For the fourth year in a row, the association TRIK is bringing young people from the area of Kalesija together in an environment that promotes tolerance, equality, innovation, creativity, and universal human rights. They have also founded a Youth Center, through which they continue to make children and marginalized groups the focus of their work.
Merima Osmanović, president of TRIK, said that the number of the association’s members fluctuates year by year, but currently, there are 45 members.
“At one point, we had 90 members. In addition to the members of the Association, other young people who aren’t able to commit to all of our activities participate in some,” says Osmanović, noting that in their four years of operation, about two hundred young people and 650 activists have passed through the Association.
According to Mustafa Smajlović, vice-president of the Association assembly, young people are always at the center of their work, which mainly focuses on informal education and local advocacy aimed at improving living conditions and opportunities for young people. “We often hold sports and cultural events, humanitarian activities, and projects related to the health of children and young people,” Smajlović says.
Last year, TRIK carried out several successful projects, including distributing 210 New Year’s gifts to children and raising awareness of the importance of young people in the community through the project “Connecting the Dots” in cooperation with the World Vision Foundation and the Sarajevo citizens association Our Children. They also organized activities on the topic of peace and reconciliation through the “Let’s Discover the Colors of Activism” project.
TRIK’s work led to the opening of the Youth Center in Kalesija on August 5th, 2021, with the support of World Vision and the municipality of Kalesija, which provided 100,000 KM of funding. Osmanović clarified that the Center’s premises are available to all organizations, associations, and foundations for their activities and meetings. The Center offers a wide range of activities, including painting, graphic design, CV and motivational letter writing, jewelry making, guitar courses, and more.
“The message we send to children and young people is to take advantage of every opportunity that is offered to them and to participate as much as possible in informal education,” Osmanović says, adding that the government representatives and the wider community should invest more in young people.
Advocacy and support from the community can help improve the work of TRIK and their initiatives. Osmanović stated that the goal of both TRIK and the Youth Center is to provide a safe environment for children to grow and thrive within both TRIK and the Center.
This article is part of a series of texts within the #EmployMe project of the Post-Conflict Research Center and Balkan Diskurs. The series aims to raise awareness about the problems that young people face in the field of education and employment in BiH and highlight some good practices in battling these obstacles. This series is part of the “Youth Retention Program in BiH – Opšta Mobilizacija,” implemented by the Nešto Više Association and PRONI Center for Youth Development, with support from the Delegation of the European Union to BiH.