Youth Leaders: Visionaries Changing the World

Foto: privatna arhiva

Youth leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have an important role in driving necessary changes and inspiring young people with their activism to contribute to positive changes in local communities. Adnan Družić from Bosanski Petrovac is one such leader.

For Družić, activism presents an opportunity to help the community in Bosanski Petrovac as well as to improve the overall situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina through hard work and commitment. He gained his first experience in activism around the age of 17, when he became involved in volunteer work at the Mozaik organization through the Youth Bank program. Here, he developed skills in working with fellow youth and supporting their personal growth. Additionally, through informal education, he honed his abilities in public speaking, teamwork, project management, and writing project proposals.

Activist Adnan Družić (Photo: private archive)

“Previously, we faced challenges in attracting young people and encouraging their participation in activism and volunteering. However, today more and more young people recognize the importance of activism and volunteerism and get involved in various projects,” said Družić. 

He emphasized that there is a new challenge, which is the diminishing number of young people in small local communities. This requires collective efforts to create a more favorable environment that encourages the return of those who have left.         

Recognizing the importance of activism and the potential of youth to contribute to community development, Družić encourages young people to use their activism efforts to achieve goals in various fields such as music, science, and culture. He stresses the importance of partnerships and support because, as he points out, he doesn’t want to be the sole leader or organizer of activities and projects. Instead, he wants to empower young people to champion their own ideas and initiatives. Družić wants young people to experience activism as something personal rather than just another task or project.

Adnan Družić encourages young people to use activist efforts to achieve their goals. (Photo: private archive)

“Young people should be allowed to grow and develop through their activism,” Družić said.

He emphasizes the importance of honesty as a basic virtue and of cultivating a sense of belonging to the community.

“I encourage young people to be self-aware and to work on themselves in order to improve the community in which they live,” added Družić, explaining that he believes that even the slightest progress made by young people towards a better community and personal development is significant and valuable.

Družić initiated youth activism in Bosanski Petrovac through his own efforts, which is confirmed by Nejla Zukandžić. She describes Družić as “a truly inspiring leader” who shows incredible dedication to his community. 

“His initiatives allowed us to get involved and feel that we can make a difference. He encourages us to express our ideas and supports us in achieving our goals. We feel safe and supported with him. He is a true visionary who encourages us to dream big and believe that we can make our dreams come true,” said Zukandžić, describing Družić’s influence on young people in Bosanski Petrovac.

Družić’s activism in this small Bosnian-Herzegovinian town have also been recognized by local institutions, all with the aim of achieving greater youth engagement in social activities and helping to transform the world around them through their efforts. With hope for positive change, young people, alongside Družić, believe in a better tomorrow.

Amina Bašić is a trained Balkan Diskurs correspondent from Novi Travnik. She studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Sarajevo. She is active in many organizations, such as the PRONI Center for Youth Development. She is interested in photography and film.

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