Selma Ibrekić is a successful IUS alumnus who got her BA in Political Science and Sociology in 2022 and she is currently finalizing her postgraduate studies in International Relations. She works at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS).
Read her story below!
In February 2023, I participated in the Training on Youth & Peace organized by the UNFPA and the Italian Embassy in BiH under the project "Strengthening the Role of Youth in Promoting Increased Mutual Understanding, Constructive Narrative, Respect for Diversity, and Trust in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Serbia."
During the application process, I was unaware that I would actively contribute to implementing this project with my colleagues. After two rounds of training, we were given the opportunity to be the first generation of youth trainers working with young people in other BiH cities. Upon successfully completing the exam at the UN house, the Youth 4 Inclusion, Equality, and Trust Project awarded me the Youth Peer Peacebuilding Trainer Certificate, and I began working as an individual consultant for the UNFPA.
I conducted my initial training in Banja Luka and the second one in East Sarajevo, with another session scheduled by the end of November. As a youth educator, my role involves gathering 20-30 young people from the local community and conducting a two-day training based on seven interactive modules. These modules cover concepts like identity, culture, stereotypes, discrimination, hate speech, violence, peace, and conflict transformation. What sets this approach apart is the emphasis on participant interaction, allowing them to actively shape their understanding of these concepts. Participants also have the opportunity to design their advocacies and address issues they observe in their communities.
Beyond this, my responsibilities included budget management and handling technical aspects such as communication with local coordinators and ensuring venue and restaurant arrangements. This experience has been exceptional and will undoubtedly benefit my future career. I've expanded my network significantly, connecting with young and promising individuals nationwide. It has allowed me to enhance my practical knowledge and skills. As a student, I want to emphasize the importance of continuous engagement for young people, participating in projects, training, and conferences beyond our classrooms. This dynamic involvement enables us to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge, fostering a balanced approach to professional development.