Expert associates on youth work participated in a study visit to the Kingdom of Sweden.


Three young people, who had previously completed the youth work training, were given the opportunity to introduce themselves with the forms of youth work and resolving youth issues in this country.


During the 5-day visit to Stockholm, the attendants from “Pure Heart” Association in Prijedor, the “Carpe Diem” youth organization from Ilijaš and “SOS Kinderdorf BiH” had the opportunity to introduce themselves with the numerous aspects of youth work in Sweden.


While visiting different organizations, they encountered youth workers working with youth on a daily basis in Sweden. They were introduced with the staff of art galleries with youth-intended programs, visited the open-air museum that organizes a cooperation program with schools and youth centers and other volunteer organizations. They also visited Frysushet, one of the biggest youth centers in the world and participated in a workshop organized with the APU Network – an organization gathering the BiH diaspora in Sweden.


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During the meeting with the representative of the Frysushet Center, the BiH youth were introduced with the positive practice of the Center that works with tens of thousands of youth. Even though the standard of the Kingdom of Sweden is significantly higher than the standard of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and taking to consideration the fact that Sweden holds a long tradition of youth work, there are still practices that are very much applicable in BiH. One of them is the individualized approach to youth with particular accent to developing the knowledge and skills that are in personal interest of youth and represent their passion. Thus, the Frysushet gathers youth who are otherwise excluded from the society and thus participates in developing active citizens.


“I learned a lot that we can also transfer or adapt to our circumstances. We were introduced with the manner of work of great organizations which inspired me to continue pursuing this occupation and work with youth more actively. It is especially important that we had the opportunity to talk to youth referred to as the “diaspora” here, exchange experience with them and also discuss the models of joint work that finally leads to improvement of youth and bringing the diaspora closer to BiH” – emphasized Tijana Gruji?i?, a study visit participant.


During the meeting with the APU Network representatives, the study visit participants have introduced the youth immigrants from BiH, the second and third generations and discussed the position of youth from BiH in both Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through the joint workshop, youth reflected on the goals, differences among them and the possibilities of cooperation and realizing common projects. The successes of BiH youth are highly appreciated and it is estimated that there are around 100,000 BiH citizens living in Sweden at the moment, who represent the best example of integration in the BiH society.


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Particular attention of BiH youth was attracted by the Cyclope organization that was completely voluntarily established with the effort of youth and their peer citizens. The community contributed through funding, and the development was performed exclusively by youth. The work of this organization continues to reflect in complete voluntary engagement of all employees.


The study visit to the Kingdom of Sweden was, for some of the participants, the first journey outside of BiH, so besides the educational, it also had an intercultural exchange character.


“Sometimes people believe that they are not ready for the next step and stay in one place, thinking in the frame of one box and feeling insecure outside its walls. I do not judge, I used to feel the same myself. Believe in yourselves and bravely step outside, bravely step forward. You will see the world through different eyes and create a better, more productive and happier lives for yourselves” – stated Elma ?utura, a study visit participant.


The visit was hosted by Kommunal Stockholm (Trade Union of the City of Stockholm) that besides its regular activities also has a separate sector reserved for youth workers. Through its work, this sector of Kommunal works with youth on presenting their labor rights and opportunities to improve and progress. The visit dedicated to youth work and exchange of experiences with BiH youth is only one of the forms in which the Kommunal includes youth in its work. The cooperation of the Institute for Youth Development KULT and the Kommunal in the area of youth work will continue in the following period.


The study visit is a part of Expert Associates on Youth Work Training that has been implemented by the Institute for Youth Development KULT for two years with the support of the Olof Palme Center and the sponsorship of the Kommunal Stockholm. 


 

Seventeen attendants of the Expert Associate on Youth Work Training were awarded with certificates for having successfully completed the Training today, at the Institute for Youth Development KULT. 


