Fourteen young people, aged from 16 to 23 years, from 13 communities and municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, accompanied by four World Vision International staff, visited Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center on Monday, December 16 2019, where they were welcomed by seven members of Center`s Youth Board. They spent the whole day together, sharing shared values and valuable experiences within a relaxed and constructive atmosphere.
Dragana Bulic, an employee of World Vision International in BiH, initially introduced young people from Vrijedni paznje (Invisible No More) campaign, that were also accompanied by Nela Hukić, a specialist in child protection and education, Ljiljana Radić and Nina Župan, facilitators in the community. Center`s Youth Board members were joined by Vildana, Alen, Dajana, Dino, Ivana, Faris, Josio, Merima, Melisa, Tarik, Elma, Anđela, Damjan and Began. It is little to say that, by sharing their experiences and visions of the possible impact youth can have in larger society, they have inspired each other, both cognitively and emotionally. Thus, at one point almost everyone had a tear in their eyes, showing that they met at a level that is difficult to describe in words and can be better described by a sentence from a well-known work “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly (The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery”.
Following the welcome of seven Youth Board members, Ana Marija Španić, psychologist at Zagreb Children and Youth Protection Center presented the work of the Center, that with the help of numerous comments from young people, developed into a valuable discussion on important issues in the field of child protection. Then, Mirna Čagalj Farkas, psychologist and coordinator of counseling line presented the work of the NGO Brave Phone, and the young people from BiH made the discussion immensely enjoyable and helpful with their openness, interest and numerous questions. This was followed by a presentation of the work of the Center`s Youth Board. All members of Youth Board, along with their activities and vision, shared their reflections on their role in the wider society context, followed with the screening of the short video “This, Too, Is Us”.
Afterwards, the youth from Vrijedni paznje/ Invisible No More/ campaign presented their important work and the activities of the campaign in BiH so far, showing that their work in only a few years made a truly meaningful and significant impact on society, driven by the influence of children and young people. Their thoughts and experiences were a real inspiration to all present that day.
Center`s Youth Board members were greatly impressed by the visit of young people from BiH, as they not only made new acquaintances and young people who shared their values and visions, but also found new friends. After the study visit, our dear guests posted on their Facebook page: “Membership in the Zagreb Youth Board inspired us pushing our own but also social boundaries and norms, but also giving voice to those who are often not asked.” Some more impressions after the study visit: “We are especially pleased that the atmosphere was so relaxed, constructive and encouraged sharing and learning. Open discussion, lots of questions and answers exchanged, sincere laughter, but also strong emotions that were felt throughout the meeting, made us feel at home and among real friends, with whom we want to continue our efforts for the well-being of children and young people across borders that only divide us on paper. “
More about Vrijedni paznje (Invisible No More) campaign
Within the WV global It Takes a World to End Violence Against Children Campaign, WV BiH implements Vrijedni paznje (Invisible No More) campaign aimed at ending violence against children in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Created in close collaboration with children and youth from different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vrijedni paznje campaign brings forward authentic voices and clear message from girls and boys who emphasize their right to child-worthy life and want to be a part of the solution in elimination of violence in their families, schools and communities, focusing initially (but not exclusively) onto the problem of child neglect in BiH.
The 2nd European Conference "Formation and Prevention - Power as Service", organized by the Croatian Episcopal Conference and the Croatian Catholic University, was held in Zagreb from 19 to 22 September 2019. Prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD held a lecture, and interested conference participants also visited our Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center and got acquainted with our way of work.
Director of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center, Prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, participated as the invited plenary speaker and panel moderator at the conference "Children's Access to Justice", on February 25-27, 2020 in Sarajevo. The conference was co-organized by the UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, the UNICEF Office for Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Council of Ministers of BiH (Ministry of Justice).