Mozaik is a team of fifteen talented employees and volunteers, a dynamic combination of non-profit and for-profit enterprises and is located in the Skenderija neighborhood overlooking center city Sarajevo. It has been a pleasure to get to know the Mozaik staff and feel at home at their office and as I begin volunteering with them, I am more comfortable aligning my goals and talents with theirs.
I shared with you a few blog episodes ago that I was in the “getting to know you” phase and there was the basic opportunity to casually volunteer with Mozaik leading to possible future employment. This positive embrace from Mozaik, and specifically its directors, was for me a solid step towards establishing a life in Sarajevo. Since that beginning time, I have been able to jump on board with s specific project regarding the renovation of an Ottoman period house complex into a ethno-cultural restaurant highlighting one of Mozaik’s for-profit companies: EthnoMozaik.
Let me give you a quick glimpse of what Mozaik is doing. Since its beginning back in 2000, Mozaik has developed a strong profile of successful program implementation in the non-profit sector including work with youth empowerment and rural community development, special needs inclusion and social justice, cultural heritage and related tourism development. Building upon these successes, Mozaik has emerged as a community development foundation positioned to start new innovative development programs, including for-profit companies; expanding the scope of their existing and future programs.
Mozaik’s for-profit companies demand a brief introduction. Currently, Mozaik is launching a PR agency that promotes and manages events geared towards positive social responsibility for businesses operating throughout Bosnia and the region. Thus, MaSta Ltd, is developing a social responsibility consciousness in Bosnia both programmatically and as a for-profit company.
Another for-profit company is EkoMozaik which is currently engaged in a heavily invested agri-business that is developing honey production, medicinal and aromatic herb management and beehive construction. This launched project has successfully created thirty out of a projected fifty jobs and could reach its goal of organic honey production next year, 100 tons, that would make it the biggest honey producer in the country and region; meeting a specific market need and developing Bosnia’s agricultural sector and creating more resources for Mozaik to use in the community development sector.
Lastly, the previously mentioned EthnoMozaik, is a natural next step for Mozaik as it realizes success with MaSta and EkoMozaik, expanding its work directly into Sarajevo. Tourism has suffered greatly due to Yugoslavian war of the 90’s and general ignorance and lack of tourism services throughout the country. Mozaik wants to address this market opportunity through developing an ethno-cultural restaurant highlighting Bosnia’s diverse cultural and historic identity through an educational dining and entertainment experience right in Sarajevo where tourism is strongest. The restaurant will also be a natural outlet for consistent sales of organic products coming from rural communities. While making a strong profit to further Mozaiks community development projects, the restaurant will most importantly be a concentrated effort to celebrate everything Bosnia is from border to border.
And so, I am currently investing time in this EthnoMozaik project. With any old house, this one being around 200 years old, there are no original documents and plans so I am creating “original” plans. The house must be totally rebuilt so there is an amazing opportunity to redesign the interior and courtyard of the house (in an appropriate Ottoman with modern and sustainable methodology) while returning the exterior facades to their exact original appearance. So, as a landscape architect, I am happy to get started working on this project and let the house come to life detail by detail.