Today's interactive preparatory workshop, which was organised by EYOF 2019, and the UN and BiH Presidency's joint project titled "Dialogue for the future", demonstrated the power of the youth of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The workshop's theme was volunteering at EYOF 2019, as well as the introduction of the volunteers who will perform one of the key roles at the festival.
The workshop was opened by UN Joint Project Coordinator Renata Gojak, who announced the UN’s partnership with EYOF 2019 through the “Dialogue for the future” project.
The project is being jointly implemented by UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO in cooperation with the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project is dedicated to the creation of a formal space for dialogue, the promotion of social cohesion and tolerance, and aims to create a better future. The project is financed through The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).
“One of the most important aspects of EYOF 2019 is the promotion of peace, harmony, reconciliation and tolerance. This is why the UN supports this festival and all the positivity it creates. It is important to note that the focus is on the youth, and that we are all here to help their promotion and provide them with a chance for a better future, as well as to promote their role in society. We hope that this festival will be at least as successful as the 14th Winter Olympics, and that Sarajevo will spread positivity as it did in 1984” ,said UNESCO Head of Office SIniša Šešum.
The young volunteers spoke of their expectations of EYOF 2019, which will take place February 9th-16th 2019, and is organised by the cities of Sarajevo and East Sarajevo. At the same time, the festival emphasises the benefits being a member of the volunteer community of one of the biggest multisport events in Europe.
“I recognised this as a unique opportunity for young people like myself, especially for those who have a background in recreational sports. Other than experience and networking, the reason I applied was the acquisition of professional skills which will be important for my further education as well as in my future career” , stated Adi Bencun, a graduated Engineer of Communications from Tuzla.
EYOF 2019 will be the most significant sports event in Sarajevo since the 14th Winter Olympic Games. Other than the opportunity for young people to receive training and experience, the festival will present a fantastic opportunity for the promotion of winter tourism in BiH, as well as all the mountains surrounding the two host cities.
“I would like to thank the UN organisations for their recognition of this project. I believe EYOF to be an excellent platform from which we, together with those who have chosen to live and work in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo, can show the world what is taking place in this region. I am pleased that we are able to promote “Dialogue for the future” though our activities, and thus highlight the values which are achievements of civilization. I believe that the time which is behind us will not be repeated” said EYOF Director, Senahid Godinjak.
The attendees were introduced to the work of the UN in BiH by UNICEF Representative Geeta Narayan, UNESCO Head of Office Siniša Šesum, UNDP Senior Programme Manager Slobodan Tadić, and EYOF Director Senahid Godinjak.
It was also revealed that the UN and the organisers support the agreement regarding the participation of the BiH Special Olympics team in both the ceremonial and the competitive parts of the EYOF 2019 sports festival.