Skip to content

The new Democratic Wo/Men of the Western Balkans

Increasing Youth Participation in Democracy

Photo by Jasmin Agović

Through the Višegrad Fund supported project ‘The new Democratic Wo/Men of the Western Balkans -Increasing Youth Participation in Democracy’, Humanity in Action Bosnia and Herzegovina will, together with partnering organizations from Poland, Montenegro, Slovakia, North Macedonia, Hungary, and Czech Republic, aim to increase the awareness of democratic processes among youth of the Western Balkans and enhance youth participation in policy-making processes.

Focus of the project

Young people critically lack knowledge, skills, and competencies to be actively engaged and in political processes, often leaving them feeling alienated from government, public policies, institutions.

Based on numerous studies published, the majority of today’s youth in the EU and the Western Balkans are the least politically engaged generation – both formally and informally. They often claim that authorities do not care about their needs and problems and young people cannot have any impact at all on the current direction of their country – their voice is unheard even through elections since their level of participation is low. Young people tend to be passionate about a single-issued topic, e.g. climate change, poverty, individual freedoms, LGBTIQ+ rights, etc., which often not necessarily translates into votes. The youth is becoming more and more socially inactive, detached from the local and national policies.

Throughout the project, young people will:

  • get involved in real and actual political various issues that challenge the nation,
  • solve problems faced by nations modeled by a variety of actual problems,
  • learn about the importance of leadership, organisation, and getting involved with local and national activism, and
  • adapt their knowledge and skills to be able to become an active citizen promoting democracy.

Photo by Jasmin Agović

Our goal is to fight apathy, hopelessness, disillusionment, and pessimism among young people and give them the courage to fight for the causes they are passionate about.

Project Modules

A total of 108 active and aspiring young leaders (18-30 y/o) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia, who are high school and university students, junior/ entry-level employees working in the civil, state and business sector, will participate in three meetings (2 on-line meetings and the final event in Sarajevo) which will consist of 7 modules (2-3 per meeting):

  • introduction to democracy (political process and administration),
  • linking legislation of practice (impact of legislation to the social system, business environment, etc.),
  • local politics (vertical division of power and competencies),
  • active civil sector (human rights, watchdogs of democracy),
  • communication and campaigns (ethics and integrity, public speaking, political marketing),
  • project management (management, fundraising, stakeholders mapping),
  • critical thinking (argumentation, fake news).

Project Activities

  1. During the project implementation, the participants will develop their own initiatives in the form of videos, photo reports, blogs, presentations, or any other form they will find suitable, which will include the young leaders’ suggestions of solutions to the problems they have previously identified as present in their countries.
  2. The participants will be encouraged to organize lectures for their peers in schools, universities or youth centers on the topics from the project modules. The participants will be rewarded with bonus points to further motivate them.
  3. At the final workshop in Sarajevo, participants will present the results of the project, their own mini-projects and ideas on how to potentially reform their respective countries.

Photo by Jasmin Agović

This project is generously funded by:

This project is implemented in partnership with: