Bosnia Community Center for Resource Development
[Permanent office not yet established]
Contact: Mr. Adnan Zubcevic / Ms. Izeta Arsic
BCCRD was founded by concerned members of the
Bosnian Community with the support of American citizens. Bosnians
migration to the US dates from 1992 and was driven primarily by
war atrocities and ethnic cleansing. There are approximately 12,000
Bosnians in Massachusetts, of which 5,000-6,000 reside in greater
Boston. About 3,500 arrived as refugees, then 2000 more migrants
followed in the last two years. Most are Muslim, while a significant
number of families are ethnically mixed (inter-religious).
Most Bosnians in greater Boston live in suburban
communities including Chelsea, Everett, Revere, Lynn and Malden;
smaller pockets of Bosnians can be found in Brighton, Brookline
and Medford. Bosnians traditionally value education very highly
and like to be involved in their children's education, but find
it difficult to do so here.
Resettlement of Bosnians through refugee
resettlement programs is winding down due to improved home country
conditions, but large groups are still arriving from Germany and
Bosnia itself. There is also a large group of secondary migrants
arriving in Boston.
Bosnians in the US are sometimes viewed as "over-achievers",
because they are quick to find work and obtain self-sufficiency.
After this initial period, however, many become depressed and unable
to maintain stable jobs or relationships, as a result of the torture
and traumas experienced in the war. Adjustment is particularly difficult
for the 10% of the population that are highly educated professionals.
Bosnians are very independent and may also fear or distrust the
government, so many feel uncomfortable seeking help from outside
agencies. Cultural and linguistic barriers limit access to mainstream
services. Therefore, the need for a Bosnian organization by and
for Bosnians is very strong.
To provide culturally appropriate and linguistically
accessible services for individuals and families in the Bosnian
community, and to work with service providers in greater Boston
on understanding those needs and determining the best ways to meet
BCCRD works to provide the following: Services
and support for women and children, including domestic violence
prevention and education; Development of resources; Advocacy and
referral (housing, legal, education and health); Translation (cultural
and linguistic); Representation and empowerment; Development of
community dialogue; Development of cultural and creative activities
Assessment and referral services for families and individuals around
issues of depression, PTSD etc.