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The youth workers could not hide their joy. Dejan Ra?en from Br?ko says that he is very motivated by the Expert Associate on Youth Work Training. "I wish to dedicate myself to youth and working with youth in Br?ko. I am certain that this knowledge will help my own progress in this sector. Thanks to activism, through this Training, I have also been awarded with the volunteer of the year title in my organisation" - added Ra?en. 


Expert Associates on Youth Work are persons who help youth in the process of their development. On the initiative of the Institute for Youth Development KULT, the occupation of the Expert Associate on Youth Work was included in the classification of occupations of the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The training consists of 5 modules and 26 youth from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in the training. 


The certificates on having successfully completed the Training were awarded by Jasmin Beši?, the Executive Director of the Institute for Youth Development KULT. He also congratulated the youth workers and appraised all the training attendants. "I hope that the knowledge and skills you acquired here will indeed be of use in your future work. It is my pleasure to see motivated youth who strive to contribute to devlopment of their organisations through continuous work" - added Beši?. 


The Training consisted of 5 modules, after which the attendants took their final exam. This Expert Associate on Youth Work Training is second in line organised by the Institute for Youth Development KULT, emphasized Katarina Vu?kovi? from the Institutte for Youth Development KULT. "The aim is to create a cadre that will be able to work professionally with youth, since the society does not pay enough attention to them. During the Training, the attendants were first introduced with the legal solutions that regulate this area, but also with the basic criteria every local community should fulfil to prove that it takes care of youth. Youth problems in local communities are indeed great. Still, they can be resolved and we are here to teach the attendants how" - said Vu?kovi?.  


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"Youth workers must learn how to support youth in their initiatives for changes!" In a sense, this is the motto of the 4th module of the Training for Expert Associates on Youth Work, who, during the module, learned about working with youth in general, but also about the research and advocacy work and organisational skills.  


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Youth from 14 local communities, 26 of them, will soon become youth workers. Representatives of the Institute for Youth Development KULT, as the organiser of the Training, claim to be very pleased with the progress of the attendants. "So far, these youth have been through 4 training modules and learned how to work with youth in their local communities and about the role of an Expert Associate on Youth Work. We are glad that all the attendants of the training were very active and interested to work and develop common ideas. Soon, testing will be performed in which all the attendants will be given an opportunity to demonstrate how much they have learned" - stated Katarina Vu?kvoi? from the Institute for Youth Development KULT.  


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Amila Dedi? also shares the positive opinion on attendants' progress. "It is very important for the future youth workers to recognise real problems in their local communities as well as at higher governmental levels, but also to recognise their capacities for resolving them. It is commendable that future youth workers, even though they are engaged in different issues affecting youth, stull recognise common and key problems. They quickly recognise their potential disadvantages and are very interested in correcting their mistakes and improving their future work" - added Amila Dedi?. 


This Expert Associates on Youth Work Training is the second consecutive one organised by the Institute for Youth Development KULT. It aims to create a cadre that will be able to expertly work with youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 


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Human rights have to be placed in the centre of youth work. And it was precisely human rights protection and communication, that were the topic of the second module of Associate Experts on Youth Work Training. 26 training attendants from all over BiH discussed changing the notion and definition of human rights through history in the first part of the second module. They foused on youth issues, when and how youth breach human rights and situations in which their own rights are being breached. The attendants discussed their own stereotypes and prejudice as well as those they encounter when working with youth. 


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The second part of the training was dedicated to communication. Teamwork, basics of communicating within the team, communication channels and how good communication creates a good image of an organisation are only some of the topics the attendants discussed and learned about. Particular focus was placed on communicating with the media and using the media in youth work, especially the new media and social networks. Creativity, manners of presenting information and oral and written communication with the public were some of the topics that the future Associate Experts focused on. The Trainer paid close attention to online youth activism as well and developing info-charts as a manner of presenting activities. 


