News Release

Church Collaborates with Muslim Aid to Build 2,720 Greenhouses in Bosnia

What started as a donation of 20 greenhouses in 2014 has grown into a much larger collaboration between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Muslim Aid. To date, about 2,720 greenhouses have been donated to families in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Since the start of the 21st century, up to 31% of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina has struggled with unemployment.

In 2014, when the unemployment rate hovered at about 27% of the country’s population, the Church of Jesus Christ determined that it would be most effective to partner with a highly reputable charity like Muslim Aid to start the greenhouse project.

By protecting crops from harsh and unpredictable weather, greenhouses triple the length of the growing season in Bosnia and double the harvest of the plants grown within. In essence, this effectively multiplies agricultural gains by six, allowing families to feed themselves and sell the surplus.

Greenhouses are not donated without giving recipients the best chance of success. Each individual or family that receives a greenhouse also receives in-person training by a qualified agronomist, is provided seeds and seedlings for their first year of production, and is monitored regularly.

The donation of a greenhouse, together with the training sessions, is a gift that never ends. About 90% of the greenhouses granted five or more years ago continue to operate.

This is the case with 50-year-old Elkaz Hussein, who, along with his wife, earns his living by selling their surplus of peppers and tomatoes. Although Elkaz has had difficulty finding work in the past due to his struggles with mental illness and refugee status, he now enjoys greater self-sufficiency. This year, Elkaz and his wife are planting strawberries in the hope of increasing their profits.

For 34-year-old Haris Alajbegovic, the greenhouse project has given him the peace of mind that he will have healthy food, free of pesticides, to feed his family, including his two children. “That’s priceless,” he says.

An international faith-based nongovernmental organization, Muslim Aid strives to help the poor overcome suffering in countries throughout Africa, Asia and Europe.

This article was originally published by Spanish Newsroom

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