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Fadil Bisanovic - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fadil Bisanovic was happily working as a machine operator in Bosnia before the war literally ripped his life apart. Fadil was captured as a civilian and was taken to the front lines, where he was forced to dig trenches for the soldiers. He stepped on an anti- personnel mine and was severely injured. He was taken to the hospital in Bijeljina where his right leg was amputated below the knee.

The hospital was terrifying for him. His city was occupied by enemy forces, and he was afraid of being a prisoner in the hospital while undergoing treatment. He was fearful for his life. Fortunately, after a few days, he was told that he was on the “soldiers’ exchange” list. They transported him to Tuzla where his treatment continued, but as it is for most survivors, recovery was very slow.

After the treatment, with his family’s support, he got a prosthesis. He had a difficult time adjusting, he had trouble sleeping and often had nightmares. He endured long-lasting emotional crises, and a continuous stream of health-related problems. His family was living in a group home and almost nothing of his previous “normal” life was left. The war was still raging and the situation in the refugee camp was dreadful.

LSN met Fadil through another survivor in 1999, nearly four years after his injury. Fadil did not trust anyone, and had shut himself down emotionally. LSN staff visited him often and very quickly they began working together to chart a path to recovery. Through regular support and encouragement by the outreach worker, Fadil was able to rent a house. He and his family moved in, dramatically improving their living conditions.

With a safe place to live secured, Fadil and LSN began to work on finding a way for him to continue to support his family. He couldn’t do the work he had been trained to do any longer because of his injury, and he needed a new way to earn a living. He told the outreach worker about an idea he had to raise chickens. With help from his family, Fadil built a chicken coop. LSN bought him 150 small chickens and a supply of food and medicine to care for them. Fadil’s wife and children help with the business.

Their hard work has paid off, and Fadil’s chicken business is going well. In fact, Fadil’s business is so successful, he was able to give 132 lbs. of chicken meat to a local school for children with physical and psychological disabilities. Today, Fadil and his family are successful producers of quality chicken, which they sell to grocery stores and nearby restaurants. The family’s financial situation is much more stable, and their lives are all slowly getting back to normal.

View the next profile: Zikrija Covic

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