Upon the invitation of Youth Council of Republika Srpska, the lecturer from the Republic of Serbia went to the 22 nd Meeting of Young People, where through the educational workshops, they got the opportunity to empower active young people in Republika Srpska. The hosts presented the city of Trebinje, and to understand the youth policy better, all organisations are presented at the local, national and regional level significant for young people, as well as the projects and examples of good practice. Katarina Živković from the OPENS International Cooperation and our volunteer, Nastja Prodanić brought the knowledge from Novi Sad, our previous experiences and colourful videos and
presented the city and the capital itself. These are their stories.
Early in the morning, half past five, OPENS travels to Belgrade. Young people gather in front of the Palace of Serbia and count themselves before hitting the road, to Trebinje. We enter the bus and the food packages are opened. The same beginning. The same image and new young people. And, more or less, for months, we hit the road with the same enthusiasm. Therefore, this time, we will focus only on the zest with which, believe it or not, we returned to Novi Sad.
And we returned amused by the enthusiasm, energy and discipline of these young people. When you see young people to sit at the stairs until 5 in the morning and exchange their experiences, establish cooperation between different organisations from all parts of Republika Srpska – you are really impressed by such an image. It is of great importance to strengthen the cooperation of young people in the region and to work on different projects, as well as to create new ideas which will develop our region on long terms and improve the position of young people in the society.
During the four days, not only did I learn about Trebinje and the needs of people in that city, and Republika Srpska, but I actually learnt a lot about OPENS and about how the title of the European Youth Capital was actually an opportunity for the whole region. I learnt that by an incredible number of questions we received and the energy with which we were welcomed. The desire for knowledge and hanging out of young people inspired us to return to this city next year. – Katarina Živanović, OPENS International Cooperation Coordinator Assistant
At the beginning of the trip, I wanted to transfer the positive examples of youth activism to the region and to prove young people in Republika Srpska, in which I spent my whole childhood, that they can make a change if they change primarily themselves, and then the world around them.
And then, partly, I have changed, learning something new. Workshops and the whole educational program were very useful, interesting and accessible to young people. Young people were asking questions after absolutely every presentation and were receiving answers, related to the topic or not. I am generally satisfied because I have seen that young people finally take the situation seriously and that they want to learn. What I especially liked was that we were accommodated in a dorm, in the rooms with young people from different cities and organisations from all parts of Srpska. We had the opportunity to hang out and exchange information. – Nastja Prodanić, OPENS volunteer