House of Goodness – Goodness squared, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Symbolically named,’s “House of Goodness” is a gathering place for friends, partners, socially responsible companies and individuals, all of who help people and communities. A place where we will find good solutions in synergy with each other, learn from each other, initiate sustainable solutions and initiate actions aimed at improving the quality of life of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A place from which we will strategically direct the great desire of people to give their contribution, not only with their money but also with their knowledge, talent, effort and volunteer engagement.

About House of Goodness

“House of Goodness” is a place of cooperation of humanitarian associations and other organizations in creating good ideas and partnerships that improve people’s lives in difficult times, a place where goodness is multiplied by sharing. The project “Goodness squared” is an ecological sewing room in which new useful items are sewn from discarded textiles, and they try to include volunteers in the whole process, but also people in need who, after training, can complete the household budget with their work.

Under the common slogan of friendship and support the Association and the partners “Together we build a better future”, Swiss Barakah Charity has opened the “House of Goodness”, a meeting place for sincerely interested altruistic individuals and groups who want to help others. Volunteers who participated in the workshop “Goodness squared” with their work and ideas, cut the discarded fabric into squares from which patchwork bags, blankets and other useful items will be sewn. In this way, wants to breathe new life into old textiles, reduce the amount of textile waste and help users who are involved in sewing, to complete the household budget with their work.

Many people in BiH do not have the opportunity to earn an income. These are often people who do not have the necessary qualifications for the labour market or have children and are not able to work outside the home during regular work hours. receives approximately 25 tons of donated clothing and textiles per month. Of this only 60% is able to be distributed to people in need or sold at the humanitarian shop. The waste headed to landfills is not sustainable. is committed to reducing this waste. A new life for your clothes – the only life of our planet.

From these challenges, Goodness Squared was born. Previously unemployed people receive training and an income to sew small squares into beautiful and useful products. Discarded fabrics are given new life – goodness multiplied – Goodness Squared.

Goodness Squared works through generous donations, has a fully equipped and welcoming sewing workshop. Each person trained to sew bags, pillows, quilts and other textile products has the choice to either work at the House of Goodness sewing workshop or at home with donated sewing machines and accessories. They will earn not less than 100 euros per month. is also committed to helping other humanitarian organizations in BiH expand their capabilities.

Duration of the Good practice

10.4.2021 – ongoing

The main institution in charge of the Good practice Association

Sanja Handžar, Project manager at the Association

T: +387 61 198 788



The geographical scope of the Good practice

National, regional and local

Location of the practice

Sarajevo, Kanton Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Resources needed

Goodness squared started with the generous donations from the Swiss Barakah Charity. Workshop space, equipment and two full-time employees who take care of all operations from sorting, cutting, giving sewing instructions for women, organizing volunteers for material preparation and selling products on humanitarian bazaars are the bases of the whole initiative. The initial investment in equipment (sewing machines) was 6.000 BAM (approximately 3.000€).

Evidence of success

High involvement of volunteers who prepare material for sewing – 3-5 volunteers every day participate in workshop activities and provide help during humanitarian bazaars
400 products sold on bazaars
6 women trained and paid for their engagement
Increase in purchases of Goodness squared products

Challenges encountered

Through the implementation of this Good practice, two challenges were encountered. Inconsistency in women participating on regular basis in sewing training. This resulted in the development of a new training concept. The second challenge encountered was the inconsistency of product quality, which resulted in the establishment of quality standards.

Potential for learning or transfer

The good practice provides a great opportunity for the development of programs for empowering women by providing them with the opportunity to develop new skills that can be used to provide for their families by working from home.

Ths initiative also has a huge potential in the ecological, social and economic aspects and provides sustainable solutions that could be scaled up. It also has the potential for a start-up company.

How to start?


  • Initial funds for sewing machines and equipment
  • Workshop space for sorting, cutting, sewing and training
  • Old textile collection system, if not established


  • Citizens who want to donate clothes
  • Retailers who want to donate textile
  • Sewing companies who want to donate sewing equipment
  • Volunteers willing to help
  • Companies, Associations, NGOs who are willing to purchase products for their partners, conferences, events…

Volunteer training

In order to volunteer with the House of Godness program, no special training is required, however, volunteers that wish to participate in the sowing workshop need to be trained in sowing or have prior knowledge.

Needs assessment

Before starting with the implementation of this Good practice one must know where people donate old clothes, how many clothes end up in landfills as well as if there is a market for products made out of recycled materials in or outside of their city

Solution proposition

Design a plan of what upcycled product could be sewn and sold from the recyclable materials available locally.

Quality insurance

Create a set of quality standards to assure all products are of the highest possible quality and to avoid inconsistencies in the quality of the products. Train all volunteers on the quality standards and how to achieve them.

Marketing and sales

Decide on a marketing strategy and research sales opportunities. Create social network(s) and prepare quality content to best promote your products.

Human resources

Hire sewing instructors and a volunteer coordinator to assure the work runs smoothly.

Space and utilities

You need a space that is big enough for a sewing workshop and storage of materials as well as products. Acquisition of funds for space rental and utilities for sewing workshop and equipment purchasing is necessary.

ERAS Good practice BiH