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Today, representatives of three embassies in BiH talked to 12 young politicians from 8 political parties, elected to public office in 11 local communities. These young politicians took part in the training course Learn, Think and Act for Young Political Leaders - UMiDp, conducted by the Institute for Youth Development KULT for the past three years.

“For more than 18 years, the Institute has been working on building a youth-friendly environment in BiH. During all those years, we have also been providing non-formal education in the form of training courses for different groups of youth and professionals who work with youth and for youth.  A little over three years ago, we added another training course to our repertory - UMiD for young political leaders in BiH. The results they achieved in the lastest local elections are proof of how important this type of training is. We want to raise a new generation of politicians who will be able to respond to the needs of young people.  We are committed to continuing with this training in the years to come”, said the General Director of the Institute, Mr Jasmin Bešić.

63 young politicians took part in UMiDp in the three generations of this training course. In the latest local elections, 13 of the participants were elected as municipal or city councilors, and one participant was elected mayor of his municipality. All participants were under 30 during the training and they come from 15 different political parties from across Bosnia and Herzegovina. The results they achieved in the latest elections show the vast potential of young people to contribute to political processes, but they also illustrate the importance of non-formal education.

“Youth participation is the foundation of every democratic society and the Embassy of Sweden supports KULT in their efforts to provide young politicians with non-formal education. Youth representation in politics is key for finding sustainable solutions for problems faced by the country and local communities. By taking part in politics and being elected, young people bring an important perspective to the conversation, they advocate for youth policies and rights and work on achieving real change that matters to young people. 13 young participants of UMiDp training courses were elected to public office as city and municipal councilors, demonstrating the immense potential of young people to contribute to politics and illustrating the importance of non-formal education”, said Lisa Curman, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Sweden in BiH.

H.E. Matt Field, Ambassador of the United Kingdom in BiH, said that these young people are a great example of participation in local politics even for communities in the UK, noting that gender equality and increasing the number of women politicians is also an important goal.

The event was attended by H.E. Reinart Vos, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in BiH, who told young people to seize the opportunity they got and protect the rule of law and political and election processes in the country.

Slavko Tešić participated in the first UMiDp training, and now he is the mayor of Pelagićevo municipality.  Slavko says the training was a big help in his political career and his successful campaign for mayor this year.

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In the three five-day modules, the training participants learn how to navigate the BiH political system, build their image, and negotiate and advocate for addressing the problems and needs of youth.  The goal is to empower young people to bring positive change by acting as accountable and responsible politicians. The Embassy of Sweden in BiH supported the Institute in all three of the UMiDp training cycles.

Foto Arhiv KULT

The Institute for Youth Development KULT developed a special training program for young politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina to empower them to engage in politics and solve problems in their communities, focusing especially on problems faced by their peers.

This training has already been completed by three generations of young politicians - a total of 64 members of 15 different political parties, from across Bosnia and Herzegovina. UMiDp participants achieved impressive results during the recently held local elections.

According to confirmed results, 12 UMiDp participants were elected into local councils and one participant was elected mayor. This is a clear indicator of how important non-formal education is for politicians in BiH, especially for young people who are still searching for their place under the political sun.

“Thinking that they can’t change anything and that their input can’t sway political processes hold young people back. They need opportunities to learn about politics and how to engage with political processes so they realize how impactful their participation can be. UMiD for political leaders is a training that lets young people leave these negative mindsets behind. I think non-formal education is an important building block in everyone’s success, regardless of age, and it also has a positive impact on developing different skills and competencies”, said Haris Topalović, participant of the first UMiDp generation and a new councilman for Ilidža Municipality.

Another UMiDp participant and newly elected councilwoman for Kostajnica Municipality, Maja Nikolić, said that UMiDp helped her improve her skills and gain a deeper understanding of the political and legal structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This proved to be useful in her election campaign and outreach, and she believes her new skills will continue serving her well in her future political career. Maja took part in the third UMiDp training.

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These are other UMiDp participants who were elected to their local councils: Nemanja Davidović from Bosanski Petrovac, Ekrem Sarajlić from Vitez, Tarik Halilović and Belmin Zukan from Visoko, Alma Tulek from Sanski Most, Kenan Biserović from Jablanica, Antonija Bažonić from Široki Brijeg, Slavko Tešić, new Mayor of Municipality Pelagićevo, Elma Masnopita from Ilijaš, Edis Kavgić from Srebrenik and Miloš Novaković from Rogatica.

