Refugee Culture and Education Center

Chicago, IL

Sarajevo University, an American university, and the large Bosnian refugee community in Chicago each had critical but very different needs. Our solution here involved mutualism, as all three parties benefitted by each assisting the others through non-financial methods.

Assist three separate groups: Sarajevo University (severely damaged in war), U.S. University (financially distressed), Bosnian refugee community in Chicago (30,000 refugees; very poor, lives in disarray, loss of dignity).

All had critical needs, but no funding. Language, cultural and legal issues.

Our solution involved developing a new urban refugee center in Chicago – using mutualism, with no actual funding – to provide citizenship classes, counseling, job training, cultural programming, community, dignity, college credit transfers (from Sarajevo University), access to U.S. college courses, and peer-to-peer academic support (between universities).