On Saturday, 14th of April, a monthly meeting of college student scholarship holders was held at the Main Assembly Hall of the ASA Group. This month’s meeting was special in many ways since the month of April marks twelve years since the Foundation was established and began to actively and continuously implement its projects.
The meeting began with the performance of the students of Sarajevo Music Academy, who are Hastor Foundation’s scholarship holders, followed by the address delivered by teacher Ramo. Teacher Ramo recalled the time, back in already distant 2006, when the Foundation just started with its work, when first scholarships were awarded and when he, together with other executives, set the Foundation’s vision and initial aims and objectives. In his speech, Seid Fijuljanin, the Foundation’s Managing Director, also looked back on the activities of the Hastor Foundation’s community and all that was accomplished during the years. The timeline of these activities was also featured on a video presentation. Scholarship holders were eager to share their own Hastor Foundation story and positive experience, remembering how they became scholarship holders and how they felt about being a part of the largest organization of this type in Bosnia and Herzegovina and also in Europe. The year 2014 is particularly significant for the Foundation because that is the year when it achieved greater renown and was recognized as unique in Europe. At a European level, the Hastor Foundation provides the largest amount of funds for scholarships, and today it finances nearly 1900 students from all municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Foundation’s annual budget exceeds 3.5 million KM, and up until now more than 28 million KM was provided for students’ scholarships. The Foundation is recognized and supported by renowned national and global companies and is also one of the rare organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be recognized as a partner of institutions such as the Embassy of Germany, Embassy of Switzerland and the U.S. Embassy. As Seid Fijuljanin points out, the Foundation’s aim is to provide financial support for good students of poor socioeconomic status until they complete their studies, but that is only one aspect of the Foundation’s significance; monthly meetings, workshops, lectures and individual volunteer meetings, amounting to 300.000 volunteering hours annually, are equally important because of the knowledge the scholarship holders acquire through these activities. Hastor Foundation’s vision, mission and endless support have made it possible for the scholarship holders, who have completed their education, to become active, exemplary citizens of their local communities and society in general. It is one of the aims of the Hastor Foundation to aid the scholarship holders in developing skills which are not necessarily related to their studies, but are universal and relevant for the society of today, thus making it easier for them to find employment outside of their profession. Scholarship holder Zeljko Simeunic emphasizes that it is precisely the continuous support of the Hastor Foundation that enabled him to fulfill one of his dreams – enrolling at the Faculty of Political Science. He has been the Foundation’s scholarship holder for more than eleven years and one day he would like to be a responsible member of the society, a person ready to help others and promote true values central to every human being, something which the Foundation always taught him.
During these twelve years, the Hastor Foundation organized numerous significant conferences, seminars and forums, but its humanitarian character was most evident in 2014 when Bosnia and Herzegovina suffered extensive flooding, as well as landslides. Hastor Foundation volunteers selflessly helped those who were affected. Couple of years afterwards, the Foundation was given a Social Impact Award at the Sarajevo Business Forum for its activities, the effort put into projects and overall impact.
All that, together with many accomplishments not mentioned here, helped secure the Hastor Foundation’s position today – a position of prominence in both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Europe when it comes to foundation’s of this type. We wish that in the next twelve years it expands its activities and becomes even more successful than it already is and that it leads the new generations on to the right path so that these young people become educated citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and thus a true strength of our Bosnian and Herzegovinian society.