November 01, 2016
In the period from September the 15th and 18th a project called Fronterra was held in Mostar. You could read all about it in the media, but it’s no harm to repeat. Fronterra program is a social start-up program that brings together entrepreneurial talent from divided, disaffected communities. Participants rediscover common ground, develop shared perspectives and collaborate on social business ideas. In Mostar the focus was on agriculture and tourism so the applications gathered about fifteen ambitious people who showed that they have a lot to offer to their local community.
The program was organized in such way that the first two days were spent in nature, because of the afore mentioned focus of the program. Therefore, the lectures and workshops were held in a small village called Lukomir for the first two days. The participants of the project had the opportunity to get to know each other, present themselves to others and present the idea they came with and in which they firmly believed. The coaches, who were in charge of directing the participants towards successful developments of their ideas, presented the notion of social entrepreneurship and introduced some basic notions necessary for future work.
What is special about this program is the fact that the participants were organized in teams on the second day. Each team had a specific idea that it would work on. There were ideas about yoga center, nutrition counseling, creating unique jewelry, producing natural cosmetics for babies, opening local art center, opening a village house, starting the production of organic vegetables and starting a project for maintaining green areas. These ideas existed as seeds when they got to Fronterra program, and by the end of the project they flourished like small buds. Their water was promoting the „I want it, I can do it“ attitude. On Lukomir we took the first steps towards making that attitude the light motive of the whole Fronterra story, and the path continued in Mostar. This attitude allowed everyone to remind themselves why they worked on the idea they came with. All of them mentioned that they do it because of love, and with that motive it is very important to have faith in yourself and believe that everything is possible when you really want it. The workshops were held in the same atmosphere.
Concrete information about legal, financial and business aspects came to the participants in perfect time. The coaches encouraged them to start with small things, one bracelet or one vegetable and to build on that. Focusing on the fact that you have to work on yourself, along with the „I want it, I can do it“ attitude was something that was emphasized on every workshop. The participants were constantly reminded of the fact that a beginner’s enthusiasm can blind people and that is very easy to catch yourself flying above the ground in the beginning of each project. However, they needed to be aware that the fall from the first step hurts much less than the fall from great heights. That is why the participants were constantly encouraged to start with small, but specific steps and to work on themselves. To believe in oneself is much different than to having too much confidence without much work. To believe in yourself means to work on yourself. That work is what is eternally appreciated and what pays off the most. With that work, everything else comes naturally.
The teams are now supposed to show specific steps they have taken. In two months, they will have the opportunity to present their progress to their coaches and colleagues. During the two months ahead of them they are welcome to ask for any help or support they may need. The important thing is that they mustn’t stop believing that they can achieve what they started. With that faith and that attitude they mustn’t stop working on themselves and keep all their motives in mind. They said that they started working on the ideas out of love and that they learned a lot through this program. Now it’s time for them to show that young people from this country have strong tools in their hands. Tools that can help them build new and amazing things.
The essential challenge is to transform the isolation and self-interest within our communities into connectedness and caring for the whole
Peter Block, author
We truly think your money is well spent here. And if your grant is substantial, your are welcome to witness how it works.
“Food, at the moment, seems to be the only unifying force in this highly fractured place” Ottolenghi