SAŠA GAVRIĆ: I am leaving satisfied and proud of all the things that we have accomplished

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SOC team

Summer 2016 is bringing us internal changes. Saša Gavrić and Feđa Bobić are leaving Sarajevo Open Centre and Emina Bošnjak is becoming the new Executive Director of the organization.

After five years of intensive work, July 2016 is bringing us significant internal changes. One of the founders of the organization and hitherto Executive Director of the Sarajevo Open Centre, Saša Gavrić, decided to move to the new professional challenges.

“Sarajevo Open Centre went through a dynamic period in the past five years, from May 2011, when we started with the professionalization of the organization and the program, until today. It was my honor to have been able to develop one of the most reputable civil society organization, which is recognized for its activities for gender equality and LGBTI people, “said Saša regarding the upcoming changes.

Saša left his previous job in May 2011 and has fully focused on the build-up of SOC. As of May 2011 until today, the organization has gone through various stages of development: from rapid growth, through maturation over to stabilization. SOC is a feminist human rights organization today, recognized for its programs for women’s rights and human rights of LGBTI people. SOC is offering programs of empowerment, psycho-social and legal support for LGBTI people, following processes of public policy and gender equality and it proposes proactively legal and public policy solutions for gender equality and LGBTI people. Unique educational programs such as seminars and trainings for police officers, judges and prosecutors’ offices, but also informal programs such as schools for young journalists and lawyers and Feminist school have been recognized throughout the BiH. Of a great importance are also the media and cultural programs that are produced throughout the year, reaching a visibility of several million viewers and listeners.

“In particular, I am proud of the fact that we have placed issues related to the rights of LGBTI persons in the right place – in the institutions. Institutional ignorance has been stopped. Through legal amendments we have enabled access to the basic protection from violence and discrimination, and we have launched a pioneering strategic lawsuits before BiH’s courts. In the past two years we have become one of the key civil society actors regarding equal participation of women in politics” said Saša.

Together with Saša, Feđa Bobić, hitherto SOC’s Financial Coordinator will be leaving few weeks later too. Although they will no longer work for the Sarajevo Open Centre, they will both work through the bodies of the organization (Assembly, Steering committee) and thus stay loyal to the organization and support the team and further development.

The new Executive Director as of mid-July 2016 will be the previous Programme Manager, Emina Bošnjak. Together with Emina, there will be three supervisors working: Maja Lukić-Schade, the new Programme Manager, Vladana Vasić, Advocacy Manager and Marina Jovović, our new employee, who will, as of 1st August, become the Head of Finances. Four of them, together with other seven Coordinators will continue to fight for gender equality and LGBTI people.

“I am honored that the Steering committee and the Assembly have recognized my work and dedication. It will be a great responsibility, but at the same time, I am looking forward to lead hardworking and brave staff through new challenges. We have the struggle for legal recognition of same-sex partnerships ahead of us, as well as adequate legal regulation regarding the sex adjustments. The inclusion of LGBTI topics into the educational system, LGBTI persons in the field of labor and employment and further empowerment of LGBTI people will find themselves on my priority list. I am also looking forward to the new activities that will contribute to the equal position of all women in BiH. In addition to political participation, we will work on systematical solutions in terms of public policy at the Cantonal level too” said Emina.

Entire SOC team thanks to all supporters and co-workers. Let us together continue the struggle for equal and happier BiH society!