Built in 1900, Visoko school was the most prestigious Secondary School in Bosnia & Herzegovina and open to all religious groups. In 1945 the Communist Party confiscated the building and adjoining grounds for occupation by The Yugoslavian National Army. This arrangement continued until the fall of communism in 1992 when the Bosnian Army took possession. The building was handed back to the Franciscans in 2007.
The brutal war in Bosnia & Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995 left the country devastated with some 100,000 killed and an estimated 2 million (half the population) people becoming refugees or internally displaced persons. The war destroyed communities throughout Bosnia & Herzegovina, physically, economically and morally. Consequently, there is high unemployment and widespread poverty. This leads to young people leaving school to do menial jobs in order to support their families. Visoko School is educating students from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Poor students are being educated totally free of charge which hopefully will help them break out of a vicious circle of impoverishment.
St Joseph & The Helpers Charity sees Education as the Key to Freedom and Development.
Being educated together will hopefully encourage inter-ethnic trust and lead to a culture of peace based on tolerance and mutual respect.
We are honoured to have been able to respond positively to the plea for help from Visoko School. With your generous support, we raised €183,540 and found €190,000 from a European Trust to help with the restoration of the school. The Croatian Government was very generous in its support as were the Franciscan parishes of Bosnia Herzegovina.
The interior and exterior of the building have been restored and the school has been fully operational for the past few years. Funds are still needed to develop the Library as most of the books were destroyed by the Communists and the war.
Resources are urgently needed for the Language and Science Laboratories and for provision of indoor sporting facilities.
Your help would be greatly appreciated!