You can leave the akzente website by clicking on one of the icons.
In 1998, GIZ was commissioned to create temporary settlement for refugees returning from Germany to Bosnia.
Project: Repatriation and vocational reintegration of bosnian war refugees Country: Bosnia Commissioned by: Town of Düren Overall term: 1998 to 2003
THEN: In the late 1990s, large numbers of refugees were living in the town of Düren in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia after fleeing their homes in Bosnia as a result of the war. Many were from Modriča. Once the war was over, they were keen to return home, but Modriča was now in the Republika Srpska, where Serbs made up the majority of the population. The municipal authorities in Düren therefore commissioned GIZ – at that time, still the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH – to create a temporary settlement in nearby Gradačac to give the people a new start. The project also included support with re-entering the local labour market.
NOW: Around 220 refugees accepted the offer and returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the Düren settlement in Gradačac, they moved into 50 small houses. The German town provided an initial grant of DM 1,200, and the government of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia added a further DM 650. The International Organization for Migration also supported the project. The German town of Düren funded the set-up of a carpentry workshop, where two returnees and two existing inhabitants of Gradačac found work. Other returnees found employment in agriculture or with local construction companies. The returnees were able to use the settlement as a base for reorientation for five years before making way for further refugees. The initiative spawned a close town partnership between Düren and Gradačac, and there is still a lively exchange programme between schools, women’s groups, and municipal councillors and officials.