SARAJEVO – Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) signed contracts on Thursday in Sarajevo with six civil society organizations and high schools from Bosnia and Herzegovina that got the support to organize the first youth exchange programs within the RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals.
The representatives of the six organizations and high schools were addressed by Ms Mirela Alihodžić, Head of Department of Mobility and Youth of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ms Berina Bukva, RYCO Local Branch Officer in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event took place in the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mr Alihodžić said that the governments of the region have recognized that they are sharing a lot of historical similarities and that they have a common interest to cooperate and create stable societies that will build trust between the people and secure a better well-being in the region. She congratulated the representatives of the organizations and high schools and underlined that the awarded projects will enable the young people in the region to meet and make new acquaintances and friendships thus join the regional dialogues that will support them in building a better future for all.
Ms Bukva briefly presented the results of the first RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals and underlined that RYCO aims to support initiatives that are fostering reconciliation and working on dialogue and cooperation in the region. She announced that the next open call for project proposals will be launched in the second half of the year and thanked the ambassadors of France and Germany, who also attended the ceremony, for their support for RYCO. She concluded by wishing the representatives of the awarded organizations and high schools success in the implementation phase of their projects.
RYCO believes that the exchange of experiences between young people from the region will help to form new ideas for the future of the region, contribute to the better understanding of human rights, initiate intraregional exchange and cooperation, and help foster trust building between youth from different ethnic groups. Throughout the first call for project proposals, RYCO aimed to provide necessary regional perspective and support a regional approach to continuous sector development in WB6. RYCO believes that only this is possible path to sustainable and peaceful development of the region.
The project proposals of the six organizations and high schools – Foundation Education in Action, Youth for Peace, NGO EKO ZH, Dis –Youth Theatre, Prva Gimnazija Sarajevo, Gimnazija “Musa Ćazim Ćatić” Tešanj – were selected out of 56 applications from Bosnia and Herzegovina which aimed to contribute to the process of reconciliation in the region of the Western Balkans through increasing youth mobility, cooperation and activism.
During the first open call for project proposals, RYCO received more than 420 applications from the Western Balkans which networked more than 1300 organizations and high schools form the region. The overall financial envelope for the call was 900.000 Euro.