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Fifth traditional Mini-school of informal education completed successfully

In the period from December 19th to December 27th 2020, highschoolers of the Ilidža Municipality, had a cycle of workshops organized for them as part of the project “Mini-school of informal education about emotional intelligence and the concept of identity – Understand yourself in order to understand others.” The goal was to affect the development of awareness in young people, through interesting lectures, workshops, and interactive group work with focus on topics that will help them in situations of crisis. Specifically, critical situations such as the time of a pandemic, but also in dealing with everyday issues and professional challenges. 

The participants were warmly greeted by the coordinators and volunteers of the project, who provided support throughout the entire duration of the Mini-school. After the initial greetings and the opening ceremony, students learned about this year’s topics through five sets of workshops and lectures. “Emotional intelligence” and the lecture on the topic “Us and the world around us” were explained and given by the Foundation’s counselor Merjem Salihagić. A successful alumni of the Foundation Kemal Nedžibović spoke about his experiences through the topic “Be the change you wish to see.” The concepts of identity and critical thinking were explained by psychologist Merima Imamović. After this, the workshops, debates and panel discussions all took place. 

Participants expressed their wish that certain parts of the agenda be extended by at least half an hour, which caused the whole program to be somewhat modified. However, the impressions of the participants were very positive and highly motivating. 

“For me, Mini-school represents something educational and very interesting. You gave us an opportunity to meet people, spend some time together, and learn things that will be useful in our future development. We got to meet ourselves a little better, and learn things about each other that never crossed our minds. We are absolutely going to come back and we look forward to seeing the volunteers again at the premises of the Source of Hope Foundation.” – Amela Žigo (participant) 

“Mini-school taught me many things that I had not known before. Besides wonderful organization and pleasant atmosphere, I got to meet many wonderful people, and used the weekend for something useful. I want to come again next year.” Aida Haznadar (participant) 

The evaluation of the fifth generation of participants was completed, and valuable information from the feedback will be used in creation and planning of the next Mini-school of informal education in 2021. 

“Traditionally, for the fifth year in a row now, the end of the year is reserved for the project titled Mini-school of informal education. This year as well, we had a chance to serve as hosts to highschoolers, who have expressed their wish to be a part of a project of this kind. Through a set of 5 workshops, where they dealt with themselves and the issues of their own identity, perception of the world around them, their critical thinking, the amount of work they put into developing their emotional intelligence, and whether they want to be the cause of positive change, they got the chance to gain knowledge that can be used as an instrument in their further development. Interaction, group work and approach adapted to the participants are just some of the many benefits of these workshops. Separation from the online world, especially in the current pandemic-influenced period was hugely beneficial for the highschoolers, as well as the opportunity for live discussion on topics that are of huge importance for them. We are happy to see that young people are open-minded towards knowledge and learning, because those two things are key to personal and professional success. Every knowledge is powerful, and a person dedicated to knowledge, becomes more powerful on a daily basis. High Schoolers proved us here that they want to be the change they want to see in the world, and it is our duty to be their support on that journey.” – Ajdin Karić (coordinator) 

“I was honored to be the coordinator of this year’s Mini-school of informal education. Working with high school students who are open, communicative and already mature enough to recognize issues and needs in the society around them, was very nice and interesting. The topics were well received, primarily because the discussion about them was seen as a necessity in order to work on and understand one’s self. The lecturers introduced the students to important concepts of identity, emotional intelligence and critical thinking. The time I invested into this project was truly worth every second. I got to know myself better, as well as improved my organizational skills and spent some quality time with high schoolers in the workshops. The project has many benefits, and I especially want to point out the help it provides in terms of strengthening the high schoolers and creating stronger personalities. I am grateful to the Ilidža Municipality, school pedagogues and benefactors who recognized the value of the Mini-school and provided their support, and I hope that other municipalities and cantons will recognize these benefits and enable the realization of Mini-school on a broader scale.” – Samira Aličić (coordinator) 

Finally, the ending of this year’s Mini-school was marked festively, with a cultural program taking place, after which the participants received certificates of successful participation. 

The project was realized in cooperation with the Ilidža Municipality. 

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