Introducing youth officers: Azemina Gubeljić – It is important to support young people and act together with them

Youth officers provide support and help to youth organizations and young people to overcome daily challenges in their work and be strong actors for the development of the communities in which they operate. The Institute for Youth Development KULT especially emphasizes the improvement of the position and the promotion of the role of youth officers, with the aim of working with and for young people together to be a step forward towards their better position in society.

Azemina Gubeljić  is a youth officer in Herzegovina-Neretva Canton. She graduated from the Faculty of Teaching in Mostar, at the University of Džemal Bijedić, and her rich work experience gave her new knowledge and competences that are of great use to her today, in the work she does. After completing her studies, Azemina worked in several primary and secondary schools. She completed  basic training for youth officers conducted by the Institute for Youth Development KULT . He currently works in the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Croatian National Academy of Sciences.

In addition, he is a member of the Working Group in the project to reduce risk factors for the health of the population in BiH, a member of the Coordination Team in the fight against human trafficking of the HNK, a member of the Working Group for the development of the Youth Strategy of the HNK, the organizer of numerous workshops on the prevention of violence, addiction, human trafficking, misuse of firearms and all forms of socially unacceptable behavior among young people, in cooperation with the representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Croatian People’s Republic of Croatia, and participants in many other initiatives and activities.

Azemina particularly emphasizes the importance of her formal education for the successful career path she is still following today:  “Formal education was of inestimable importance, since pedagogy and psychology refine the soul and help us understand young people and their needs.” I would especially like to emphasize the great influence of my wonderful professors, prof. Mirjane Mavrak and prof. Lidija Pehar, who taught me how to be and remain human, but also a top expert in my profession.”

About the role of the youth officer at the cantonal level, he says:  “I understand my role as a civil servant for youth in accordance with the semantic meaning: civil servant – serves the state, and the state consists of citizens, our interest groups are young people, and accordingly, I am their servant , service, but also someone who will spread their wings, be their support, work together with them to improve their position, and never create youth policies on their behalf, without their involvement.”

Azemina led  the initiative to create and adopt a strategy for the youth of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton  and worked hard on that process. He says about the process of creating and adopting the strategic document:  “At the very initiative to create and adopt a strategy for the youth of the Croatian National Academy of Sciences, under the motto:  YOUTH ARE THE PRESENT – Young people create youth policies in the Croatian National Academy of Sciences-HNŽ,  as well as successful implementations, I can point out that I was really lucky, honor and pleasure to work with hard-working, competent, innovative and responsible young people who participated in the creation of the necessary decisions, questionnaires/surveys for examining the needs of young people, qualitative and quantitative analysis, numerous meetings, workshops, focus groups, public debates in four cities in HNK . The result of this cooperation was more than successful, bearing in mind the fact that this kind of work on March 30, 2023. year, after elaborating on the justification of adopting the Strategy at the CNK Government Session and on 27.4. 2023 and at the HNK Assembly, led to unanimous adoption.”

When asked about the changes he has noticed in the HNK since the adoption of the document until today, he primarily proudly cites the message of one of the members of the Working Group for the Development of the Strategy, which read:  “You are creating opportunities for young people, thank you.”

In addition to the implementation of numerous activities defined by the measures within the four goals of the Strategy in 2023, he also lists five new budget items in the HNK Budget for 2024 as a  “wind at the youth’s back”  : budget funds for youth subsidies for real estate sales tax and rents for solving the housing issue of young people, budget funds for the implementation of measures from the Strategy for Youth, budget funds for co-financing projects from the youth sector, budget funds – grant to schools for the purchase of textbooks, budget funds for the implementation of compulsory preschool education programs, with the planning of new ones, in accordance with the needs of young people, EU funds and other donors.

  1. Photo credit:

Proud and motivated, she tells us her plans for the future:  “I plan to successfully and together with young people implement a project with 4 existing youth councils (Mostar, Čitluk, Jablanica and Konjic) called:  Cultural routes from the perspective of young people,  which is part of the grant for youth of the Croatian National Academy of Sciences supported by the line minister and the president of the Government of the Croatian National Academy of Sciences , whose goal is proactive action and improvement of the position of young people in the segments of youth activities in terms of culture, sports, aesthetics, ethics, ecology, spirituality, humanistic values, personal and social responsibility, as well as the promotion of youth tourism . For young people who are promoters of the cultural and historical sights of their cities/municipalities, we want to organize a trip in such a way that young people from the 4 mentioned cities will mutually be guests and hosts of each other, in order to bring them to the position of co-creators of cultural and tourist content in their cities. As part of each excursion, in addition to getting to know and visiting cultural and historical sights, interactive educational, environmental, sports and cultural workshops will be organized, and in this way they will get to know each other, socialize and learn about each other and from each other through the implementation of the aforementioned activities. “ , states Azemina.

In addition to the above, he also points out that he wants to encourage young people from other cities to initiate initiatives for the establishment of youth councils, and then start the procedures for the establishment of the Cantonal Youth Council.

In the end, Azemina tells young people:  “Be honest, benevolent, persistent, cheerful, active, get an education, because someone can take everything from us, only acquired knowledge can’t.” Fight for yourself, but not on someone else’s back, be responsible, help each other, especially those who really need help. Be people in the true sense of the word and please build your life and stay in your heart-shaped country, Bosnia and Herzegovina!”

The Institute for Youth Development KULT  plans, organizes and implements training programs for youth officers and certification of officers who work with young people in city, municipal and cantonal authorities. The training program consists of basic and advanced training. The basic training program qualifies the participant to perform the duties of an expert in the state service for work with youth and is attended by persons who meet the criteria for applying for a public invitation according to the Rulebook on training procedures and certification of youth officials of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports. Advanced training is attended by persons who have a certificate of the basic training program for the purpose of improvement and further training. The basic training program for an official lasts 120 working hours, divided into modules.

Currently, a new Public Call for Basic Youth Officer Training is open and will remain open until  April 10. in 2024 . More information is available  HERE .