Meeting Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Best and Brightest

If the young people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are any indication, this country has reason to be optimistic about its future.  On Friday, July  29, I participated in the opening of the Conference of Youth Task Forces in Sarajevo. About 140 young people from across BiH were at the event, which allows them to share ideas on how to solve problems facing their communities.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done, but these young people are already making progress.  Some of the participants shared success stories of projects in Zivinice, Bijeljina, Banja Luka, Gorazde, Gradiska, and Zenica.  In Visegrad, some of these young Task Force members worked to obtain access to their municipal assembly meetings. Now, they can more fully participate in government there.  This is excellent news and directly contradicts the idea that young people are apathetic.

In the next year, the young people will be working on a new law that will make it easier to volunteer, as well as pushing for vital reforms on diploma recognition and university credit transfers.

I’m very pleased that the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo has been able to fund the Youth Task Forces project, which is implemented by Civitas in BiH.  This country is full of intelligent, energetic young people.  Their optimism is exciting and contagious when I see them succeeding in their efforts to create a better future here.