Should Young People Stay or Go?

The association Linguists – Language Center is running a summer course on B/C/S, which is being held online this year, due to the pandemic. This year’s topic is Youth and their prospects, and the culture program included a workshop called “Should do youth stay or go?”. 

Talking about the problems and needs of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not an easy task, since the last large-scale survey at state level was conducted in 2008. Since then, there have been several surveys on the position and needs of youth in both entities, and some research has been done in cantons and local communities in preparation for writing youth strategies. Results of the Institute’s online survey on emigration from 2017 showed that young people are disappointed with the current state of the country, they are angry and frustrated with the political and social situation, which makes them more likely to leave. Lack of prospects for youth is the number one reason for leaving listed by the majority of respondents.

The Union for Sustainable Return and Integrations in BiH has recorded a continuous increase in people leaving BiH. During 2019, more people left than ever before (60,000 compared to 40,000 in 2018), indicating a concerning trend.

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For almost two decades, the Institute for Youth Development KULT, as one of the leading NGOs in BiH, has been working on developing strategic solutions, building the capacities of organizations, government institutions and individuals by providing different types of support to all stakeholders in the youth center – all in an effort o improve the position of young people in BiH.

“Youth are not in a great position in BiH. One huge issue we’re facing is the lack of data, but the data we do have paint a picture of a country whose youth are neglected and marginalized. Young people are frequently treated like a problem that needs to be solved on our way to EU accession, instead of being regarded as the resource they are, our driving force, and the solution. Youth voices have been completely stifled. That’s why young people often think they can’t change anything, so they leave. What we do at KULT and what we believe in, including the #necudaidem campaign, is never meant to tell youth to go or stay. Ultimately, that’s a personal decision. Everything we do is underpinned by the idea that all actors in the society must work together, identify problems and offer solutions, to create a youth-friendly country. A country whose young people will happily say #necudaidem (I don’t want to go). We’re aware that these are things that take years, even decades. But we’re determined and will not give up”, said Zorana Tovilović, the Institute’s employee to the course participants.

The Institute for Youth Development KULT in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH is currently preparing to conduct a survey about the problems and needs of young people at the state level.

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