Beauty and resilience in the people and the places – 2 months volunteering in Brcko

I want to share with you some of the amazing experiences I had during my time volunteering with Svitac, a non-profit organisation that promotes peace-building through integration with people in the multiethnic region of Brčko. I joined Svitac through the ESC RESOLVE: Volunteering for Peace project, a programme that offers young people the opportunity to engage in solidarity activities across Europe. I knew very little about Bosnia’s past and the significance of Brčko.
Brčko is the only part of Bosnia that is governed by all three ethnicities: Bosniak, Croatian, Serbian – ethnicities that had previously been at war with each other in the 90s. I got the chance to visit Sarajevo, Mostar and Belgrade, where I learnt about this different facts and how the war manifested in different regions and was fortunate enough to witness the beauty and resilience in the people and the places. Though Bosnia’s past is heartbreaking and difficult, Svitac is a reminder of hope for the future; I couldn’t tell the difference between any of the children as they mixed together and had fun.
Another great part of my volunteering was the people I met. I made friends with other volunteers from different countries and cultures, who taught me new languages, skills, and perspectives. I also bonded with the local community, who were very welcoming. Every week we took in turns to cook food and play games together.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to be part of Svitac and ESC and hope that the UK will one day rejoin Erasmus+ and ESC so more people can have this fruitful experience – and that young people can take the Turing Scheme opportunities in the meantime!

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Published by AsfarEurope in London, UK - ISSN 2055-7957 (Online)