Active Youth in Bujanovac and Preševo
December 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018
This project is part of the broader project funded by the British Embassy in Belgrade “Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Threats in Serbia through Community-Based Early Warning and Preventive Engagement”. The latter is aimed at establishing and consolidating a foundation for efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism and radicalization that can lead to terrorism (VERLT) in Serbia. Preventing and countering VERLT is recognized as a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in the global fight against terrorism to which the Government of Serbia is committed. The project encompasses three themes of research, in specific: support to community policing/municipal safety councils (MSCs), intercultural education and civic participation and engagement (civic education).
This specific project, implemented by the selected implementation partner (Tituli), will implement an educational campaign on the role and function of local governance (especially the municipal assembly and council) emphasizing the importance of citizen participation. Three sessions for 20 to 40 people, 14 to 20 years of age, in both Bujanovac and in Preševo, will consist of discussions with justice and public administration experts, debates, online material publication and media promotion. There will be a focus on trying to identify why young people feel they have no genuine agency, and what changes are needed to ensure they can be active, and effective, in their communities.
South Serbia faces specific governance challenges that often serve to further increase the distance between citizens and institutions. Young people who feel that their community and institutions do not work for them are more likely to give up – to seek to emigrate, to engage in more fulfilling forms of anti-social behaviour, or to join extremist groups, that do offer agency and community.