Project 1948//An Interview With Jenifer White//Bosnia Travel Diary

"PHOTOGRAPHY HOLDS POSSIBILITY. OUR VOICE HELPS US CREATE A BETTER WORLD."--Jen White

"PHOTOGRAPHY HOLDS POSSIBILITY. OUR VOICE HELPS US CREATE A BETTER WORLD."--Jen White

Jenifer is an International Psychologist, Arts-Based Researcher, and the founder of Project 1948. She also happens to be my best friend in all the land.

She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her maltese, Moscow.

Her ten-year career in the non-profit sector has contributed to her extended work in Rwanda, Brazil, Italy, South Africa, Germany, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The heart of her work lies in Sarajevo using photography and the human voice as a platform for policy-change in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  

You can also find her her drinking a cappuccino or cabernet. Or in child's pose at yoga.

This babe is so incredibly dedicated to her work and is forever inspiring me to push harder. Despite spearheading her incredible non-profit that is doing tremendous good, this female entrepreneur is not traditionally recognized for the incredibly hard work she is doing everyday and I really wanted to give Jen a shout out. 

So thrilled for you all to meet my bestie  Jen and get up close and personal with my favorite Non-Profit..Project 1948.

I CREATED PROJECT 1948 OUT OF A VULNERABLE PLACE.   I GIVE YOUNG ADULTS A VOICE BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE NOT TO HAVE A VOICE. 

I CREATED PROJECT 1948 OUT OF A VULNERABLE PLACE.  

I GIVE YOUNG ADULTS A VOICE BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE NOT TO HAVE A VOICE. 

INTERVIEW WITH JEN:

-Tell me about Project 1948.

Project 1948  was created in December 2013. We're a new and noteworthy(NGO). We are combing photography and the human voice for social impact through policy-change in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I created Project 1948 out of a vulnerable place. I give young adults a voice because I know what it's like not to have a voice. 

-How has project 1948 evolved in the past few years and is it different from your initial vision for the organization?

Our first mission and vision statement was abstract, vague, and in 3 languages. We do things much simpler now! Our mission: to give a camera. Our vision: to give a voice. 

-If you could go back to your 27 year old self right before you started 1948, given what you know , what advice would you give?

Trust your gut.

-A lot of people give you really positive feedback for the work you're doing. But is there something that still keeps you up at night? Do you have a fear that's sort of always there?

As an early bird and night owl, the fear is: EMAILS. 

-What have you learned about leadership through this process?

Integrity. Everyone is watching. 

-What is the most difficult decision you have had to make?

Setting boundaries. Generosity can't exist without boundaries. 

-There's a common thread in the stories of successful entrepreneurs. Whatever it is they're building, there was this moment right before things started to take off where things looked really desolate. There are just as many stories of entrepreneurs who hit the same dip, and their companies just die. How do you know when to keep at it, and when to let something go?

NGO's exist to solve the world's most pressing problems.  As an NGO startup, we're run primarily by local and global volunteers who dedicate their time, energy, and resources to help solve global social issues. The goal of an NGO is to work yourself out of a job. Do things with diligence and excellence.

-Happiness is __________?

Generosity

-Freedom is __________?

Courageous

-Success is _____?

Character

-The past is _____?

Forgiving

-The future is ______?

Diversity

-What is next for 1948?

Bosnia has a 65% unemployment rate, the highest in the entire world. What's next? We plan to create jobs by a two-part model: photography and policy-change. 

-What is next for Jen White?

Waiting passionately for what's next!

-How can we best support your cause?

Connect with our cause @Project1948  on Instagram. A natural fit because it's so visual. We love using beautiful imagery to connect people with our work. Double tap twice for a like that colors a red heart and we've got #game. 

-And Bosnia..your beloved? What attracted you to it?

The culture between war and peace.

-Someone visiting Bosnia for a few days? Give me the best places to stay and dine at..

Bosnia feels like my second home. I'd recommend reaching out to the community and stay with a family. I stay with my Bosnian-American family who are near and dear to my heart. I like the war tourism, the library, and spending time alone at cafes. I like covering my head in a pretty scarf and slipping away into the mosques, cathedrals, and the synagogue for a mid-day prayer. 

For a traditional walk with cobblestone, pigeons and Bosnian food: Bascarasija for Bosanki Kafana (Bosnian Coffee) and Cevapi, pita with sausage and diced onions, and Zeljanica (spinach and feta pita)

For modern, the City Center where Pizza and Espresso are around every corner. McDonalds is actually organic, the espresso and donut are amazing! And so fancy! I love sitting in the cafe and watching families come celebrate their weekend at McDonalds. It's like 1992 all over again!

For breakfast, Bosnians love gelato and cake! Which is why I always eat my desert first. 

Cafe Aida is a favorite. It's pretty and pink! I also like the bomba tarte from Cafe Michelle. But, if you are an early riser..the Pekara (bakery) opens at 6am where the treats are fresh out of the oven!

For an afternoon snack, I like to invite students over for juice and cookies. Bosnian cookies are delightful!

For dinner, "Kibe" offers fine dining with the best city view. 

For night life, The Pink Houdouni (jazz bar), The Balkan Express (where you hail Tito) and Cheers (a local pub) are great places to grab a drink. Or Cafe Tito if you are feeling Yugo-nostalgia.

For local drinks: Bosnian brandy (rakia) is a traditional plum flavored brandy, or grab a Sarajevski beer. 

August is the time to be in Sarajevo! Grab a red dress, popcorn, and get tickets to the Sarajevo Film Festival! Or ditch the heels and take  ahike through the Dinaric Alps! But watch out for the landmines!

-Advice to the young girl wanting to start her own non profit?

Dive in!

 

XO
SAM