The Institute for Youth Development KULT was founded at the national level in 2002 under the name Association KULT, and it continued conducting its activities under this name until May 2011. In addition to the Head Office in Sarajevo, we also have an offices in Gradačac and Subotica, which have retained the original name. Our cooperation with the governmental authorities is very effective and is based on a partnership. In all the communities where we have our offices, KULT has been trying to implement activities needed by the target group in that very area. In order to determine our focus and direction, we conduct annual planning workshops. We strive to establish good cooperation with municipal authorities, and with various national and international organisations, in order to prevent repetition or overlapping of projects.
KULT is experienced in drafting legal documents and regulations, and has been involved in producing many draft laws at all levels of government. Furthermore, we initiated the adoption of the Youth Law in the Federation of BiH and in the Brčko District of BiH, Law on Volunteering in FBiH, etc. We drafted the Youth Law and Law on Volunteering of FBiH in cooperation with other organizations, and submitted it to the Parliament in cooperation with the FBiH Commission for Youth Issues of the FBiH Parliamentary Assembly’s House of Representatives. The laws were ultimately adopted.
Ever since the Association was founded, through various non-formal training activities, counselling, monitoring, teaching, courses, seminars, simulations, problem-solving workshops, round tables, brochures, working materials, etc. we have been assisting youth, associations, non-formal groups and other interested parties to become recognised members of the society, ready to take responsibility and make an effort to improve their position in life.
The Institute for Youth Development KULT is the founder of the Educational-Leisure Centre for Youth called SPAJALICA, (eng. Paperclip), in Ilidža.
All of our activities to date have been closely related to the development of civic society in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our actions are based on cooperation with the authorities (and opportunities for active participation/involvement), with citizens (youth primarily), and also with other influential and active associations, individuals and institutions (e.g. social welfare centres, employment bureaus, etc.).
Throughout the years, we have held numerous round table discussions in all parts of BiH to discuss the recognition of non-formal education, possibilities of youth involvement, introduction of local programs and opportunities tailored to youth, etc. Apart from this, we have delivered countless training courses on the following issues: volunteer work, civic engagement, tolerance, public relations, democracy, the European Union, mental health, etc.
Also noteworthy is our street campaign centered around the partnership between youth and municipal authorities (mayors) in the form of a mute performance, which has been performed countless times since, not only in Sarajevo, but in other cities as well. This performance has become part of KULT’s regular activities, and is improved and adjusted to current events every year.
The Institute for Youth Development KULT is a member of the following networks:
The mission of the Institute for Youth Development KULT is to create and advocate legal and other strategic solutions, as well as to build and strengthen the capacities of associations and governmental authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, for a successful and sustainable youth policy.
Our vision is an open society with the empowered citizens who participate in all decision-making processes in public life.
CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT IN SOCIAL TRENDS
Bearing in mind that all citizens have equal rights and that we live in a society based upon the principles of democracy, it is of great importance for them to be part of all social events, especially of those that concern them. The basic idea of an open civil society is to ask the citizens to identify the needs and the problems they struggle with, enable them to directly or indirectly take part in decision-making processes, give them the opportunity to join the efforts to improve the environment they live in.
EMPOWERING CITIZENS TO TAKE CIVIL ACTION
The citizens have to be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for them to become responsible participants in their social lives. To furnish them with such knowledge and skills means to enable them to be not only the observers of changes that are taking place, but to contribute to both the personal and social development, in accordance with their interests and capabilities. In view of the concept of civil society, the role of the non-governmental sector, among other things, is for the most part to enable the citizens to become actively involved.
YOUNG PEOPLE AS THE INITIATORS OF THE DEMOCRATISATION OF SOCIETY
Nowadays, young people form a key component of the population that can and should steer the process of democratisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. They have grasped best assumptions and reasons to improve the surrounding circumstances. To make this possible, they need affirmative legal solutions, strategic orientation of politics and society, as well as structures and capacities that will be available to them for taking their actions. In summary, it is the commitment of decision makers that is important for developing and maintaining a successful and sustainable youth policy.
