Institute for Youth Development KULT and SOS Kinderdorfs in BiH Aid Youth in Becoming Ready to Live!

An estimate of 2,000 children in BiH are without parental care, and off-record estimates include between 3,000 and 4,000 children. The exact number is unknown due to the lack of statistical data and a unique database for BiH and the current legislatives that define the category of children with no parental care are unclear.

For the past two decades of working in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the SOS Kinderdorfs have provided support in growth and development to over 2500 children and youth. 

There are two SOS Kinderdorfs working in BiH – in Sarajevo and Gra?anica, in which, through a family model of care, a warm and safe place is provided for upbringing children with no parental care. Following a family model of care, the children have the opportunity to grow up in a loving, respectful and safe atmosphere of permanent emotional bonding. A warm home for 269 children from different parts of BiH is secured in 29 family houses, and in 4 houses young girls and boys are prepared for an independent life. In the social care system, the SOS Kinderdorfs in BiH are a unique organisation that cares for the children until they are fully independent, investing all the resourses in their happier future. In addition, the SOS Kinderdorfs pointed to a growing need to protect biological families from devastations and, moreover, to keep them together and strengthen their capacities. For the purpose, in 2008, the Programme for Strengthening Families in Sarajevo, Mostar and Goražde was initiated. The educational programmes provide support to both formal and informal children and youth education, simultaneously helping parents, teachers and experts within the community with a task to make sure the children and the youth obtain the best possible results in education, thus creating opportunities for a successful life.

To improve the youth programme the SOS Kinderdorfs and the Institute for Youth Development KULT signed a treaty on cooperation. The treaty will ensure that the youth work programmes developed by the Institute and conducted in the Educational-Leisure Centre for Youth SPAJALICA in IlidĹľa includes SOS Kinderdorfs as an example of good practice.

?The youth remain in our SOS families, or under our care even after they turn 18 and continue with further education with our support; it is also the case with the youth who prepare themselves for an independent life. The youth commence a separate lifestyle when they become independent, but we support them for a certain time. Still, those are independent individuals who gain independence from their home, the SOS family. We noticed that a certain number of youth do not acquire a satisfying living standard, so we have decided to improve our youth programme to teach them enterpreneurship skills, skills that will make them better suited for the labor market and, finally, turn them into quality caretakers of their families. I believe that our youth, as well as other youth in BiH, are a resource that requres very little to present themselves in their finest edition“, stated Amir Omanovi?, the National Director of SOS Kinderdorfs in BiH. 

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?Ready to Live! is the title of the initiative that will provide the opportunity for six youths from SOS Kinderdorfs to work on their own strengthening by attending a series of workshops, but also to acquire concrete tools that will make them more apt for the labor market. 

All the youth in BiH, including those with parental care, are a vunerable category. In BiH, 67.1% of the youth are unemployed, 28% of those who are employed have no regular income, 77% wish to live abroad, etc. These are just some of the worrying data we obtained in 2013. Children will be provided help through the Programme of Developing Youth Potential for Social Engagement, Starting Their Own Business and Employment, and as a part of which the youth from nine other youth centres in BiH will be trained as well. That will be a great opportunity to establish mutual cooperation and work together for a better future“, stated Jasmin Beši?, the Executive Director of the Institute for Youth Development KULT.


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Since its establishing in 2002, the Institute for Youth Development KULT has been helping the youth, associations and informal groups to become involved in the society as a category that is ready to take resposnibility and work on improving their position. The Institute is the initiator of passing the Youth Law in FBiH, the Law on Volunteering in FBiH as well as a series of other documments to regulate the position of the youth.


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