Maj 15, 2016

Story of “Dragan”: Balkan boys challenge post-war machismo

At 15, Dragan Kisin was beating kids up, drinking, and getting in all sorts of trouble. His father had left home to avoid gambling debts, and his mother was in despair. Then Dragan joined the Be a Man club in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Banja Luka. He is now a community leader and non-violence advocate.

Be a Man is a part of CARE International’s Young Men Initiative in the Balkans, implemented in Banja Luka by Perpetuum Mobile: Institute for Youth and Community Development. The program, aimed at boys between 13 and 19, was set up to promote gender equality and non-violent relationships in a region still struggling with the legacy of war.

A delicate balance of Muslims, Serbs and Croats, Bosnia was torn apart as federal Yugoslavia dissolved. Up to 100,000 people were killed in the 1992-1995 war and an estimated 35,000 women were raped.

Recognising that the widespread sexual violence perpetrated in the war had given rise to a culture of violence and bullying among youth, the Be a Man club brings young men and women together to fight stereotypes and become role models for their peers.

This short documentary tells the story of Dragan and how the program changed his life.

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