Young people collect data for for MICS survey in Montenegro
A large number of young people in Montenegro are taking part in data collection for the biggest survey of the state of child and family rights in the country
CETINJE, 2 October 2018 – Young people are not only our future, they are actively shaping our present too. Throughout the world and throughout history young people have shown that they are always the ones to lead social change.
Twenty-one-year-old psychology student Dusan Pajovic and 24-year-old Katarina Scepanovic, who graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, have identified a proactive approach as their moral obligation. They have in common an identical motivation for joining the MICS survey implemented by the Statistical Office of Montenegro, with the support of UNICEF and the Government of Montenegro.
It is the largest survey conducted apart from the Census, comprising 7,000 households of both the general population and the Roma population. The data will be used to develop new programmes and enhance existing ones and policies for the wellbeing of children in Montenegro.
When I saw the advertisement for survey supervisor and when I learned more about the MICS survey, I thought it was my moral obligation to get involved in the project, since I wanted to contribute to the better position of women and children in Montenegro.
Katarina believes that getting involved in the survey, the second-largest one after the census, is an opportunity for young people to recognize and seize.
During the project we met new people, learned about the ways they think and function, acquired new skills and I am sure that we also opened the door for some new projects.
Dusan is involved in a number of social activities, yet he is especially proud of the work he is doing to protect animal rights. He believes that young people are not socially active enough because they doubt that their views can change anything.
"Bearing in mind some economic factors, I believe that young people are frustrated to an extent, and that they are isolating themselves by focusing on their own expectations and interests instead of contributing to the community, because we tend to forget that we are members of this society too, that we make up the society," says Dusan.
He adds that young people should be more open to participating in initiatives to help others.
We need to work to change the value system of young people in Montenegro to enhance their involvement in social activities.
Katarina would like her experience to inspire young people to take a more active role in the society and
to communicate to young people how useful it is to be a part of these projects, both for themselves and for the society as a whole.
UNICEF Representative to Montenegro, Osama Khogali, spoke with Dusan and Katarina, and with their peers involved in the MICS survey. Although he has been with the United Nations for over 25 years, taking part in numerous MICS surveys around the world, Khogali states that this is the first time he has seen so many young people involved in the survey.
"After I talked to them, I felt an incredible energy, but also a great responsibility to support them, because they are our future," Khogali points out. Khogali also has a message for all the young people in Montenegro:
Your future might be in our hands today, but if we are smart enough we will also realize that our own future will be in your hands tomorrow. Because of that I ask you to get involved and encourage each other. Your world is changing rapidly, and your path is different from ours. Teach us how to support you.
With the support of UNICEF and its partners, young people throughout Montenegro are gaining new skills for the 21st century, coming together to solve the problems they face in their local communities, participating in surveys and thus contributing to building a better and more equitable society – for every child.