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The Catholic Weekly portal Nedjelja.ba has extensively reported on a one-day plenary lecture by prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD in Sarajevo at the Archdiocesan Center for Youth Pastoral “John Paul II” about the measures and ways of protecting children, as well as signs indicating child neglect and abuse held on Friday, February 7, 2020:
“The aim of the education was to improve the skills of recognizing signs of possible vulnerability of children, to increase the efficiency and quality of work, and to provide guidance for safer and more efficient work with children, as well as measures and ways to provide support, safety and protection for children.
There were about 50 participants from different sectors of society and science working (or planning to work) with their children.
The participants were initially greeted by Marijana Miketek, an Archdiocesan Center for Youth Pastoral employee, who presented the work and activities of the institution in which she works. She spoke about the Centre’s history, statistics, and the central backbone of Archdiocesan Center’s work. She also presented the content offered by Archdiocesan Center for Youth Pastoral “John Paul II.” in Sarajevo.
Subsequently, Šimo Maršić, PhD, Archdiocesan Center for Youth Pastoral “John Paul II” Director, encouraged the participants to “open their heart and mind to everything they will learn.” He thanked professor Buljan Flander on arrival, wishing that “everything she teaches today encourages those present to bring it into their lives.”
This was followed by a full-day lecture by prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, full professor at several faculties, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, forensic expert, and author of several books and textbooks.
Professor Buljan Flander, Director of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center, has been involved with children for over 30 years. As a pediatric psychologist at the Pediatric Diseases Clinic, Zagreb, she often encountered abused and neglected children who did not have the necessary adult protection. She was one of the first to recognize this issue in Croatia in the early 1990s and dedicated her work to it. She is also the founder of the Counseling Line for Abused and Neglected Children, Brave Phone, and the initiator of the establishment of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center, recognized by the Council of Europe as a model of good practice and thus presented at the United Nations.
Otherwise, in the past few years, the Archdiocesan Center for the Pastoral of Youth “John Paul II.” intensively works on child protection programs, through independent projects but also through cooperation with other governmental and non-governmental organizations. Accordingly, a one-day plenary lecture was organized in cooperation with BHIDAPA, the European Accredited Educational Program in Child and Adolescent Integrative Psychotherapy and Counseling in BiH, and with the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center.
The Archdiocesan Center for the Pastoral of Youth John Paul II is an institution that offers in its program other various projects based on primary prevention from different types of addictions, useful leisure activities, assists in finding oneself in a way that by taking on obligations and tasks and taking responsibility, they meet with others, networking and crystallizing their position and vision in society.
All projects organized at the Center are focused on direct work with young people and are implemented in cooperation with schools and various civil society organizations. The Center also strives to network and network with various civil society organizations and to cooperate with national and international partners dealing with youth issues.”