Seeing the World Through the Eyes of Marginalized People

Ermin Beganović, an employee of the City Administration of Cazin and a young activist, strongly believes that persons with developmental disabilities deserve the same rights and involvement in the community as everyone else. He acted on this belief and in partnership with the Center for the Development of Inclusive Practices started the “Learn About My City” activity. The goal was to motivate citizens to overcome prejudice about the abilities of persons with disabilities. The implementation of this activity was supported by USAID’s initiative localworks, intended to encourage the involvement of various actors in solving problems in local communities.

Workshops such as the Human Library and Traces of Silence, and the inclusive play that was organized in Cazin motivated members of the public to learn more about the needs of persons with disabilities. One of the goals of this activity was to provide better access to information for persons with disabilities, in this case by putting up an info board legible to blind persons and persons with visual impairments, and all other citizens and visitors of Cazin. This is one of the few Braille info boards in BiH.

The documentary film named after the activity, Learn About My City featured voices of marginalized people and people with developmental disabilities. More than 200 visitors attended the screening. A lot of people talked and wrote about this problem, and the public has been sensitized to this issue – said the initiators of this action.

“Connecting local actors to solve a problem in a community is a very successful model. This activity showed the kind of results that can be achieved if more local actors are involved in the process. Thanks to the synergy of the city administration and public institutions, and the support of donors and volunteers of the City of Cazin people are talking and thinking about inclusion, and inclusive principles are being used in various areas.” – said Ermin Beganović.

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The implementation of this activity showed that different public institutions can cooperate successfully and achieve great results. The documentary film was made by the RTV Cazin, City Administration of Cazin, Center for the Development of Inclusive Practices Cazin, four high schools from Cazin and elementary schools from Cazin, Bužim and Velika Kladuša.

Everything that was done within this activity presented the City of Cazin as a place that cares about the needs of the locals.

As soon as the “Learn About My City” activity wrapped up, they started planning new activities. Now they will be turning their attention to ecological activities and restructuring and renovating popular tourist spots around Cazin. Enthusiastic citizens of Cazin noted that a lot of places around the city needs to be cleaned, repaired and have new infrastructure added, to turn them into tourist attractions, such as the Old Town Ostrožac, Stovrela, Krečane, etc.

They are planning to implement these activities with the same partners they worked with on “Learn About My City”, including public institutions, the City of Cazin, and USAID and the Institute for Youth Development KULT who are implementing the localworks initiative.

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