Cleaner environment - safer environment
Capt. Constantin Spînu
First published in
SFOR Informer#155, January 9, 2003
One of the basic tasks for the Stabilisation Force, as
stated in the General Framework Agreement for Peace, is to
contribute to a 'safe and secure environment' for Bosnia and
Herzegovina (BiH). Could a safe environment mean, among other
things, a cleaner environment? Some think yes. So did the
CIMIC (Civil Military Co-operation) Team in Camp McGovern,
Brcko, when they received a project proposal on behalf of
Environmental Youth Associ-ation. EKO is an Non Govern_mental
Organisation (NGO) founded in Brcko by some enthusiastic young
people who want to be part of the future development of their
hometown and start to make changes in their society.
Brcko - In October 2002 a project proposal appears on the
desk of U.S. Sgt. Joseph Balmos, CIMIC Team. This came from
EKO, a local NGO who was asking for help in order to fulfil
their goal. A computer, a printer, some office furniture has
been already donated. "Working with EKO has been a very
satisfying experience because it allows me to support my unit
here and, at the same time to help the young people of this
community deal with the problem of their polluted environment,"
A safe environment for a united BiH
Vesna Kuc, Milos Jovanovic and Jovana Mijatovic founded EKO
in May 2000. Based in the Brcko District, its mission is to
achieve sustainable development, including basic environmental,
social and economic services to all residents of the community.
"CIMIC work means dealing with the community problems.
Therefore we are trying to balance our activity in order to
meet the requests of the community, but in the same time to
remain neutral. We are addressing to all citizens, no matter
what ethnic group they belong. EKO is one of these projects
which helps us to remain neutral, because they are interested
in a cleaner environment within Brcko District," explained
U.S. Maj. Darrin W. Olinger, CIMIC Team leader.
The CIMIC Team answer to EKO's request was quick and effective.
They facilitated the donation of a new computer for EKO with
funding from an Austrian NGO, 'Bauern helfen Bauern' (Farmers
help farmers) and US soldiers on Camp McGovern. Other items
have been donated in the same way are a copier, printer and
scanner machine with the help of a church from Alabama and
US civilian contractors on the base. The US civilians also
donated a large table for art projects. "These donations
will continue, because this project has already proved to
be a success and everybody wants to be part of a success,"
EKO's first success
Vesna Kuc, EKO's President, speaks about the successes of
their Association as well: "We are currently developing
a Practical Environmental Education project, founded by the
local government. Having government support is a big success
for us. The project will run throughout the second school
semester, starting January 15, with groups of 10-15 children
of the fifth class. Once a week EKO will hold two-hour practical
training sessions. This will be a great opportunity for the
children to develop their abilities to discuss environmentally
related topics and engage in practical ecological projects."
Without doubt these young people can make a difference for
their country's future. "I would like to emphasise that
SFOR was the only organisation who answer effectively to our
needs. Therefore we want to express our gratitude for that,"
said also Kuc.
Nations of SFOR: US