events and live music shows, but where those events stopped after the war and where nothing happened for more than 20 years. There were no cultural events or gigs in the town at all, so we decided to bring all those places back to life and to gather citizens in one place where we were going to try to help them break all ethnic and religious barriers by playing our own music, all in hope for a bright future for all of us. We received town’s crest in 2011, and that is the biggest award that our municipality can reward someone. In the group of numerous NGO’s (non‐governmental organizations), political, legal and physical subject, local authorities decided that in 2011 our band had the biggest contribution to the town’s growth.