Every time before Volunteers’ Day, 5th of December, we once again ask ourselves who are volunteers and what is activism. No matter how you define these terms it is certain that without the initiative of individuals, who want to improve their own environment, modern society would not progress and have the answers for many challenges it is facing. The results of this type of engagement are all around us and it is not bad to remind ourselves what is that we all enjoy today that came out from someone’s efforts to contribute to the community, and thus indirectly creating a better world.
BUM organized the Fair of activism on Tuesday, 2nd December intended for high school students. The fair was held at the Technical School.
Sixteen-year-old participants were equally surprised by the fact that activism has such great power as well as with what they learned of the organizations that were presented at the Fair and their impact on ensuring a safer, more modern and more worthy society.
Young people often do not know about the ways they can get involved. They think that civil sector is sometimes inaccessible and even unattainable so it was important to meet them on their turf and in an atmosphere they enjoy.
Most of the young people see themselves as interested (70%) and skilled (76%) to solve the problem, but when it comes to their participation in practice up to 92% of them declare that they are not a member of any governmental, cultural, hobby or similar organizations.The data are even more striking when high school students are concerned. (Source: National Strategy for Youth “Sluzbeni glasnik RS”, No.55 / 05) About the rights of young people visitors at the fair talked to representatives of National Youth Council, about the rights and protection of women who are victims of violence, Autonomni ženski centar. Young people are introduced also to the Council of Europe Office in Serbia, Office for Cooperation with Civil Sector, Republic of Serbia as well as organizations BEUM, Camping Association of Serbia, Civilnet and Libero. Youth Offices that were participating in the Fair are the ones from Obrenovac and Novi Beograd.
Thanks to the Fair young people are now thinking about the activism and volunteering as well as about the legitimate ways for participating in society; they tried themselves In giving proposals and starting initiatives and they are looking forward for this event to become tradition. The reason for this is that we own to each other more solidarity and activism for better society.
Project “My part of participation, my act of activism” is supported by Council of Europe- European Youth Foundation.