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In the framework of the second module, a Coffee Time with... session was held at the Educational-Leisure Centre for Youth SPAJALICA with Mladen Obrenovi?, a journalist from Al Jazeera portal, who discussed communicating with the media with the attendants, as well as how to introduce youth work to the media and "be interesting". Mladen Obrenovi? held a presentation on cooperating with the local media, but also talked about the manners of establishing cooperation with public services and big media corporations. 


The next module of the training is scheduled for mid-October 2015. It will focus on the topic of social competences in youth work and organisational skills in youth work. 


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After successfully completing two modules of Expert Associates for Youth Work Training, the third module, entitled “Social Competences and Organisational Skills” is ongoing. The training, in which 26 youth from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina are participating, is being held at the Educational- Leisure Centre for Youth SPAJALICA. 


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This training for Expert Associates for Youth Work is the second in line being organised by the Institute for Youth Development KULT. The aim is to create a cadre that will be able to work professionally with youth, who are neglected by the society. Jasmina Keserovi? from Velika Kladuša says that the training incited her to try and work harder in the area of youth work and that she will implement the knowledge and skills she acquired so far and will acquire by the end of the training at the Democratic Organisation of Youth of Velika Kladuša where she works. Elma Karahodži? from Tešanj holds a similar opinion. “I am very pleased to be here. I have met many different people from various towns, and learned a lot along the way. I am certain that this knowledge will serve me well in the future. To me, personally, because I will be able to practically apply it in my local community” – states Elma Karahodži? from Tešanj.


The third training module is dedicated to social competences and organisational skills. The lecturers are Senka ?impo and Jasmin Beši?. The organisers of the training, representatives of the Institute for Youth Development KULT, are very pleased with the training itself and with the selected participants. “Judging by the reactions of the participants, it is visible that everyone is satisfied. What might be important is the clear willingness to learn and acquire new knowledge and skills. This module consists of two topics. The first one, social competences, was lectured by Senka ?impo. Our attendants learned how to work with youth by working on themselves. The second topic that starts today is dedicated to organisational management. Jasmin Beši? will explain to the participants from, for example, how to organise volunteers, to how to organise their organisations” – emphasized Katarina Vu?kovi? form the Institute for Youth Development KULT.


Eldar Komar from Sarajevo also confirmed that the attendants were satisfied. He says that the thematic wholes are coordinated with the requirements of working with youth. “Experienced lecturers with interesting working methods provide the attendants with the opportunity to express themselves creatively, exchange experiences and acquire new knowledge” – added Eldar Komar from the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in BiH.


Still, the most important thing is, as the training attendants agreed, to transfer the acquired knowledge and skills on and improve working with youth in local communities. Tijana Gruji? from Prijedor says that she will definitely work better in the future. The knowledge she acquired will be transferred to her colleagues at the organisation, she says. “This will, hopefully, result in a greater number of happy and satisfied youth in Prijedor” – she adds.  


 


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One of the manners of achieving quality youth work in Bosnia and Herzegovina is to introduce concrete examples and practices in other countries. This is precisely why the Institute for Youth Development KULT organised a study visit to the Kingdom of Sweden in the period from 7 to 10 September of this year as a part of the Strengthening Youth Structures Project.


The aim of the visit was to exchange experiences, knowledge and expertise through networking and introducing methods, manners and practice of youth work in Sweden. As a part of the study visit, the team from Bosnia and Herzegovina held meetings with Swedish organisations that implement decisions on working with youth on-field. All for the purpose of introducing new manners of communication between the authorities and youth.


During the stay in the Kingdom of Sweden, a visit was organised to the Ministry of Education and Research of the state responsible for education, research and youth policy. The team from our country visited organisations VĂĄra Barn and APU Network, Active Europe, the biggest youth centre in the world Fryshuset and the LSU - Sveriges ungdomsorganisationer, as well as the Olof Palme International Center.


The study visit will contribute to a better understanding of a different approach to youth in a country that considers youth as a valuable resource and therefore works on prevention and enables youth to achieve their ideas and aims.


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