Visit of Mine Survivors from BIH to Slovenia
On 16 May 2022, Ermin Jusufović, Stevan Crnobrnja, Safet Alibašić, Željko Volaš and Mirsad Mirojević attended the opening of an exhibition on mine survivors and sport in Bled, which was set up by ITF on the occasion of the visit of HH the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Supporting mine survivors in their recovery is an important part of our mission and together with the help of our generous donors we are glad to make a small contribution to improve the quality of their lives.
The next day the visitors were welcomed at the German Embassy in Ljubljana by H.E. Mr Adrian Pollmann, Ambassador. The mine surviovrs presented their personal stories and Olympic experiences. Ermin Jusufović, Stevan Crnobrnja and Safet Alibašić competed in five Paralympic Games with the Bosnia and Herzegovina national sitting volleyball team, winning a medal in each one. Their collection includes two golds, two silvers and one bronze from the last Games in Tokyo, which they also presented to the German Ambassador to see and admire.
One of the visiting mine survivors, Željko Volaš, conquered the highest Slovenian mountain, Triglav. Željko is the director of the Organization of Amputees (UDAS) which aids landmine survivors and their families, as well as other persons with disabilities. In 2019, UDAS in association with ITF and Alpine Association of Slovenia organised a climb to Triglav. With the help of their prostheses, the landmine survivors hiked to the top of the mountain, at the elevation of more than 2,860 metres.
Since the extent of their landmine injuries was severe, ITF with the donation of the German Federal Foreign Office, provided them with well-fitted and high-quality prosthetic devices. The prostheses greatly improved the quality of their lives and enabled them to successfully participate in sports activities.
For them, there ain’t no mountain high enough! Landmines are created to kill or maim people. It is imperative to try and prevent casualties, but also to support survivors actively and continuously after they had been hurt.
Thanks to the continuous financial support provided by German Federal Foreign Office, the five survivors were among those recently equipped with new prosthetic devices. Well-fitted and high-quality prostheses assisted them in conquering mountains and even competing at Paralympic Games.
During a very warm welcome by Ambassador Adrian Pollmann at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ljubljana, it was hard not to be inspired by our guests' perseverance. We feel grateful and privileged to be able to assist in making a positive step forward in their lives and support them as they continue with their outstanding achievements.