“Cheers for volunteers!” was a youth exchange which took place in Banja Luka, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) from the 25th of May to the 2nd of June 2012. The project was organised by YEU and hosted by YEU member organisation CEREBRA and involved 27 participants from Portugal, FYROM/Macedonia, Serbia, Netherlands and Poland. The exchange took place in BiH due to the importance of volunteering during the post-conflict period as a means to rebuild social cohesion.
The focus of the project was to gather young people to discuss volunteering as a tool to fight against unemployment and the impact of volunteering on personal wellbeing. Throughout the 7 days, the participants shared their experience relating to healthy lifestyles, volunteering and its impact on general wellbeing, but also discussed the importance of active participation and volunteering as a tool to fight unemployment. While evening activities were dedicated to participants getting to know each other better, they also contributed greatly towards the content of the discussions on the topic.
At the end of the exchange, the outcomes of the project were presented to the local community during the “Act it out” event which took place on the main square in Banja Luka. Overall, the participants not only gained a lot of knowledge on the topic, but also made friends for life and discovered new cultures!