If you happen to be somewhere between Dobrinja and Airport area, it will be easy to come across one of three Euroclubs which exist in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and are under direct guardianship of the French organization DIA. Located on unreal environment, on the place where the front line used to be, beside ruined buildings whose stripped walls remind on bad memories from the past, Euroclub is one of rare places where young people of Dobrinja can spend their free time doing something pleasant and creative.
Vernes and Renata are leaders of club’s activities, and we talked to them about the Euroclub and it’s work.
When and on whose initiative did Euroclub Dobrinja start it’s work?
Euroclub Dobrinja started at the end of January 1997, on initiative of our friend Andrej Djerkovic, and it was the project of DIA association which gathers young people in areas in crisis and war areas.
What did this club do for one year of it’s existence, and did you affirm your status among local young population?
In little more than one year period of it’s existence Euroclub managed to gather about 450-500 young people who are our members now. Many of them went through courses of foreign languages and computers, and they could also enjoy concerts, exhibitions and other activities we organized for them.
What is the position of Euroclub in the DIA association, and what are your relations with other two Euroclubs existing in Bosnia and Herzegovina? And is this project specific just for BiH or is it applied in the whole world?
DIA association in BiH exists since 1993, and for projects “Students for Sarajevo” the association got the award in Offlama. Euroclub has great independence-in work and decisions we make about the work, but of course in agreement with DIA. Beside this project there are two more clubs in BiH-ONE IS Embassy Of local democracy on Ciglane-settlement in Sarajevo, and the other in Banja Luka. Opening of one more club is in preparation-it it going to be in Novi Grad (the old name for Bosanski Novi). We have great cooperation with our colleagues from Republika Srpska. Beside this Work in BiH, DIA is working in areas in crisis in Palestine, Gaza and Kurdistan, but those clubs have different names.
Basically, DIA is working with young people in areas in crisis.
Is this club like standard humanitarian organizations in BiH, whose work is based on computer courses and foreign languages, or is there something more that you offer to your members?
We started with educational work but it did not seem as very quality project, so we included our members in club activities and it happened to be more effective.
What can Euroclub, as an institution, offer to young people of Dobrinja and Sarajevo?
Because of Dobrinja’s location and impossibility of young people to be included in cultural happenings in town, this club means a lot to young people of Dobrinja. We try to help young people in realization of their ideas, organizations of concerts exhibits…Our work is based on interests of our members.
What is the financial situation of the club and what do you expect in the following period?
It depends a lot on our sponsors, and I would like to mention them - the township of Sabadell, Spain, we have exchange programs with their young people. Other sponsors are the European Community, French and Canadian embassy which helped us in some projects. I want to say that existence of the club does not depend just on sponsors, but on our members also.
At the end-what is the future of Euroclub Dobrinja like?
As we already said, the future depends on interests of young people. They have the interests in coming here, and if we are able to realize their ideas, this club will exist, because it is the purpose of this club. . As long as we have new ideas and possibility to realize them, we shall exist.