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DECIDE – Local seminar on youth participation successfully implemented in Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 23 October, within the framework of the project DECIDE, the Local Democracy Agency Prijedor kicked-off the pilot testing phase of the “Giovani Protagonisti” initiative successfully promoting citizen participation in the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, Italy. The objective of the measure is to promote volunteerism of young people aged 14-35 trough the involvement and collaboration with civil society, associations and high schools. In particular, young volunteers and activists are awarded the VAP Card (Volunteers, Activists of Prijedor Card) by the local institutions and the private sector for their service to the community. The VAP Card grants the opportunity to get discounts or free entrance to public institutions such as the Theatre, National Park Kozara, City Library, Museum or private services as gyms, ski resort or city transportation.

LDA Prijedor has been implementing the measure in cooperation with the Association of Citizens “DON”, as a key local stakeholder in the volunteering sector. As many as 60 working hours will be required in order to benefit of the VAP Card and a proper data base will be created and managed by the Association DON. The seminar organised on 23 October was a key occasion to gather together young volunteers, discuss and define the framework of the practice. Participants agreed on the strong potential of the initiative as a key opportunity to promote volunteerism and participation of young people in the local community.

The seminar was also an occasion to define the expected outcomes of the initiative and monitor its development. Particular emphasis was put on its capacity to promote a better coordination among NGOs, provide a more structured framework to young volunteers and activists, reinforce the public-private partnership approach and ultimately increase the number of volunteers and the level of citizen participation in the community. 

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