Timespan: 20/06/2016 – 31/01/2017
The “My City – Youth City” project is supported by USAID’s PRO-Future project, which is implemented by Catholic Relief Services in cooperation with Mozaik Foundation, Caritas Bosne i Hercegovine, Tuzla Citizens‘ Forum, Helsinki Parliament of Citizens Banja Luka and Interreligious Council of BiH.
Applicant: Agencija lokalne demokratije Mostar
Description: The project brings together organizations and participants from Mostar and Nevesinje, as well as Prijedor and Sanski Most. 40 young participants (15-19) fromthe mentioned communities were active members of the project during the implementation period of six months. Participants were encouraged by learning leadership and debating skills and worked with the local authorities in educational and creative activities. The focus was the importance of participating in democratic processes of elections in local communities in order to reach sustainable peace, tolerance and a better future.
Objective: strengthening the awareness of young people from local communities to overcome divisions and strengthen trust among young people from Mostar, Nevesinje, Prijedor and Sanski Most, strengthening knowledge and skills of young people for active participation in the local community through advocacy campaign, and local youth actions in participating communities.
Activities implemented within the project:
1. The initial (kick off) meeting of the project partners “My city – the city of youth” – was held on June 21, 2016. in Prijedor, where the dates of implementation of activities have been agreed in detail and operational plans for activities in each municipality / city have been elaborated in detail.
2. Workshop “My city – the city of youth” – 1.9.2016. – 4.9.2016. in Mostar
About 40 young people aged 15 to 19 from Prijedor, Mostar, Nevesinje and Sanski Most participated in the workshop. They learned about leadership and advocacy and lobbying skills for their ideas and needs through interventions in the public spaces of their communities. The aim was to recognize the importance of involvement in democratic decision-making processes in local communities. The training also focused on peace building in relation to the identities with which the participants identify, and considered what identities mean in peacebuilding.
Reconciliation, dialogue and coexistence through various innovative ways of implementation were discussed, including various workshops and organized visits. Among other things, the young people visited the Church of St. Peter and Paul, the monastery in Žitomislić and the Tekija in Blagaj.
As part of the workshop program, a parallel workshop “My city – Youth City” – Urban Youth spot – Life Art Pavilion 2016 was organized. This workshop was held on July 7 and 8, 2016 at the Music School in Mostar. The workshop “My city – city of youth” – Urban Youth spot – Life Art Pavilion 2016, conducted by the Center for Architecture, Dialogue and Art – ADA Mostar, aimed to promote inclusion and encourage young people to creatively express their attitude towards certain problems and obstacles that young people in the city of Mostar face. Within the workshop program, the idea of the importance of quality and thematically arranged arrangement of public open spaces in the city of Mostar, especially those important and related to the youth of this city, was developed.
In this participatory process, young people had the opportunity to explore the available opportunities in the spatial and social environment. As a result of the workshop, a model “Mobile Hub” in the scale of 1: 200 was made, and it will be included in the virtual map of public spaces for young people, which was made within the previous phase of the workshop “My city – the city of youth”.
“Life art pavilion” is conceived as a moving urban point of two meanings, social and architectural. This approach to the arrangement of public space gives a new value to the city in the social sense, while at the same time “refreshing” in the architectural sense, given that such a pavilion, even when not in use, would have a strong identity as a piece of urban furniture.
The model was presented and submitted to the representatives of local authorities, ie representatives of the City Administration of the City of Mostar, so that the proposal of the youth of the City of Mostar could be taken into account in formal and informal planning processes in the local community. The general public will have the opportunity to “walk” through “My city – youth city” through an upgraded virtual map, which will be posted online on Facebook and the website of the Local Democracy Agency Mostar and beyond. In this way, young people learn how to express their attitude towards certain problems of the community, and the community learns to listen to their voice.
3. Actions in local communities
The aim of this activity is the direct and visible action of young people in their local communities.
This activity produced the following results:
Mostar – transformation of small public space into a park located on the Boulevard
Nevesinje – lighting around the school yard and cleaning the yard of the Gymnasium in Nevesinje Prijedor – built outdoor gym, which will be available to all generations of the city of Prijedor.
Sanski Most – young people have arranged a part of the beach on the river Sana and set up benches on which messages of peace will be written
4. As part of the project My City – City of Youth, two press conferences were held (in Sanski Most and Nevesinje).
The press conference in Nevesinje was held on December 12, 2016 in the premises of the High School Center Nevesinje.
At the press conference, the activities realized during the six months of the project were presented. The Mostar Local Democracy Agency, in cooperation with local coordinators, actively worked to raise the awareness of young people from local communities in order to overcome divisions and strengthen trust among young people from Mostar, Nevesinje, Prijedor and Sanski Most. Joint workshops, gatherings, visits and concrete activities on revitalization of sites used by young people in these four cities have significantly contributed to the establishment of communication and concrete cooperation between local officials and representatives of the NGO sector and young people from these cities.
