Young Men as Allies in the Prevention of Violence and Conflict in the Western Balkans
The project aims to empower young men (13 to 19 years old) to build attitudes and behaviors that contribute to gender equality in their societies, not choosing and rejecting bullying directed against peers or female persons. The project is being implemented since 2006 and includes youth from more than 50 towns/municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, and Croatia.
The project consists of four main parts:
As educational methodology we use the Manual M which has been developed by the partner organization Promundo (Rio de Janiero, Brazil). The Manual consists of more than 100 educational workshops about: gender equality, violence prevention, healthy lifestyles, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, fatherhood and adulthood (SuperTATA).
- Campaign “Be a Man”
The campaign is run by youth who have gone through educational workshops and thus became members of “Be a Man” clubs. Clubs were established as centers for high school students who want to get engaged into creative promotion of responsible and mature young men values. Members of these clubs conduct interesting activities in order to animate their peers to understand that a real man is not violent, that he respects women and is responsible in sex.
3. Research and Policy Development
Research and Policy Development – work with governmental institutions and local nongovernmental organizations that deal with issues of research on violence, conflicts, gender norms, health, and fatherhood. The aim is to advocate for a governmental program methodology in regards to work with young men in schools and create conditions needed for empowering the youth sector on local and national levels.
- Work with Roma population
Since 2010, young Roma have been involved in project activities as a vital part of this project. Work with young Roma largely completes the project and raises it to a higher level. So far there have been three training sessions for young Roma on topics: sexual and reproductive health, violence prevention, alcohol and drug abuse.
During the past ten years of the project more than 2000 young men and over 500 young women were directly involved in this project (through education and the campaign). More than 300 young individuals attended educational workshops per years, while more than 200 young men and women were engaged in the work of “Be a Man” clubs. Currently, there are over 40 active members of the “Be a Man” club in Banja Luka. During the past decade we were present on social networks and channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) where we indirectly reached more than 10 000 users.