Nearly 400 students, teachers, trainers, and young artists gathered in Brcko, Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Civitas five-day summer camp from June 28 to July 2, 2017. Civitas BiH, the Center’s Civitas International Programs partner, organized the event, which included educational workshops, games and sports, and musical and artistic courses.
The democracy summer camp is the final Civitas BiH activity of every school year, and the camp is co-hosted by the Public Affairs Bureau of the United States, the Brcko mayor’s office, and the Brcko Department of Education. Drew Giblin, the U.S. Embassy attaché for culture and education, opened the program with Professor Senad Osmanovic, a Civitas alumnus and head of the Brcko Government Office for Education, and Professor Stjepan Marcetic, Brcko Mayor Advisor for education.
The program was designed for students at all educational levels. For example, elementary school students attended a class on the prevention of social exclusion, a cooking workshop, and a healthy food course. High school students attended a class on youth entrepreneurship and visited the Brcko Port. Students of all ages participated in art-making activities where they created 22 short films on local government policies for social inclusion and empowerment of local businesses.
This year’s camp also held workshops for art, dance, and acting as part of the camp’s Art Corner. Young professional artists, actors, and dancers led artistic workshops for all students and at the end of the camp, students performed Dance for Activism choreography of the Radetzky March.
Civitas BiH was founded in 1996 as an initiative of the Center for Civic Education, the United States Information Agency, and the Council of Europe. The organization works to educate and inform the young people of Bosnia and Herzegovina about democratic principles so that they may actively engage in their government. The 2017 summer camp is just one example of their highly effective youth development programs. Among others, Civitas BiH hosts and develops youth democracy camps and homestay exchanges, lessons on interculturalism, and a Project Citizen program.