Proni: working against violent extremism

Our member organisation Proni Center for Youth Development, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is currently working against violent extremism. To do so, they’re taking part in a campaign called CAT (Citizen against Terrorism) and now launching a training for Youth Workers called Youth Workers Countering the Violent Extremism.

CAT (Citizens Against Terrorism)

CAT (Citizens Against Terrorism) is an online campaign aiming at raising awareness against radicalism and extremist ideologies by peacefully engaging local youth with various tactics. Its target groups are: local youth submissive to radicalism and exposed to hateful and extremist speech, post war youth coming from different nations and religions, medias and citizens.

The campaign consists of a facebook page through which the organisation communicates via memes with CATs,inviting facebook users to stand against terrorism and radicalism! Alongside the online campaign, Proni is also organising events, promoting the movement against terrorism.

This year, Proni already implemented a few activities:
Block terrorism: Beach Volleyball Tournament that gathered 20 teams and a total amount of 250 people, public included
– Street actions to collect signatures. 450 signatures were collected to make the 24th of March the International day of fight against terrorism. The petition was then sent to Proni’s ambasador in UN.

This initiative was introduced to our group of participant during our Partnership Building Activity “Working Together for an Inclusive Europe” by Dejan Rađen, one of our participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Youth Workers Countering the Violent Extremism

Youth workers countering the violent extremism is a project aiming at empowering and supporting existing youth workers’ skills and competences and giving them new tools in order to notify, act and report on radicalism behavior of young people in digital and real world.

The initiative came from the realisation that youth workers sometimes need to change their approches and adapt their knowledge when working with young people who are directly harmed by radical ideologies, sometimes leading to violent extremism behavior. There is a new need to create new tools and to use new methods.

In order to achieve this, Proni will focus on 3 activities:

  1. An advanced youth work training for 30 youth workers, focused on: dealing with conflicts and violent behavior, working with individuals (counseling skills), street youth work and “cyber youth work”;
  2. The creation of an online web platform collecting: information about youth radicalisation and violent extremism, positive examples of new tools and methods in youth work and other relevant information;
  3. The promotion of youth work and youth workers as relevant partners to local and international institutions dealing with issues of human security, radicalism and violent extremism behavior.

Using existing networks, PRONI will disseminate the idea of Youth Workers countering the violent extremism and involve more members and organisation to join the movement.

The project activities will take place in three municipalities/cities in North-East Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bijeljina, Brcko and Tuzla.

To learn more about Proni and their project, go to Proni.ba or their Facebook page.

Article written thanks to the contribution of Dejan Rađen.

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