Due to turbulent history in the Western Balkans throughout the 20th century and especially violent process of dissolution of former Yugoslavia, official cooperation among countries in this region is not yet properly developed. Particular governments’ interests and lack of sense for regional dimensions of mutual problems and joint efforts for progress influences this cooperation. This situation has significant impact on youth generations. YIHR finds it important to provide young people with tools for creating new ties among post-war generations and gaining personal experience about neighbors that will be free of stereotypes inherited from official narratives, political discourses, media reporting and official educational systems.
Since its establishment in 2003 YIHR Regional Network is conducting various informal cross-border and visiting programs among different ethnic groups within countries and among the countries in the region. Parallel to this YIHR is advocating the establishment of official channels of communications for young people in the Western Balkans. Through its rich experience in bringing young people from post-conflict countries together, YIHR realized that such circumstances are created in the region, which opens space for establishment of official channels for youth exchanges.
YIHR memorandum on Initiative for the Regional Youth Exchange Program – download here.