The conference was attended by public officials of the Municipality of Nevesinje: Milutin Samardžić, Deputy Mayor and Siniša Bratić, Mayor of Economy; Representative of the City of Mostar: Nedžad Vuk Sports Advisor of the Department of Social Activities; Representatives of the High School Center Nevesinje: Vukan Bratic director and Danica Djurasovic deputy director, Branimir Tamindzija member of the working group PRO-Future of the project, Aleksandra Kravic local project coordinator, and Dzenana Dedic director of the Local Democracy Agency Mostar.
After the conference, representatives of the project team were received by the Mayor of Nevesinje Milenko Avdalović and the President of the Assembly of Nevesinje Momčilo Vukotić. This was an opportunity to get acquainted with the new administration of the Municipality of Nevesinje, and to present the current cooperation. To the satisfaction of all present, positive attitudes were expressed regarding the continuation of good relations, exchanged concrete experiences on the structures of local government and project cooperation, and agreed to continue cooperation at all levels.
The press conference in Sanski Most was held on December 9, 2016 in the premises of the Peacebuilding Center.
During the 6 months of the project, the Local Democracy Agency Mostar (LDA Mostar), in cooperation with local coordinators from Sanski Most, and with the support of the Peacebuilding Center, implemented a number of activities of this project. In Prijedor and Sanski Most, informal groups of young people actively participated and had the opportunity to realize their project ideas, which was a concrete example of youth engagement and cooperation. More than 40 young people from these two cities were involved, who socialized and worked together during two two-day seminars, and recorded their activities and socializing with a video.
At the press conference, young people had the opportunity to talk about their activities, share their experiences and hear more about the PRO – Future project from a member of the working group Vahidin Omanovic, who spoke about the largest peace project in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the war.
All those present had the opportunity to watch the film “Be the river that connects”, which was made by a group of young people from Sanski Most.
After the activities they implemented, young people are richer for two local initiatives that were implemented in Sanski Most and Prijedor. Young people in Sanski Most also arranged a part of the beach on the river Sana and set up all benches, on which messages of peace will be written, while young people in Prijedor as part of the Local Initiative built an outdoor gym, which will be available to all generations of Prijedor.
The conference was attended by over 30 participants in the project “My city – youth city”, and members of the working group Prijedor-Sanski Most project PRO-Future.
5. Local Youth Fund from the municipalities of Nevesinje and Sanski Most – The Fund was intended for formal and informal groups of young people between 15 and 19 years, and the total amount available from this Fund was 1,000.00 KM.
Two project proposals were selected, informal groups of young people, one from Sanski Most, the other from Nevesinje.
As part of the implementation of the approved project of an informal group from Nevesinje, which was awarded a grant from the Local Youth Fund, a one-day visit to Nevesinje was held with the participation of 30 young people aged 15 to 19 from Mostar and Nevesinje. The visit took place on October 15, 2016. As part of the visit to Nevesinje, young people had the opportunity to visit the historic town of Vjenčac, visit religious buildings, walk through Nevesinje, visit the lake and talk to a representative of the municipal authorities.
As part of the implementation of the approved project of an informal group of young people from Sanski Most, which was awarded a grant from the Local Youth Fund, two one-day seminars were held for young people from Prijedor and Sanski Most.
A one-day seminar in Sanski Most was held on November 5, 2016, and gathered 31 participants from Prijedor and Sanski Most. Young people between the ages of 15 and 19 participated. As part of the seminar, young people had the opportunity to visit religious buildings in Sanski Most, were part of a creative workshop aimed at making a mural with the signature of the PRO-Future Project, and thus contributed to the creation of an art exhibition in Sanski Most. One of the activities of the seminar was participation in a two-hour workshop “Prejudices in and around me”.
The seminar in Prijedor was held on November 12, 2016, and included work on team-building as well as work on developing better communication and improving the relations between young people from Prijedor and Sanski Most. Volunteers from AsuBiH (Association of High School Students in BiH) also participated in the seminar. As part of the seminar, young people had the opportunity to visit religious sites, cultural and historical sights of Prijedor, and talk about identity. The seminar also included a workshop entitled “What is needed to build peace in our local communities?”
As an output of the project, one of the members of the informal group of young people from Sanski Most, Emir Hurić, made a short film, documenting the thoughts and activities of young people from Prjedor and Sanski Most. The title of the film is ”Be the River That Connects”.
During all the above activities, young people had the opportunity to learn about leadership and advocacy and lobbying skills for their projects and needs. The aim was for young people to realize the importance of getting involved in democratic decision-making processes in local communities, so that they can help promote peace, build tolerance, coexistence and a better future.
My City – Youth City, PRO-Future
VIDEO ”Budi rijeka koja spaja” by Elmin Hurić (young people from Prijedor and Sanski Most)