International Youth Day – eight stories from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Diese Seite ist nicht auf Deutsch übersetzt. Bitte wählen Sie Ihre bevorzugte Sprache aus:

Article, 12.08.2015

To mark International Youth Day 2015, eight young people from entire Bosnia and Herzegovina who have benefited from SDC projects tell how their lives have changed for the better. Their stories also reveal these young people's commitment to a better world.

International Youth Day_BiH
The youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina marked International Youth Day 2015 by sharing how SDC projects have changed their lives for the better. SDC

The SDC started a Youth Employment Project in 2009 in Bosnia and Herzegovina aiming to give young women and men better chances to enter the labour market, and to improve the efficiency of the country’s public employment services. Today, a network has been established of 25 Job Clubs fully integrated into the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s public employment services. Each Club is headed by a leader who works with groups of young unemployed people, improves their job search skills and encourages them to actively look for different opportunities on the market. The Clubs also develop opportunities for self-employment. The recipe has proved successful, as more than 4,000 young people have found a job as part of the Youth Employment Project since 2009. Switzerland’s Cooperation Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina aims to support the country’s ongoing transition and process of integration in the European Union. The SDC has been active in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1996 through bilateral cooperation projects and international programmes.

Stronger public employment services for better labour market integration

I don't give up

International Youth Day_Stefan Marinovic
Stefan is now employed as a visual art teacher at an educative institution for hearing and speech rehabilitation. © SDC

Stefan Marinovic, 24, Tuzla

"With a profession as specialized as teaching visual art, I was aware that I had to put a lot of effort into finding a job. So I looked for individual counselling and motivational training at the Job Club. I understood that, in addition to sending job applications, I had to find ways to gain experience. I decided to finance volunteering jobs and internships with my own funds.

Meanwhile, I went door to door, to school after school, to find employment. I didn’t give up even when there were no positive results. And… after a lot of effort, I finally succeeded.

I am now employed at the Centre for Education and Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation in Tuzla, where I pass on my knowledge, skills and perseverance to others. I owe a debt of gratitude for my success to the Club, where it all began and where I found the motivation. It is good to feel that this is a place where I will be always welcomed for advice and help."


I was proud to be selected to sign a work contract

International Youth Day_Merima Covcic
Merima found a job as a salesperson through her participation in a Job Club. © SDC

Merima Čovičić, 21, Goražde

"After several months of job searching, I realised that I was doing something wrong. Some friends told me about the Job Club set up in my town and I joined it in January 2015. By participating in the Club’s workshops, I learned how to actively search for a job, how to fill in an application properly, how to look and behave during a job interview.

Immediately after the workshops, I learned about a vacancy at the “Bingo” Shopping Centre of Goražde through the Club, and I applied for the job. The Trade Centre was looking for a salesperson. The interview was very successful thanks to what I had learned at the Club. I was then invited to a three-month training course. Everything went well. After a convincing probationary period, I passed the final test for the position and I was proud to be selected to sign a work contract!

When I think of the support I received from the leader of the Job Club and the entire group while searching for a job, I would recommend the Club’s workshops to everyone."


I didn’t think I would find a job in the textile industry

International Youth Day_Vesna Rizvanovic
Vesna is happy to have a chance to go to work every morning. © SDC

Vesna Rizvanović, 21, Gradiška

"I had one vision: to find a job here, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to be able to continue living in my country with a regular income. It was not without difficulty, but I can now say that I have succeeded. I have become a seamstress in a social enterprise. This is a great achievement for me.

I started my new job only recently, so I cannot feel yet any drastic change in my life, except that I now go to work every morning and I am happy about it. I must admit that I didn’t think I would find a job in the textile industry as I had not worked with machines before and am actually trained as… a baker. But with a lot of effort I acquired sewing skills.

I would advise my peers to stay determined and not to be afraid to learn new things. Then opportunities will present themselves. I benefited from the help of various youth support organizations. I am glad that such projects are run in our country. Among others, the Job Club is an excellent place for young people to improve their job-hunting skills and knowledge."


