Civitas Bosnia and Herzegovina Holds Democracy Summer Camp

Jul 06, 2017 / Civitas International Programs, E-news

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 camp held educational classes, artistic workshops, and games for its participants.

The camp held educational classes, artistic workshops, and games for its participants.

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.

Almost 400 students, teachers, trainers, and young artists gathered in Br?ko, 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 Br?ko mayor’s office, and the Br?ko Department of Education. Drew Giblin, the U.S. Embassy attaché for culture and education, opened the program with Professor Senad Osmanovic, Civitas alumni and head of the Br?ko Government Office for Education, and Professor Stjepan Marcetic, Br?ko Mayor Advisor for education.
The program was designed for students at all educational levels. Elementary school students attended, for instance, 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 Br?ko 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.

Civitas Bosnia and Herzegovina Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Project Citizen Finals Showcase

Jun 08, 2017 / Civitas International Programs, Project Citizen

Nearly four hundred students, teachers, and young artists participated in the 20th annual Project Citizen Finals in Bosnia and Herzegovina this year, presenting public policy portfolios that represented thirty-five elementary and high schools. The event was hosted by Civitas Bosnia and Herzegovina (Civitas BiH)–a Civitas International Programs partner–as well as the U.S. Embassy Sarajevo Office for Public Affairs and the state government Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Students show their understanding of public policy by applying it to issues that affect their lives and communities.

Students show their understanding of public policy by applying it to issues that affect their lives and communities.

Participants assembled in the Great Hall of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday, May 20, as Paul Horowitz, the United States Deputy Chief of Mission, declared the opening of the showcase. Other notable attendees were Leah Pease, head of the U.S. Embassy Office for Public Affairs; Rahela Dzidic, the U.S. Embassy education specialist; Adnan Husic, Deputy Minister of Civil Affairs; Predrag Damjanovic, head of the Republika Srpska Pedagogical Institute; and, Zoran Matosevic, Deputy Minister of the Middle Bosnia Ministry of Education.

Project Citizen teaches students the fundamentals of democracy at all academic levels and provides practical ways for young people to participate as responsible citizens. Students identify a public policy problem in their community. They then research the problem, evaluate alternative solutions, develop their own solution in the form of a public policy, and create a political action plan to enlist local or national authorities to adopt their proposed policy. Participants develop a portfolio of their work and present their project in a public hearing showcase before a panel of civic-minded community members. Students often contact public officials and attempt to convince them to adopt their policy proposal.

In this year’s showcase, students explored social problems and advocated for their resolution by suggesting changes to public policy. Project Citizen is one of the many programs led by Civitas BiH. Since its establishment in 1996 as a joint initiative of the Center for Civic Education, Civitas BiH has been viewed as a leader in civic education. The academic and training materials developed by Civitas BiH are the only materials in the official curricula in use by all ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s elementary and high schools. With interculturalism as a focus, Civitas BiH organizes multiethnic youth democracy camps, homestay exchanges, volunteer activities, and school lessons to create a democratic culture in schools.

Although the Project Citizen Finals weekend was drawn to a close by Drew Giblin, the U.S. Embassy Attaché for Culture and Education, Civitas BiH continues to promote the goals of increasing civic education and creating a willingness in young people to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict.

Registration Open for 3rd International Conference on Education for Democratic Citizenship

Oct 25, 2016 / Civitas International Programs

The Moroccan Center for Civic Education will be hosting its third International Conference on Education for Democratic Citizenship on December 7-11, 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

Chilean Students Develop Policy Solutions

Jan 20, 2016 / Civitas International Programs

More than 500 seventh grade students in Santiago, Chile, developed policy-based solutions to local issues in a Project Citizen program with support from the U.S. Embassy.  The students, from the communities of Peñalolén and Puente Alto, presented their policy proposals to educators, local and national authorities, and embassy officials at a Project Citizen showcase in December 2015. The showcase culminated months of work with their classmates to (1) identify public policy problems in their community, (2) gather and evaluate information about the problems, (3) examine and evaluate alternative solutions, (4) select and develop public policy proposals to address the problems, and (5) develop action plans to bring their proposed solutions to authorities with the power to implement them. Read the rest of this entry »

Moroccan Youth Showcase Project Citizen

Dec 21, 2015 / Civitas International Programs

Students in the English Access Microscholarship Program in Morocco presented public policy proposals at a Project Citizen showcase and graduation ceremony in Casablanca on November 21-23, 2015. The Moroccan Center for Civic Education, the Center for Civic Education’s Civitas International Programs partner in Morocco, organized the event.  The showcase culminated two years of collaboration among the students in learning the English language and developing public policy proposals to address issues in their communities. Read the rest of this entry »

Civitas Colleagues Lead Project Citizen Workshop in Chile

Nov 24, 2015 / Civitas International Programs

Twenty-five middle school teachers and six school directors in Santiago, Chile participated in a Project Citizen professional development workshop organized by Center’s Civitas International Programs colleagues in Chile and funded through a new grant from the U.S. Embassy.  Dr. Diane Palmer led the four-session workshop in August 2015 for teachers and school directors from Peñalolén and Puente Alto, two communities of Santiago. Read the rest of this entry »

Students Showcase Projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina

May 26, 2015 / Civitas International Programs

Three hundred elementary and high school students in Bosnia and Herzegovina presented Project Citizen public policy portfolios at the 2015 national showcase in Sarajevo organized by Civitas Bosnia and Herzegovina (Civitas BiH). The students represented schools from throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina who participated in Project Citizen in 2015. Ambassador Maureen Cormack, U.S. ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ms. Daria Duilovic of the Ministry of Civil Affairs opened the event in a ceremony in the main hall of Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »

North African Youth Engage in Policy Dialogue

Jul 23, 2014 / Civitas International Programs, Project Citizen

Youth and civil society leaders from Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya met in Hammamet, Tunisia, on June 5–7, 2014 to engage in public policy dialogue. Read the rest of this entry »

Philippines Holds National Project Citizen Showcase

Jun 11, 2014 / Civitas International Programs, Project Citizen

Seven teams of high school students presented policy-based solutions to local problems at the 2014 Philippines National Project Citizen Showcase. The Philippine Center for Civic Education and Democracy (PCCED), the Center’s Civitas International Programs partner in the Philippines, organized the showcase on April 5. Read the rest of this entry »

Malawi Teachers Educate Communities on Elections

May 19, 2014 / Civitas International Programs, Foundations of Democracy, Project Citizen

Civitas Malawi provided teachers with professional development in democracy and election processes in the lead-up to Malawi’s first tripartite elections, taking place on May 20, 2014. Based at the Domasi College of Education, Civitas Malawi is the Center’s Civitas International Programs partner in Malawi and has expertise in localized adaptations of Center’s Project Citizen and Foundations of Democracy civic education programs. Read the rest of this entry »