Project Update: Halfway House - Part 1

The Halfway House “Kuca na Pola Puta” is a new project we’re setting up. It will provide care leavers with vocational training and support them in making a successful transition from living in a children’s home to living independently.

This is the first in a series of updates about Kuca na Pola Puta, so you can see where your money is going and what our future plans are. In the next article you can meet the local team and our project partners. In this article we'll focus on the aims of the project and the house.

All young people face a challenging time in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with about 44% unemployment overall and 70% unemployment among 18 to 25 year olds. However, those leaving the children’s homes at the age of 18 face even greater problems. Often the homes provide only basic care: a roof, a bed and food. They do not prepare the children for life outside the institution.

These young people are therefore particularly vulnerable and do not have the support network that a family would normally provide. Some of them become involved in crime, drugs and prostitution. A little extra help as they leave the children’s homes is really important and this is where the new project comes in – providing a temporary home, training and practical help.

The project was devised by the Italian NGO Luciano Lama Foundation. The construction of the purpose built facility located about 10km outside Mostar was funded by Luciano Lama, the Italian Foreign Office and the Municipality of Mostar. Our Kids Foundation will operate and fund the project going forward.

The building consists of two floors. The second floor is the living accommodation for the beneficiaries. It has 6 bedrooms. Each bedroom has two or three beds and a shower room. There is also a kitchen/family room and a laundry room.

The first/ground floor has guest rooms, a large meeting and restaurant space and a professional kitchen. These facilities will be used for the income-generating social enterprise part of the project - we'll explain more about this in a future article.

The house has some furniture and appliances but we still need lots of bedding as well as supplies for the family kitchen such as pots and pans, cutlery, plates and dishes.