Our Team

Coming together from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, our skilled team of professionals is the backbone of Helping Hearts of Bosnia & Herzegovina. Their ideas help shape the direction and mission of our organization as it continues to develop. Read on to learn more about some of our incredible team members!


Sanela Ovnovic

Founder & President

Sanela was born in Mostar, a beautiful city found in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sanela was forced to flee her country and become a refugee when she was just 12 years old. At a very young age, Sanela learns how to cope with tragic life events that will make her become a strong, independent and content young woman who appreciates life and loves to help others in need. When she is not working her full time job at a dental office she is helping sisters and brothers locally and overseas. In May 2014, she formed GoFundMe fundraiser to help out families during the worst floods in Bosnia since records began 120 years ago. Her passion to help did not stop there, this was just a start to something more special. In her free time, Sanela loves to travel, read and spend time with her family.

Ema Mujic

Secretary & Domestic Head Coordinator

Ema is currently a third-year student at DePaul University studying Health Sciences. Coming from a family of refugees herself, her goal is to serve those in need with respect and kindness. Joining Helping Hearts in 2018 has allowed Ema to work closely with her fellow Bosnian Muslims to host events that are centered on providing meals and population health services for Muslims both abroad and here in Chicago. Ema joined our team in 2018. Other than volunteering Ema loves to spend time with her family and listen to podcasts.

Haris Zecic

International Head Coordinator

Haris lives in Sarajevo. Experienced, trustworthy, fun. These are just a few of the ways we all describe this invaluable member of our team. Haris is truly a joy to be around and a huge help when it comes down to international transactions. Haris has been our valuable member from the beginning. Haris' dream is to travel the world one day.







Amila Buljina

International Outreach Specialist


Amila was born in Travnik and is currently living in Sarajevo. She is a second year student in fields of

Genetics and Bioengineering in Sarajevo. Amila is a President and founder of ecology and health club named Oikos. She is fluent in three languages :German, Turkish and English. Also, a member of talent incubator in BH Futures Foundation and has been volunteering for four years at AsuBiH and Red Cross. In free time she is styding and doing research in fields of Forensics.

Learn more about our incredible team today!


Nejla Ramovic

Graphic Designer 

Nejla joined the Helping Hearts of Bosnia & Herzegovina team in 2019 as a freelance graphic designer. She was born and lives in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and works as a graphic designer for the past 11 years. Nejla has also lived as a refugee for 7 years in Germany and she knows how important it is to help people in need so her graphic designing skills are her way to contribute to our wonderful cause. Besides her job, her passion is traveling.

Joe Milburn

Community Outreach Specialist

Joe Milburn grew up in Saint Louis and consequently befriended many in the Saint Louis Bosnian community. Joe is passionate about volunteering in a charity that assists Bosnians due to his personal connections with many in the Bosnian diaspora and he hopes to use his skills to be of service to them. He currently studies law at DePaul and he hopes to use his legal education to fight for the civil rights of others.

Lejla Mesic


Lejla was born in Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina. She joined HHBiH with the vision and drive to improve our Non-Profit, focused on developing the organization with 14 years of experience in accounting. She holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and is currently working on getting her certification as an Enrolled Agent with the IRS. In her free time, Lejla loves to spend time with her family. She is a mother to three handsome boys and a beautiful girl, masha'Allah.


Merima Musanovic

Community Outreach Specialist

Merima is a graduate of St. John’s University with a bachelors in Psychology. She has worn many hats throughout the years and currently works in hospitality. Her true passion is to help those in need and when she isn’t exploring new ways to grow her skills, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Lejla Zukanovic

Community Outreach Specialist

Lejla Zukanović, a 22 year old from Bosnia and Herzegovina came to Chicago at only 9 months old. She got a degree in Criminal Justice. Lejla is currently is studying to be a personal trainer to help people get into a healthy lifestyle. Lejla found Helping Hearts of BiH through Instagram and fell in love with the message and everything this charity is about. It touched Lejla's heart because she wanted to give back to the community she came from. Lejla loves to help others because she knows it's not easy out there, but when you have someone to help it can make life a little easier.

Vahidin Kuric

International Legal Advisor

Vahidin joined Helping Hearts of Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2015. His first community outreach was a trip with Sanela to the city of Maglaj to visit a family after flooding. Ever since, Vahidin has been a valuable team member with the vision and drive to improve upon our humanitarian group, and focuses on maintaining the group with legal experience and integrity. Vahidin graduated with a law degree from University of Dzemal Bijedic in Mostar in 2006. In his free time, Vahidin likes to learn new languages, enjoys working out and traveling.

Marble Surface

Chicago, IL USA

©2019 by Helping Hearts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.