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The Institute for Youth Development KULT and the Movement Dođi sebi issued a call for essays entitled NISI SAMA (You are not alone), to celebrate Orange Day in April 2020. The contest was held entirely online, due to the current coronavirus pandemic. The authors used essays to send a message of support to victims of violence.

The winner, selected by a committee, will receive a symbolic reward from the Institute for Youth Development KULT and the Movement Dođi sebi, and an opportunity to take part in a short film called “Open Your Eyes”, that the Institute is producing to celebrate Orange Day. We received more than 20 essays from authors across the country, and the committee selected Indira Muharemović’s essay “Niste same” (You are not alone). You can read all essays in the gallery we made on our Facebook page. 

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Violence against women is defined in the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and relates to all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. This Convention defines domestic violence as:  “(…) all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that occur within the family or domestic unit or between former or current spouses or partners, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the victim.” (Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, Istanbul, May 11, 2011)

Orange Day, a day dedicated to combatting violence against women, is celebrated worldwide on the 25th day of every month. It’s important to note that physical violence is not the only type of violence inflicted on women, and far from the only way of making women feel neglected, betrayed, denied human rights. According to data from the Agency for Gender Equality, 52.8% of women suffered some form of violence. Although there are some statistical data, it isn’t enough to be precise.

Due to the current situation caused by COVID-19, victims of violence are forced to spend more time with their abusers, which led to an increase in reports of domestic violence. This is why the entire society has to take part and support victims of violence. Report violence anonymously by calling 1264 (RS) and 1265 (FBiH).

During the Learn, Think and Act! for kids, our youngest participants showed us how important learning is. During this module, 26 children from Sarajevo Canton spent some time together learning helpful techniques for studying, memorizing information and communication. Due to the current coronavirus prevention measures, we met our young participants online. According to their parents, it was a fun and educational experience: What I heard was interesting for us adults too. They use very practical methods for memorizing information.

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We believe that children benefit from supplementing formal education with some non-formal programs, that help them stay in touch with their peers and develop their skills. The parents of our participants agree. Thank you for everything you do for our children. The module was great, I have nothing but praise for how it was organized. A big thank you to you and to Lejla, Ema’s trainer, and to all of you who are working hard to organize the training during these unusual times. I truly hope I’ll see you soon in person, said the mom of a participant.

UMiD Kids is an interactive educational program for children, consisting of 12 modules dealing with topics relevant to a child’s intellectual, emotional and social development. The goal of this program is to improve children’s confidence, deepen their connection with parents, their school and friends, to help them see themselves and others in context and more clearly, to develop a sensibility to others and themselves. 

UMiD Kids is implemented by the Institute for Youth Development KULT with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in BiH.

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The 16th generation of UMiD participants is taking bolder steps on their way to personal growth and development. This last weekend, they attended a module on volunteering and civil activism. During this module, the participants visited the Muslim charity “Merhamet”, where they spent some time volunteering and cooking meals for disadvantaged families and migrants.

“This module stirred up some strong emotions and made us reflect more on what goes on in our communities. The activities we did, the volunteering in the soup kitchen, showed us that there’s no greater joy than being a part of a team helping develop the community. Volunteering also helped us see the other side of the story. It was fun and educational. We were more relaxed than before, thanks to this entire module”, said Lejla Bajramović from Zenica.

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During these three days of training, the participants were eager to learn more about the topics presented to them. Some of the participants gave statements for a documentary about young people which is currently being filmed by Televizija Sarajevo. Almin Hodžić from Tešanj also shared his experience from this module, and was particularly impressed with the guest of “Coffee Time With…”, Slobodan Blagovčanin, a young activist from Tuzla. Almin agreed that Slobodan was an excellent choice because the participants had a chance to talk to a person who engages in activism every day.

Slobodan was also the second guest of the show we air in our Facebook group eForum of democracy and human rights. If you’re not in this group yet, make sure you join us by clicking https://www.facebook.com/groups/1011348132591691/.

UMiD is implemented with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in BiH.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has the entire world facing different challenges, living in isolation and practicing physical distancing. Cultural institutions, schools, universities, parks and entertainment venues are abandoned and taking a break from its usual patrons. Teaching staff in Bosnia and Herzegovina and across the world are doing their utmost to make sure that their students get the education they need. The Institute for Youth Development KULT supports formal education, but is also aware of the importance of non-formal education. We have therefore continued with our Learn, Think and Act! training for generation 16, this time with an online module.

The third module, focused on Project cycle management, was held on Zoom, between April 16 and 18, 2020. The trainers used a variety of methods to engage participants in interactive learning and teach them how to present their ideas in the form of a project application. After the pandemic, participants will have a chance to implement their local civil initiatives in their communities, and contribute to solving some of the problems their peers face. The Institute will support their efforts to implement local initiatives with mentorship and funds.

The participants showed a strong interest in this topic and impressive enthusiasm, despite the current situation. They all said they miss spending time with each other, talking, and sharing opinions, and that they can’t wait to see each other again, whether online or at the Educational-Leisure Center for Youth SPAJALICA. This was a new experience for the UMiD organizational team and the participant, and we all learned some valuable lessons. The participants reacted very well to the new format, which motivates us to continue and shows that non-formal education can adapt to distance learning. 

Coffee Time With…, a regular feature of UMiD was also held online. For this module, our guests were last year’s UMiD participants, Nerma Džaferović and Mirza Mujdžić-Jojić, who successfully implemented their local civil initiative “Eco Corner” in Gradačac. They talked about their experience, achievements and all the small obstacles they had to overcome to make ideas come to life, which helps current participants prepare for their activities.

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UMiD 16 is implemented within the project Dialogue for a Joint Future, supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in BiH.

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This weekend, Learn, Think and Act for Young Political Leaders, Generation 18 had their first module. The topic of this module was teamwork and leadership, and the group’s first team effort was a celebration of Orange Day. They learned more about types of violence, and, more importantly, how to prevent it and what to do about it.  

One in two women in BiH over the age of 15 has experienced some form of violence. For several years now, Bosnia and Herzegovina, like the rest of the world, has been celebrating Orange Day on the 25th day of every month, to draw attention to the fight to end violence against women and girls.

The first module included Coffee Time With… Nudžejma Softić, our successful marathon runner and triathlete, who talked to the participants about teamwork and leadership. Nudžejma was the guest of the first episode in the E-Forum series on human rights and democracy, which you will be able to see in the Facebook group.

“Former UMiD participants told me that UMiD is unlike any other training for activists. I’m anticipating a year full of learning and progress, given that the first module has already made a big impression, motivates me and encourages me to look within myself and decide to do better at organizing my tasks and obligations. I think this is an ideal opportunity for everyone to mature, maintain continuity, meet new people and have an unforgettable new experience. Most importantly, this is a chance to learn new skills that they will be able to put to use at a moment’s notice”, said Edna Mulić from Brčko District, one of the training participants.

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The Learn, Think and Act! training for Generation 16 is implemented with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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