Tajra Hadžić, a student at the Department of International Relations and European Studies, attended and on Monday, October 22, 2018 graduated from, an “intensive, one-year educational program designed with the goal of empowering and educating young people who have the potential to become ‘ambassadors of change” organized by the Schüler Helfen Leben foundation.
The Academy for Young Leaders in Civil Society is a one-year program, consisting of 12 various modules of lectures based on ‘learning through doing’, an internship in a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina different than the participant's own, and a project thought of and realized by the participant her/himself throughout the year.
It is organized annually by the Schüler Helfen Leben foundation and gathers 20 of the “most successful young people”. She conducted her internship at the Center for Children and Youth with Special Needs Los Rosales and the Online Student Service, both in Mostar, while her project was aimed at re-establishing the recently-eliminated Vijećnica-Hrasnica bus line.
“I got the idea to try to have the bus line Vijećnica-Hrasnica restored after I experienced the inconveniences and other problems with other forms of public transportation, such as trams: lateness, large crowds, congestion, dirtiness, etc. Both I and many others were impacted by that decision, so I had to act,” Hadžić explains.
After researching the reasons behind the decision to stop that bus line and having been able to find none, she conducted a public opinion poll with the help of officials in the Municipality of Ilidža and created a petition to have the line restored. Seven hundred fifty individuals signed Hadžić’s petition.
“In the name of 750 united voices of students, parents, retirees, and others, we sent a message to the government that we do not have an alternative when the trams stop working and that we wish the bus line that connects the two ends of the city to be reintroduced,” Hadžić summarized the petition.
The petition was sent to the cantonal Ministry of Transport and is waiting to be considered by the Assembly of Canton Sarajevo. Hadžić is hopeful quick action will be taken to restore the bus line, connecting the two far ends of Sarajevo and easing the daily commute for thousands of students and others.
“The knowledge and skills I acquired in my courses helped me be a more active and overall better participant in the Academy, while the knowledge and skills I acquired in the Academy helped me be a better – that is, more active and more knowledgeable, student. It’s a symbiotic relationship, really,” Hadžić explained.
For example, after visiting the Center for Investigative Reporting, “I had the idea to do a project with some colleagues of mine, Melisa H. Mehmedović and Festim Pervizaj, for the course Media and Politics to present what investigative reporting really is and to demonstrate its importance for every democratic society,” Hadžić stated.
“Unlike many two-day seminars, the Academy offers participants a thorough approach, where for a while year they work on empowering young activists, who will tomorrow be able and courageous enough to change society, primarily because they believe they can improve it,” Hadžić concludes. She recommends the Academy to all, which is organized each year.
All are encouraged to apply for the Academy for Young Leaders in Civil Society. Applications are open until Sunday, October 28.