29 June 2017
Was it not for the regional cooperation, Jan Zlatan Kulenovic, today a prominent youth activist, most probably would have never founded Munja (the Thunderbolt) incubator which is helping to empower young people who are entering an unfriendly Bosnian job market.
His story started eighteen years ago, it was first time when he participated in a “Peace school”, which brought together young people from around the region.
“Back then I even didn’t know what the youth organization is,” Kulenovic is recalling.
One year later, together with peers he started his own youth organization and within six months organized peace school in Bosnia and Herzegovina for more than 120 participants from the region.
“It was a very stressful and frustrating experience, but this (event) actually defined the next fifteen years of my professional life,” he explained.
Today, Kulenovic remains devoted and hardworking. And although statistics are devastating, Kulenovic believes that with a change of mindset and empowering of young people, miracles can happen.
“In this situation there are two options how to do it if we don’t consider migration as an option. One is to empower a person to fight for his/her university rights, rights in the local community, to stand up to the authorities and institutions, while the other is to empower them to compete in the labor market,” Kulenovic highlights and says that he finds it important to challenge the mindset of young people, and make them more proactive in creating their life.
More than 70.000 young individuals took part in his programmes, many of which have today successful careers. Kulenovic’s platform Hocu.ba which deals with promoting his philosophy has been visited by more than half million of users.
The founder and head of Munja, a successful platform which changed lives of many young people in Bosnia.
Bosnia and Hercegovina is facing problems which are the same in entire region: poor and outdated education system, no compatibility between the labor market and schools, but also a very high rate of dropouts (every fourth person doesn’t finish secondary school), youth unemployment rate above 60%, however Kulenovic believes that these problems can be fought more efficiently trough regional collaboration.
“Regional cooperation is a fact, the question is how to maximize it’s benefits. We see it as a very useful through all these years of our practice.”Kulenovic concluded.
Video Interview with Jan Zlatan Kulenovic