A new livelihood

Maj. Tom Den Dekker
First published in
SFOR Informer#156, January 23, 2003

Before the war Vahid Kasumovic had a good job. He worked as a dental technician in a health centre close to Jajce. That was before the war. During the war he lost everything. Since then he has been trying to start his own company. On Dec. 27 02, IDEA (Integrated Development of Entrepreneurial Advice) and Dental Health International Netherlands (DHIN) gave him a chance to rebuild his livelihood.

Jajce - On Dec. 27, the IDEA-team gave Vahid Kasumovic dental technical equipment so he could practice his profession again. He is a dental technician who specialised in making prostheses for the mouth. He makes dentures, amongst other things. For this, he needs specialist material, which can't be bought just anywhere. Aside from that, the equipment is very expensive for Kasumovic.

A dental technical laboratory
The first contact with Mr Kasumovic was made on July 2, 2002. The IDEA-team saw potential in the project and got to work. Because the project wasn't concluded during the previous Dutch rotation, the current IDEA-team continued the project. Eventually they got into contact with volunteer organisation Dental Health International Netherlands (DHIN). This organisation gathers second-hand dental equipment.

Eventually Vahid was giving the opportunity to choose what he needed for his dental technical laboratory.
By the end of 2002, the donated equipment arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After carefully checking and packing the material by the IDEA-team, the equipment was handed over to Vahid. Before the presentation he checked the equipment. While unpacking the boxes in the laboratory it became evident that, besides the list of things he had asked for, he had received additional material.

The future and rebuilding of Jajce
Vahid Kasumovic is very grateful for the help IDEA and DHIN have given him. In a touching speech he thanked everyone for the chance to make a fresh start. "I am very happy with the new equipment. I am also happy that I have the chance to contribute to improving the future. My future and the future and rebuilding of Jajce. I will also try to help my fellow citizens by helping ten patients with their teeth for free.

In the future I will be able to contract people, so that I can give others the chance to build a future for them again. I would like to thank the members of the IDEA-team of SFOR and Mr. van Dragoon of the foundation DHIN from the bottom of my heart for making it possible for me and my family to build a new livelihood again".

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Netherlands

Click on thumbnail to enlarge
Photos: Courtesy of Dutch Battle Group

Capt. Arno Storm, head of the IDEA team, signs the donation's papers with Vahid Kasumovic.

Click on thumbnail to enlarge

What a nice smile for the bearer of this dental plate!

The idea of IDEA
The 'IDEA' is the Integrated Development of Entrepreneurial Advice project - an initiative co-ordinated by the Platform Defensie-Bedrijfsleven (PDB) between the Dutch Ministry of Defence and the Dutch Employers Association. It is aimed at re-establishing the economic structure in Canton 6 of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, less and more with the same borders than the Dutch Area of Responsibility).
The project is a component of the overall CIMIC (Civil Military Co-operation) effort. Its goal is to boost the short and long-term economic activities in Canton 6 by using best practice business consulting principles. The Netherlands do it by providing training, advice and support to entrepreneurs.
Since knowledge of business practices is not often available to CIMIC teams, the PDB has recruited reserve officers currently employed in business, trade or industry to share their knowledge of business procedures with Bosnian entrepreneurs.
And it works.