Partnership brings out new ideas – Community youth centre in Dragočaj

Community youth centre in Dragočaj is a new community resource centre that started as a project, implemented in the partnership of Zdravo Da Ste organisation from Banja Luka and IN Foundation. This initiative was supported by Banja Luka city authorities, through Regional programme of local democracy on the Western Balkan – ReLOaD, financially supported by European Union and implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Resource centre is officially opened in January 2020 and it is focused on children and youth from local community of Dragočaj, Ramići and Prijakovci. Centre represents the merge of best practices of two organisations in working with children and youth at risk.

The work in the Resource center is divided into two parts: the methodology of the  Nest day-care centers with children at risk, aged 8 to 15 years, and community youth work with young people from 15 to 30 years in the Youth center. The Resource center aims to provide safe and supportive environment for the growth and development of children and young people, as well as to encourage their active participation in the development of society.

Every day Resource center provides a full range of activities, and since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, after the schools are closed, the activities are implemented by using different platforms  for remote communication. Children have two virtual meetings a week. The aim of this work is to give children a sense of security and control over this situation, to develop socially and emotionally and to develop a resilience to the various life challenges. They share with us their creative works, which we will exhibit after the Resource center reopens.

Besides these workshops with children, we also provide school support in math. The children highly appreciate this kind of assistance, they are free to express their opinion, suggestions and wishes, and they show happiness during our activities.

We also carry out the same activities with youngsters aged 15 to 30 years. Creative young people who participate in our workshops give their suggestions for the activities. They also share their plans for future, and they turn to us for guidance and counseling.  They share with us their creative and artistic works, presented on our social media. Some of the ideas for online workshops are born through discussions with our youth. For all our users, children and young people, as well as their parents, we have provided individual counselling with the expert staff of the Resource center.