I’m glad to share my experience with young people that are discouraged

International Youth Day_Zarko Nisic
Žarko searched for job for 6 months and today he's working as data administrator. © SDC

Žarko Nišić, 24, Banja Luka

“I have always had different interests and looked for new activities. I am actively engaged in the work of Banja Luka National Theatre, since I have been a member of its folk dancing group for several years. As I’m not choosy about jobs and I will do whatever I can learn how, the participation in the Job Club boosted my self-confidence and offered me more information about how to find a job.

Even nowadays, I make regular visits to the Club as I feel I can share my experience and my example with other young people that are discouraged and have no hope of finding jobs. But, there is enough work for everyone willing to work. The Job Club opened up my horizons and this is exactly why I think this is the best option for the job-searching youth.”


Job Club helped me strengthen my self-confidence

International Youth Day_Dragana Malinovic
Learning and meeting people in the Job Club turned out to be excellent experience. © SDC

Dragana Malinović, 24, Srbac

“The market in our country is overwhelmed with the labour supply but there is a shortage of jobs. It is very difficult to find employment and young people simply feel as if all doors are closed to them, particularly in small rural municipalities like Srbac.

I did not expect the Employment Service to help me find employment when they invited me to training at the Job Club. Still, learning and meeting people in the Club turned out to be excellent experience. I learned a lot and, most importantly, I built up my self-confidence and became more stable and persistent as a person. All this helped me to make a better impression on the employer. I am thrilled that the Service and the Club directly helped me find a job, as the employer wanted to find a saleswomen at bookstore through the Service and the Club manager recommended me. I hope that the Service will continue with this type of programme in future as well, for the benefit of future generations and those who are currently trying to find jobs.”

I want to achieve my professional and private goals

International Youth Day_Naida Jaganjac
Naida is volunteering Jurist at Public Television of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina FTV. © SDC

Naida Jaganjac, 24, Sarajevo

“I learned about the Job Club through the Employment Service. At first I did not have any great expectations but, from the first workshop already, positive developments started to happen. At the Club’s Facebook page I found some job vacancies and, among them, the one that helped me find a job.

The Club has changed a lot in my life. In the first place, I was encouraged to become much more active in searching for job, regarding which we got excellent advice during the workshops. Thanking to this project, I have acquired new knowledge and skills that have been of great help to me professionally. I am particularly happy to have had an opportunity to meet exquisite people. I would especially like to mention the Club manager, who used a completely new and interesting way to motivate all the participants and to convey her knowledge to us. I hope to become better at my job in future as well as to achieve my professional and private goals.”

I gained new good habits and I earn my own living

International Youth Day_Nemanja Bijedic
Nemanja achieved his first and foremost goal – employment. © SDC

Nemanja Bijelić, 20, Modriča

“Having graduated from the secondary school, he was registered with the Employment Service for 8 months. I have a very positive experience with the Job Club, which helped me find a job. All things considered, I believe that the Club can truly help young people.

Now I’m working as salesman of Bingo Cards and this is my first job ever. It has changed a lot in my life; I developed new good habits and assumed responsibilities, and I am enjoying it because I now earn my own living. I plan to enroll in a faculty towards the end of the year and to learn German as well, which may be instrumental if I get an opportunity to travel abroad in future.

Thanking to this project, I achieved the first and foremost goal – employment”.

I don't accept to be financially supported by my parents

International Youth Day_Emir Haznadar
Emir used to believe that somebody else should resolve his unemployment issue. © SDC

Emir Haznadar, 19, Sarajevo

“After high school graduation I enrolled in the University but I quit due to not taking it seriously. I registered with the Unemployment Office, searching for job without any success. I expected to receive a job offer and when I joined Job Club I realized it was a completely wrong approach.

Eventhough I was active in NGO sector during my schooling, as many other young people I believed that somebody else should resolve my unemployment issue. 

Thanks to the Job Club I realized that I'm not the only one looking for job and that I should accept any job opportunity instead of waiting for the one that I dream of. 

After high school graduation I was unemployed for a year. At the Student Job Fair on 29 May 2015 I applied for a position within the bookkeeping department of the Robot company and had an interview with the HR Manager of the company. Four days after, we signed an employment contract.

I am very satisfied with my current employment; it helps me create a quality base for future self-development. I continued with the University education and I plan to engage myself in NGO sector again. My family and my friends realized a great change in my behavior, especially because I no longer accept to be financially supported by my parents. The circle of my friends is much bigger now as it includes my colleagues from the Job Club.”