" I made meaningful connections with the other participants and trainers, I pushed myself to be actively engaged in the workshops and learn from others, and I was able to look at myself and see my strengths and weaknesses and how to improve."

" I made meaningful connections with the other participants and trainers, I pushed myself to be actively engaged in the workshops and learn from others, and I was able to look at myself and see my strengths and weaknesses and how to improve."

" I made meaningful connections with the other participants and trainers, I pushed myself to be actively engaged in the workshops and learn from others, and I was able to look at myself and see my strengths and weaknesses and how to improve."


While living in Greece for the past year, I first heard about youth exchanges and trainings
through United Societies of Balkans. When I heard about the training course “InMediaAct” held
in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina I immediately knew it was the perfect course for me.
I wanted to see what the program is all about and have the opportunity to work with youth from
all over Europe discussing topics that are really important to me. The training course was
focused on how refugees, migrants and minority groups are portrayed in the media. As a
student of risk communication and crisis journalism, this topic fell right in my area of expertise.
Our group had youth from 20 countries, originating from four different continents. Each
participant came alone, which gave us the opportunity to get out of our comfort zones and build
friendships. We quickly bonded and spent a great week learning, laughing and having a good
time together.
As this was my first training course ever, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This was my first
time participating in non-formal education trainings and I found myself actively engaged and
excited about each workshop. We had debates, conducted interviews and research, analyzed
the media and looked at every topic with unique perspectives.
One of my favorite activities was when we split into groups and spent the morning in the city
center interviewing locals about how they view and use the media. It was a great opportunity to
see the city and interact with local people to get a better feel of life in Sarajevo. The best way to
learn about the history of the city and about the people living in it is by going out and seeing it
for yourself.
Later in the week, I had the unique opportunity of appearing on local television with a few other
participants to talk about the project. I have basic knowledge of the Bosnian language because I
lived in Sarajevo last summer, but I speak at the same level as a small child. The other two
participants spoke fluently, so basically I was there for some comedic relief but it was an
awesome opportunity to share the purpose of our project, raise awareness about these issues,
and spread a positive message of youth working together across borders.
Overall, my experience at the training course impacted me in ways I didn’t expect. I made
meaningful connections with the other participants and trainers, I pushed myself to be actively
engaged in the workshops and learn from others, and I was able to look at myself and see my
strengths and weaknesses and how to improve.

I’m really grateful we had trainers willing to push us and encourage us to dig deeper and think outside of the box. I’m grateful we had a group of motivated and inspirational youth actively engaged in volunteering. And I’m grateful I could return back to the magical city of Sarajevo for a week to experience it in a different way through a youth training course.

 

“Learning about myself through learning from others”
“InMediaAct” Training Course - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Kaleena McKell

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