In order to contribute to the fulfilment of this vision, the Institute for Youth Development KULT performs its activities in accordance with two strategic directions, at:
In order to reach long-term sustainability in terms of the consequences of our actions, we strive towards pursuing cooperation with all levels of government in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region upon proposing changes to and adopting legislative and other political solutions (policies and strategies) that will legally and systematically regulate youth care and their institutional constitution. The process of adopting such documents asks for making analyses of the current state of affairs and needs, organising public consultations with the citizens and stakeholders (non-governmental and international organisations, public institutions, etc.), public advocacy towards political entities, as well as the media promotion in the aftermath of the entire procedure of adoption. Our role and cooperation with legislative and executive authorities are being maintained in the course of drafting by-laws, law enforcement programming, counselling and keeping others informed.
Political decision-making as such will not give rise to any noticeable improvement, if decisions remain unimplemented. The Institute endeavours full enforcement of adopted documents and therefore encourages the competent institutions to do the same by providing them with necessary information and advice, and frequently technical support.
In addition, we deliver certified training courses to the representatives at all levels of governmental authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region in order to enable them to professionally carry out their work in the field of youth care. We organise training programmes and study visits for local youth organisations, youth councils and youth leaders to build up and strengthen their organisational and project related capacities, and cultivate their networking to cooperate on similar activities and share their experiences. Numerous national and regional conferences and round tables contribute to the enhancement of cooperation between the government and non-governmental sectors, elimination of prejudice, exchange of experiences and raising the level of awareness of all stakeholders. Media campaigns raise awareness among the citizens, especially among young people, of their entitlement to participate in social processes that affect them, which is their responsibility as well.
The act of allocating funds, generally speaking, and specifically to address youth issues, is an important indicator of the priority level assigned to this target group, but also of the progress range that can be reached. It will eventually be unavoidable to convince governmental authorities that greater financial investments will be needed for resolving youth issues.
Since Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region have encountered the insufficiency of formal educational institutions that would be in charge of training people for the position of youth officer, this position is often assumed by persons who are willing to enthusiastically do their work, however they lack the competences to develop and manage a youth policy. What lies ahead is the promotion of our certified training programme for youth officers in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, which has already been recognised by some government institutions.
The process of advocating towards decision makers to comply with the existing legislation in the field of youth work and thus pursue achieving measurable and sustainable results is often demanding. Both horizontal and vertical cooperation among government institutions is left out. We will aspire to build even stronger partnerships with decision makers, both among them and with the non-governmental sector.
Young people predominantly do not show a considerable and long-term interest in seeking social inclusion, although this ambition also offers encouragement important for starting their own career, which is something that can easily be expected in view of a high youth unemployment rate. The Institute adheres, by means of laws regulating the culture of volunteering, to encourage youth taking an active role in the community and increase their competitiveness in the labour market after they have acquired their work experience.
We strive to establish good cooperation with the municipal authorities and senior governmental authority levels, and with various local and international organisations, so as to avoid repetition or overlapping of projects. More often than not, KULT is granted funds from the municipal budgets to implement activities at that level. Larger scale projects, reaching beyond the municipalities where we have our offices, have so far been funded by international governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as by senior levels of governmental authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ever since it was founded, KULT has always been engaged in political education of youth, conveying knowledge and skills they need in order to become active citizens.
All of our activities to date have been closely related to the development of civic society in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our actions are based on cooperation with the governmental authorities (and the possibility for an active participation/involvement), with the citizens (youth primarily), and also with other influential and active associations, individuals and institutions (e.g. social welfare centres, employment bureaus, etc.).
KULT endeavours to implement all of its activities in cooperation with the local authorities, as well as with organisations and other interested parties, in all communities where we operate. By doing so, we wish to empower local structures so as to facilitate independent and sustainable actions in the future.
We advocate establishment of formal cooperation with all partners in our projects, so that our mutual rights and obligations can be defined in advance.
In each area where we have an office, KULT has been pursuing efforts to implement activities which are needed by the target group in that very area. In order to determine our focus and direction, we deliver annual planning workshops.
In addition to employees and part-time associates, KULT’s activities are supported and implemented by more than 30 active volunteers. KULT has founded the Educational-Leisure Centre for Youth called SPAJALICA (English-paperclip) that incorporates a youth hostel. The hostel accommodates fourteen persons in two bedrooms, one 8-bed and one 6-bed room.
KULT has an Assembly as the top management body and Administration as the body of executive power. Decisions are made on a team basis, including both staff and volunteers.
Each year, KULT holds its annual planning session and periodically its strategic planning session. All team members are involved in planning (staff and the representatives of volunteers) to ensure a high level of participation and involvement in decision making processes.
We pay a lot of attention to the monitoring of activities within each project.