60 young people from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina gathered at the Leadership Camp at Sutjeska say: We will eliminate violence from our society.
In the period from 1 to 5 August 2019, CARE’s partner organizations Association XY from Sarajevo, Perpetuum Mobile from Banja Luka and Youth Power from Mostar held a Leadership Camp at Sutjeska for young people from Mostar, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Jablanica, Bijeljina, East Sarajevo, Travnik, Brčko, Tuzla and Zenica.
In addition to workshops that aimed to increase the knowledge and skills on leadership and prevention of violent extremism, young people also had the opportunity to try out the team building competition. Six teams comprised of 60 young people competed for the title of the best, all with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyles.
Nedim Mičijević, Program Manager of the Youth Power, points out that this is the fifth year of organizing this camp in continuity.
“This year we are celebrating a small anniversary – 5 years of organizing a camp of this kind at Sutjeska. We are pleased to have young people who are eager to acquire new knowledge each year and who actively use the already acquired knowledge in team building activities.”
According to the Leader of the program area Health and healthy lifestyles, Feđa Mehmedović, few organizations in BiH and the region can boast with the results achieved by CARE International and its partner organizations Association XY, Youth Power and Perpetuum Mobile.
“Thousands of young people all over BiH and the region have become advocates for healthy behaviours through the participation in the Be a Man Club activities, and the educational tools we have developed in collaboration with key educational institutions are now globally known and proudly awarded the title of the world’s most innovative and best-performing programs for the work with young people. We have succeeded in changing the attitudes, knowledge and behaviour of several thousand young people who, with acquired competences, can live better, healthier and more quality lives. Our parents are grateful and every day more and more of them insist that their children be part of the Young Men Initiative program. Teachers are also grateful to us and a significant number of them across BiH, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo and Croatia approach methodological training with a strong motivation and then implement the activities according to the model we have developed. Ministries are also grateful to us for investing collective expertise and vast experience in supporting the capacity development of the education sector,” Mehmedovic said.
“The programs we have developed, tested and proven to be effective are now being taken over by the ministries of education and Program Y, the crown of our work in the field of education, is becoming an integral part of formal education. And we are grateful to the thousands of young people who have trusted us and who have dedicated their time to the development of Be a Man Clubs and an educational program that without their contribution would not be recognized today as one of the world’s top 12 programs for the work with youth in secondary schools,” concludes Mehmedović.
Prof. Saša Petković, PhD, Project Manager of CARE International in BiH emphasizes the importance of such youth programs.
“Twenty years of working with young people is not enough time for me not to be positively surprised again with the potential and wealth that our country has at its disposal. This wealth is our young people who are ready to promote nonviolent behaviour, healthier lifestyles, gender and every other equality and equity in society. CARE is an organization that has recognized this and focused its work on the prevention and additional education of young people, building their life skills and competencies to enter the complex world of adults. I hope that the authorities at all levels will shift from declarative to more concrete work with young people because that is the only way we can count on a brighter future”.
The Leadership Camp is a traditional camp attended by the most active members of local communities, young people, who have made an exceptional contribution and demonstrated leadership skills in activating and affirming their peers in relation to violence prevention and health promotion.
The activity was implemented within the project Young Men Initiative II: “Promoting Healthier Lifestyles among Youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Challenging Gender Stereotypes II“, supported by the Government of Switzerland, the OAK Foundation, the Austrian Development Agency and CARE International Bosnia and Herzegovina.