Last summer, CSEES MA student Conrad Rinto traveled to Bosnia on a 2014 Sonkin-Bergmann-Wasserman scholarship from the Ohio State Office of International Affairs to begin an internship with Bosnia Initiatives for Local Development (BILD) in the cities of Tuzla and Doboj. Immediately preceding Conrad’s arrival, the worst floods ever recorded in Bosnia’s history struck the country, especially in Doboj, where the city center was covered by floodwater. Landslides, which at times contained displaced landmines, caused horrendous damage to the flooded cities.
Since his internship had not yet begun, Conrad began working with BILD’s flood relief programs. Speaking about his work with the relief effort, Conrad commented that “from day one I was able to make an impact in Doboj, from reassuring a traumatized victim to distributing food and water to displaced families, to planning and helping in the flood recovery efforts. My internship has now expanded from working with the youth of Bosnia to helping those affected by the floods.”
Conrad eventually began teaching in Doboj, but the recovery from the massive floods is only just beginning.