Changing the rules of the game

Men Matter

17.01.2020. We are just going to say it as it is - on the streets of Sarajevo are 400-500 refugee and migrant men, mainly muslim, mainly adult. Journalists and donors want cute pictures of women and small children. But the reality of the Balkan route is that very little families make it into Bosnia and those who do get much more support. It is the men that need help most desperately.

These men are the worst off in the Balkans: beaten up more badly than women and children by border police, denied access at camps, excluded from shelter, food, clothes and medical support, discriminated by local people. In Sarajevo, many of them are out on the streets, selling tissues at -10 just to be able to afford a coffee in a cafe and warm up, or to buy a burek to fill their stomachs.

We believe that men matter. We believe that feminism means not just that women can be strong, but also that men can be vulnerable. That they have a right to basic life essentials, just like women and children. That they can be abused physically and sexually. That they can be depressed, cold, sick, tired and in need too.

We focus mainly on men now - not because we only care about men, but because no one else does. UN and big NGOs all focus on families and children, even if they are hardly present in the country. We support street teams in Sarajevo that make sure men get blankets, sleeping bags, dry and clean socks, an extra jumper to handle the blistering cold. They sleep in old ruins, hidden from snow but not from the icy wind. There will soon be a team working solely to make those ruins slightly more survivable.

Help us help those who need it the most - homeless migrant men who are denied help everywhere else in a crazy cold city. Thank you.