Community Development Program
Bosnia has reopened to international arrivals and this program needs volunteers more than ever! See the Additional Info. section or entry requirements.
With a goal of breaking down the still prevalent racial prejudices left in the wake of the Bosnian War of 1992-95, this wonderfully unique social development project was established with the sole purpose of creating and improving relationships between the young people of historically conflicting ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through a combination of youth-focused education and arts projects based in Brcko in Bosnia’s North West, a region where unemployment figures are as high as 40%, this multi-ethnic ‘anti-segregation’ project aims to create and foster connections between young people from the area as well as increase their self-confidence to create opportunities for them to work toward a united and stable nation. Dissolving generations of inherited, deep-seated racial prejudices can be a long and arduous task, and international volunteers, themselves from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds, demonstrating compassion and indiscriminate empathy to the children, play an important role in achieving the desired outcomes of this ambitious project.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide support for at-risk children in Bosnian and Herzegovina
- Foster positive relationships and understanding between peoples
- Promote anti-segregation and build at risk youth’s confidence and self-worth
- Provide an opportunity for cross cultural exchange between volunteers and locals
How You Can Help
This volunteer program provides essential support to ensure this program can fulfil its aim for an inclusive society. Volunteers play a crucial role in enabling youth to attend and participate in a program that will open their eyes and promote healing and understanding. Through an ongoing series of fun and social workshops, held every Monday to Friday in a local youth center, the project caters to approximately 30 local children and youth aged from 4 to 14, who together share in creative, team-building games and activities with the aim of uniting them by learning about one another. For international volunteers this is a highly varied program, which can be tailored to suit the skills and interests of each participant. There are several areas of focus and volunteers generally assist where the need is greatest, or where their skills are best suited, but usually include sharing knowledge or presenting classes/activities across the arts, music, drama, sports, geography and languages. Whilst the workshops are designed to be fun and educational, the participants learn not only to socialize with each other, but learn about different cultures, to become team players and to follow different rules.
To achieve the ambitious and courageous goals of this program, the program works on several areas of focus which volunteers will assist with:
- Deliver team building activities and work on projects with youth
- Support and encourage youth through various discussions and activities
- Organize other activities, games and mentoring as required
- Assist program staff with organization and other task as required
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for people living in marginalized communities of Bosnia. While this project is best suited to those pursuing a career in the fields of anthropology, social work, social entrepreneurship and/or economics, volunteers who simply wish to be involved in a more ‘varied’ project are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist and individual projects can often be tailored to suit the particular skills and interests or each participant. As volunteers on this program will be working with young people of mixed language ability, with only some of whom speaking English (or German), each volunteer is expected to study the local language/s (Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian) during their time in Brcko and to this end they will each be provided with a short language course as part of the program. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
This program is located in the Bosnian city of Brcko, on the North Eastern border with Croatia. Bosnia is well on the way to overcoming the stigma of civil war and Brcko in particular is soon to become one of Europe's destination cities. Whilst visitors should pay homage to the reminders of war time horrors, the vibrant cafe culture and outdoor activities in the mountainous regions make this city a destination for the future as well as the past.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every MONDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 8 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon arrival into Bosnia you should make your way to the Volunteer Offices (the local team will assist with the arrangements if required). An orientation session will be given either that day or the next, depending on arrival timing and will help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement and the local surroundings. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great chance to get to know your hosts and ask any last minute questions.
- Arrival Day: MONDAY
- Departure Day: SUNDAY
- Arrival Airport: Nikola Tesla Airport, Belgrade, Serbia (Code: BEG) OR Sarajevo International Airport, Sarajevo, Bosnia (Code: SJJ)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this program are accommodated in comfortable Volunteer Apartments in Brcko. Each volunteer has a private bedroom while bathroom facilities are shared with 1 or 2 other volunteers. The communal kitchen, dining and living areas are a great place to prepare meals, relax and socialize. Internet access is available in the Apartment and linen and laundry facilities are provided with hot water on tap for showers. Easy!
The accommodation is within walking distance to your program placement.
The accommodation on this program is self-catering (meals are not included in the program fees) and volunteers can make use of the kitchen facilities in the apartment to prepare meals by purchasing groceries locally or may like to dine out at one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants located within easy reach of the Volunteer Apartment.
Bosnian cuisine has Turkish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and European influences so there is something to suit all palates. Try Ćevapi - grilled meat sausages served with condiments – or Begova Čorba (‘Bey’s Stew) - a delicious traditional soup.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
- All travelers except BiH citizens and citizens of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro must present a certificate of a negative PCR test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus test not older than 48 hours.