Study Visit to Sweden: First Trip, New Knowledge and Unforgettable Experience

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.

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. 


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