SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 268: “Senita’s Dream”

 “It’s about education, about understanding the worldly cultures that are out there. The world is so small and we are not educated enough.”

Now a day there is no reason to say that you are ignorant, you do not know what is going on or can’t get a different side of the information. The information is out there. It just a matter of how much you really want to know. People have to take the responsibility to find out,” Says Senita and she has the credentials to make the claim.

I could write thousands of word to describe the works of good Senita does. But is making it easy on all of us, here is the link to her non-profit Bosana Foundation; a foundation that provided a much overlooked need of the orphans of a homeland of she so loves. That need: Education for the orphans of Bosnia.

“I do this for free is because I want to…” Senita glows… “My reward is seeing the kids achieving something out of themselves.”

Again I find myself glued in listening to another woman of greatness in absorbing the depth of effort Senita is giving of her life to a cause that is close to her heart.

“Education and information is key for all of us, if we really don’t know much about the other, or if you really want to learn and expose yourself to things… you need to. That’s the only way of moving this world forward. It’s through understanding the other. Luckily we have all that accessible to us… the everyday person. Most everybody nowadays has access to email, Facebook or something. I think education is the focus of the world of building tolerance, peace and understanding.”

“There was this really interesting video of regular people on the street,” Senita references IRANIANS WE LOVE U: a message to Iran from Israel

“’When you think of the politicians of the world, everything is about us against them, and they proclaim ‘They are evil!’ They never speak for the people. You know…? That dead child who had nothing to do with the decisions of the people. The message is straight forward: The regular people of Iran or Israel have nothing to do with the it.’”

I talk with my wife for a while, and yet we agree that politics have a tremendous part of the problems in the Middle East that credit also has to be given to the hate based on timeless traditions. The good though is seeing that there is an emerging generation that is opening their eyes in looking beyond the sins of their fathers and changing the way the love their neighbors. Might we label it the movement of reversing the pain of “Hatred based on tradition?”

We look towards the future.

Senita breaks down her predictions in her outlook of the people of the generations to come.

“’Where I see society and where I would like to see society are two separate answers.

I do see a shift happening. More and more people are becoming aware of what is happening, and that they can make a difference in a small community if not the world. It’s always been present, but I think now more so than ever.

Information is helping people to get ideas, to connect faster and find communities that they can link to far away from their little communities. In that sense, I’d like to say that I am hopeful that in twenty years or so, maybe our generation, or maybe the generation after me will be much different.

I would like to see that, but I think we are still driven so much by money and greed and the other that I don’t see any real change happening realistically and drastically.

But there is a shift in the way we think, the younger generation is more aware and well-informed. Because of that, they are going to be different. They have more access to information. That is for my generation too. It’s the hopeful generation.

I’m still a minority, that’s the problem.

Why I am not as hopeful about the future?

Whenever when I talk to people about Bosnia… my community. When I tell people how I would like to see Bosnia, or how I think Bosnia can be, the majority of people… I would say eighty percent or so, are saying, ‘You are such an optimist… I would love to see it like that…. but I don’t think so.’

As long as people cannot see it… you have to be able to see it in order for you to realize it… your never going to realize it… I see it.

I’m not living in lala land, dreaming for something different in Bosnia than what it is now. But I really can generally visualize it, I almost feel like I can touch it.

There is a ground of people who say, ‘That would be wonderful, but can visualize it.’ And that is the problem. Everybody is hopeful… But nobody can really work toward it.

People tell me what I do is amazing. I don’t feel that what I do is amazing. It is just something small that I think everyone can do…

…It’s so small! Really it takes some of my time but it is worth it. I think everyone should give some of their time to their community.

Everybody just says that’s great, but they’re not doing anything about it. That’s why I feel we are a hopeful generation.

We are not yet there yet. To where we can really stand up and do something about it. And I hope that the next generation will be more reactive and not just sitting around hoping for something… but not doing anything about it.

We really can make a difference in the global community.’”

Difference we can make. Senita has proven that to us with her work in Bosnia. She is not asking us to create a non-profit cause. She is asking us to be aware and to contribute an hour here, or and hour there. Many a dollar or two given per occasion, anything other that sitting in silent observation.

Every year Senita produces a big fundraising concert and silent auction – Click here are the details. Even tonight she is off to a meeting with the event producers and has graciously given of her time to interview with us.

“We raise most of our scholarship money at the event,” Senita tells me.

Funds (One hundred percent of the moneys raised) are given to assist in the education the Bosana Foundation Programs.

“We provide what no one else thinks about. Governments provide orphanages the basic needs: Clothing, food and shelter. But they have no decent education or medical. Everyone thinks they need clothes and toys. So I asked the orphans what they needed, Most of them said education.

So we started an afterschool program. Helping with homework, helping pass their exams, getting them to think about what they want to do with their future or what subjects they enjoy. We did this for about two years. Then I realized that even if they had good grades there was no chance for them to go to college. They were kicked out of the orphanages at eighteen years of age.

So we started a scholarship program, internships and are working towards establishing employment programs.’”

We can make a difference is the charge Senita has given us today. Even pointing us at another example of the reach of Social media used responsibly – Kony 2012, check it out.

“It is powerful… Regular people… us… can really do something,” She comments of the film.

Senita is living the dream. Not the dream of fortune, nor a desire for self-glory, not even looking for a grand title.

“This is not for me to make money. I have another job that pays me. I do this because it is the right thing to do.” Senita explains her motives.

Senita’s dream is for a better future world. She quotes, “The only way we are going to have peace is if we can learn to coexist with each other.”

May we all be of the generation that Senita is hopeful for.