ERASMUS+ in Sarajevo: Volunteering connecting communities

ERASMUS+ in Sarajevo: Volunteering connecting communities

Traveling during a pandemic may not be the best idea, but social isolation and inactivity are certainly worse options. After more than a year of postponed and delayed events, this project came as a new beginning, a chance to adapt to the situation and return to activism. After arriving and getting accommodated in the mountainous Sarajevo, we used the opportunity and our free time to explore the city center and enjoyed a Bosnian coffee in Baščaršija. Although the next days were planned and filled with more activities, we still managed to see the places nearby, Ilidža and Vrelo Bosne, before the police hour set in at 21:00 each day. Speaking of activities, we started with icebreaking games and getting to know each other, through presentations and recall of previous work done by the participating organizations, to come up with new ideas and sustainability of upcoming projects.

It was a great way to emphasize the importance of collaboration among the partner countries. Everyone was equally involved and shared responsibilities and tasks in series of activities planned at the local and international level regarding preparation, implementation and dissemination of the results. Another aim was to increase the quality of youth work through exchanging experiences and building up sustainable partnerships among partners and other NGOs and institutions in thе respective countries.

On our sixth day, thanks to the Youth Volunteers Association, we got the opportunity to explore the mysterious prehistorical network of tunnels and chambers located in the Valley of the Bosnian Pyramids near Visoko.  One can be full of skepticism, but rather than relying on hearsay, one should see, feel and experience the place for themself. Clean air, stable temperature, megalith samples, meditation healing chambers is a fascinating rare experience.

The number of participants was adequate and according to the last evaluations, all participants had a good perception of the course in general, including the friendly facilitator, great accommodation, provided materials and good company. It was productive that from each country there were participants that attended the previous events as well as new members, who were introduced to the work done. Mixing experience with new ideas, we came up with future plans and prospective projects to be realized when the circumstances allow it. We all have refreshed our attitude towards cultural exchange and reminded ourselves of the importance of activism, volunteerism and humanitarian work.

After such an experience, I think the participation and productivity in events should not stagnate, but continue to be realized and adapt to the circumstances. As long as we are conscientious and take care of ourselves and others we will succeed and contribute to the environment and society.

Saračević Merima