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.

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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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Today, the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of Sarajevo Canton and the Institute signed a cooperation agreement. The agreement defines the Institute as an expert partner to the Ministry with an advisory rule in the process of accrediting institutions as long-term volunteering providers and developing a volunteering program for future volunteers at the Ministry.

The signing of the agreement was attended by: Anis Krivić, Minister of Education, Science and Youth of Sarajevo Canton, Lejla Abazović, Expert Associate on Youth Issues, Šeherzada Halimić, Executive Director of the Institute and Ajka Rovčanin, program manager at the Institute.

“Young people have to be the priority of the Sarajevo Canton Government, especially our Ministry. We want to create systemic solutions that will actually be helpful to young people. This is only one of many projects we want to implement with partners from other sectors, that have to do with supporting and helping young people in our canton”, said Minister Krivić.

At the end of 2019, the Institute for Youth Development KULT signed an agreement with the Ministry of Labor, Social Policy, Displaced Persons and Refugees, defining the Institute’s support to public institutions in Sarajevo Canton in the process of accreditation of long-term volunteering. So far, more than 90 institutions submitted applications for accreditation for long-term volunteering, and today’s signing reflects the Institute’s commitment to cooperating with institutions competent for youth issues.

“The Institute is always on the side of young people and we’re always trying to find the best solutions to their problems. The agreement we signed today with the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of Sarajevo Canton is extremely important because it means we’ve established institutional cooperation with the ministry competent for youth issues. I’m sure we’ll continue working on other initiatives as well that we believe would improve the position of youth in Sarajevo Canton and Bosnia and Herzegovina”, said Šeherzada Halimić, Executive Director of the Institute.

In addition to the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of Sarajevo Canton, the Institute continues working with other public institutions in Sarajevo Cantons on the process of accrediting them for long-term volunteering. According to the Law on Volunteering of FBiH, long-term volunteering is considered work experience, which should make it easier for young people to get their first work experience, which is more often than not a requirement for employment.

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In June of this year, the Institute for Youth Development KULT and the Municipality Centar Sarajevo signed a cooperation agreement for developing the Municipality’s new Youth Strategy for the period of 2021-2025. 

The Youth Council of Centar Municipality, in cooperation with the Institute, has now started preparing for the development of the Strategy. Trainings were held for volunteers who will be interviewing young people in Centar Municipality to learn about their needs and problems. This way, young people will be involved in the process of developing the strategy, and representatives of the Youth Council will be included in the working groups.

The interviewers learned about the methodology for interviewing young people, the importance of this step for developing the youth strategy and the locations of each local community in this municipality. 

Future interviewers were very interested in learning about the methodology and the topics that they will be talking to young people about. They were also familiarized with measures intended to protect them and the interviewees from COVID-19.

At the same time, the Institute is supporting the Centar Municipality and their Youth Officer in forming a coordination body and working groups for developing the Youth Strategy.  

All local self-government units in FBiH are required to develop youth strategies pursuant to the Law on Youth of FBiH, which the Institute helped develop prior to its adoption in 2010.

The Institute conducted this same survey 10 years ago in this municipality, and it will be interesting to compare the results and development over the past 10 years.

The 15th generation of the Learn, Think and Act! training for young leaders completed their final, tenth module, focused on Job searching. The participants learned how to write a CV and cover letter, and how to behave during a job interview. They left the training with some basic information about the labor market in Bosnia and Herzegovina, what employers are looking for, which jobs are in high demand, and what the statistics are. Using what they learned, the participants analyzed their current position on the labor market, and the skills they need to hone to get the job they want.

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