The Regional Conference “Future for Youth” was held on Wednesday 24.01.2024 at the Skenderija Youth Center in Sarajevo, which brought together experts, organizations, and institutions dedicated to the prevention of violence among young people, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, and the advancement of gender equality.
This important event marks the end of a three-year project organized by CARE International in cooperation with regional partners, with the support of the Austrian Development Agency and the Swiss Cooperation Office. The conference provided a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences on the prevention of violence in schools, healthy lifestyles of young people and the role of educational institutions.
Numerous distinguished guests, including Ambassador of Switzerland Daniel Hunn and Deputy Ambassador of Austria to BiH Dominik Urak, Director of CARE Germany Karl-Otto Zenter attended the event. In their speeches, they emphasized the importance of initiatives for a better future for young people in the Balkans.
Sumka Bučan, regional director of CARE International Balkans, emphasized the importance of a comprehensive model that includes work in schools and with young people at risk: “Prevention and work to change attitudes and behavior are key to changing social norms that promote violence and discrimination.”
The panel discussion emphasized the need for a multisectoral approach and the involvement of different actors in solving these challenges. Speakers, including Siroco Messereli, prof. Dr. Srđan Dušanić, M.Sc. Srđan Ostojić, Ms. Krista Sila and Benjamin Hedžić discussed the necessary approaches and strategies.
Through their topics, Sara Dereta, Kadri Gashi and Amer Džekman provided personal reflections on challenges and solutions related to growing up in a patriarchal society, feminism, healthy habits and preventing violence.
Nedim Micijević and Elizabeta Matković talked about risks and preventive strategies for young people, while psychologist Nikola Micijević warned about the need for a long-term fight against violence. Armela Pengili presented the importance of cooperation with institutions.
We also want to emphasize and thank the presence of numerous volunteers and peer educators from the entire Western Balkans who came to support and help in the realization of this magnificent event.
It should be noted that the Project was realized within the framework of the Young Men Initiative III (YMI – Young Men Initiative): “Promoting healthier lifestyles and reducing interpersonal violence among young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina by challenging gender stereotypes III” and “Future for youth: Young people as leaders of education of life skills in the Balkans” supported by the Government of Switzerland, the Austrian Development Agency and CARE International Bosnia and Herzegovina.