In the three five-day modules, the training participants learn how to navigate the BiH political system, build their image, and negotiate and advocate for addressing the problems and needs of youth.  The goal is to empower young people to bring positive change by acting as accountable and responsible politicians. The Embassy of Sweden supported the implementation of these three UMiDp trainings, and the Institute intends to continue offering UMiDp trainings to young politicians.

Learn more about the UMiDp training in this video.

tiPra

The largest database of government policies on youth issues is now available at www.tipra.me. The Institute for Youth Development KULT developed an innovative, user-friendly platform, intended for everyone who wants to learn about what the government has been doing to improve the position of young people at the state, cantonal and municipal levels.

In 2019, only 1 in 10 municipalities adopted and implemented a youth strategy - one of their obligations pursuant to youth laws.

“We’re seeing increasingly more young people leave Bosnia and Herzegovina. If the government doesn’t change the way it treats young people, then we can’t expect those numbers to change for the better,” said Aldin Alić from the Institute for Youth Development KULT, adding that the platform was launched today to make a point about tiPra.me being a useful tool for young people looking to cast an informed vote in the upcoming elections.

tiPra.me helps young people get past prejudice or false information about an institution or elected official, by giving youth insight into whether they’re actually working to improve young people’s lives, regardless of how these officials or institutions are portrayed in public. For the past 10 years, the Institute for Youth Development KULT has been closely watching and analyzing youth policies in BiH by collecting official data on institutional mechanisms stipulated by BiH youth laws and international standards and recommendations.

The database of the tiPra.me platform has information on more than 470 politicians, 230 government institutions and 20 political parties.

The data used by tiPra.me to calculate every institution’s youth-friendliness index was collected directly from those institutions The Institute for Youth Development KULT sent questionnaires to every institution whose competence includes youth issues, which the institutions completed and returned to the Institute every year. Institutions that did not return their questionnaires were rated as having no institutional mechanisms for supporting youth.

The Institute for Youth Development KULT is urging young people to be informed voters and reminding government institutions of their obligation to implement mechanisms required of them by current youth laws.

PUBLIC CALL

These Terms of Reference (TOR) are for the evaluation of the Project: “Future Reviving through Youth Work and (Aspiring) Youth Leadership: Building Skills for Participatory Democracy” (hereinafter: the Project) implemented by the Institute for Youth Development KULT with financial support from Embassy of Sweden (ES). This evaluation is commissioned by the Institute and will cover the entirety of implementation of the Project.

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Today at the Institute, we signed grant agreements providing 15,000 BAM for two initiatives designed by young people. The agreements were signed with the European Geography Association for students and young geographers from Sarajevo and the Center for education and research “NAHLA”, Bihać branch.

The European Geography Association for students and young geographers will implement their initiative “Air Quality Measurement Stations for Schools”, intended for primary school students in Sarajevo Canton, who will be taking part in a workshop on putting together an air quality monitoring device. One class from each of the 8 selected schools will attend lectures on environmental protection, air pollution, our impact on the environment and ways to measure air quality. After completing the theoretical part, the students will make their own small air quality measuring stations to be installed in their schools. This means that students will be able to monitor the air quality in their school and act accordingly. 

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- My idea is to prove that having a significant number of small air quality measurement stations in homes will allow us to monitor air pollution and obtain relevant data, thanks to the number of stations. The fact that Sarajevo has only 3 professional measurement stations is deplorable because we need reliable information about air pollution before we take steps to address the causes. This will allow everyone else to build their own stations too, so we can pool our information and fight together for cleaner air. Air quality information provided by the measuring stations will be available through the CityOs app, said Adi Operta, President of this association.

Young people from Bihać will implement an initiative they called “WeUSK”, and are hoping to grow it into a traditional program in the Una-Sana Canton. They will bring together young enthusiasts and activists in different fields and teach them how to take their first steps towards local activism and socially beneficial work. Young participants who show a particular interest or talent in a specific area will be encouraged and supported in their efforts to further develop their skills. This year, the program will include two modules and volunteer work. After that, young people will meet to plan the initiative they intend to implement next year.

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The funds for these initiatives are provided through the Urgent Fund, used by the Institute to support current or new initiatives launched by young people across Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Urgent Fund was developed with the support of the Swedish Embassy in BiH.

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