“Youth Corner” in the Temporary Reception Center “Sedra”

A young artist from Syria hopes that she can graduate from an Academy of Fine Arts and become a famous painter, a boy from Iran takes photos of beautiful scenery with a broken phone in hopes of attaining a professional photography career.

Almir Panjeta for UNICEF
“Kutak za tinejdžere” u privremenom prihvatnom centru “Sedra”
UNICEF/Panjeta

02 August 2019

A young artist from Syria, Hena, spends her days in the temporary reception center “Sedra” especially in the “Youth Corner which is operated by Žene sa Une in partnership with UNICEF.

“I love to take pictures with different motifs, depending on my mood. I have been into photography since I was seven years old and I feel my best when I am taking pictures. I would love to finish school and enroll in an Academy of Fine Arts, become a famous artist and exhibit my work.”, said the 18-year-old Hena, whose work, along with the works of other young artists, stands on display on the walls of the  “Youth Corner” making it somewhat a gallery.

“The creative works that are made here are on display and the visitors from all different delegations are invited to buy them at a reasonable price. All the funds raised from the sales are redirected into buying necessary materials and tools. From the sales of the handmade jewelry and the pictures, along with other items from the workshop sold, we were able to buy a table tennis table which all the people use with much joy”, said Ilvana Lonić from the Association “ Žene sa Une”, who is also the manager of the “Youth Corner” in Sedra where where “Žene sa Une” are also in cooperation with UNICEF implementing activities in “Child-Friendly Space” and “Mother Baby Corner.”

“Kutak za tinejdžere” u privremenom prihvatnom centru “Sedra”
UNICEF/Panjeta
“Kutak za tinejdžere” u privremenom prihvatnom centru “Sedra”
UNICEF/Panjeta

“The youth also needed a special place, a place where they can express themselves creatively, socialize, listen to music, or where they simply can come to find peace of mind, which is extremely necessary for each teenager”, said Ilvana Lonić adding to that that it is also of high precedent that “an education-oriented approach is always one of the main goals of “Youth Corner”.

“The ultimate goal is that everybody learns something, besides the creative workshops with volunteers we organize language courses, ranging from English to Spanish. We go on trips and above all, we communicate amongst ourselves about our activities in order to remain respectful of each other’s needs”, Ilvana told us. The atmosphere in the “Youth Corner” is very lively: a crew assembled to work on Enka facilitators are assembling lats and laying out picture frames, a part of the crew is aided by Amra in the design of flower ornaments for a farewell party, 15-year-old Hasan from Iran is playing music from the computer - ranging from Iranian hip-hop to Eminem and Snoop Dog, 16-year-old Amin, an aspiring photographer, is taking pictures with his phone.

“Kutak za tinejdžere” u privremenom prihvatnom centru “Sedra”
UNICEF/Panjeta
“Kutak za tinejdžere” u privremenom prihvatnom centru “Sedra”
UNICEF/Panjeta

“I come from Iran, I have been through a lot, and throughout my journey, I have taken pictures of the scenery that I enjoyed. I follow a few Iranian photographers and I would like to have a good-quality camera and become a good photographer”, said Amin while he was showing us the pictures of a deer at dawn at one of the mountains which he travelled through on his broken phone. What followed in his gallery was a panoramic picture of Sarajevo from the Trebević mountain, Marijin Dvor, pictures of the Una river… Besides photography he enjoys football and told us that sometimes he practices in the local club:

“I am a goal-keeper, and I was the goal-keeper for my country’s national team. I love football, but I prefer photography over it”, Amin told us as he was pacing towards the balcony to take new pictures of the Una flowing besides the shelter.