Young people from Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina solve problems together
Young people were working together on innovative solutions to problems that they face in their local communities
Petrovac, Montenegro, 8 March 2020 – During the second regional UPSHIFT workshop, organized in Montenegro with the support of UNICEF, young people from Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina were working together on innovative solutions to problems that young people face in their local communities.
Filip Grdinic from Danilovgrad worked with members of his team to solve the problem of a lack of young people choosing vocational training and crafts in general. When it comes to UPSHIFT, he most enjoyed working in a mixed team of young people from various countries in the region.
First of all, I learned how to work in a team and how to cooperate with others, as well as how to present my opinion to a panel of judges. I think that this experience will help me a lot both in life and during my studies at university.
Ena Karagic, a psychology student from Sarajevo, was part of a team that worked on finding a solution to the problem of the professional orientation of young people, which, in her opinion, often affects young people who complete primary or secondary school.
The regional UPSHIFT workshop resulted in many innovations, which became part of our project, simply because we noticed numerous differences in the educational systems, so we decided to use that in the best, innovative way.
Their mentors come from various parts of the region as well. Kristina Palic, one of the mentors, believes that cooperation between young people from different backgrounds in solving similar problems is one of the critical challenges and advantages of the regional UPSHIFT.
An additional challenge was to connect two different teams to plan for the solution itself. Although the teams had very similar problems – virtually the same ones – they come from different countries and cities. They tried to find a solution that both teams could implement in their communities.
UPSHIFT is a UNICEF programme that was developed in the Balkans. It is currently being implemented in more than 20 countries around the world. Young people participate in a three-day workshop, during which they have the opportunity to learn how to recognize, analyse, and solve problems in their community. After the UPSHIFT workshop, the teams receive grants to implement the solutions they have designed with the support of mentors.
The World Bank has recognized UPSHIFT as one of the top 10 innovative models for addressing the issue of youth unemployment. It has also been accepted as a model of good practice for tackling problems in the context of the global UN youth initiative ‘Generation Unlimited’.
Our goal is to have schools embrace the UPSHIFT methodology so that it becomes a part of the regular curriculum. This is something we will be working on in the coming period.
The regional UPSHIFT workshops are being organized in the context of the regional programme titled “Dialogue for the Future: Fostering Dialogue and Social Cohesion in and between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and the Republic of Serbia”, implemented by UNDP, UNICEF, and UNESCO, and funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund.