The COVID-19 pandemic has not only had a profound impact on global health but has also left its mark on cultural, social, and economic aspects worldwide. This adverse influence has been keenly felt in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For instance, Vedad Štaljo, representing the Cultural and Artistic Society “LOLA” an NGO based in Sarajevo, points out a significant decline in their activities. This decline persisted even in the post-pandemic period, with a reduced interest among young people in participating in folklore and other traditional events organized by the NGO. Vedad reflects on this situation, stating, “We then began to explore ways to rekindle the younger generation’s interest in our organization’s traditions and activities.”
“Our aim was to involve as many young people as possible in this project, enabling their personal development while simultaneously contributing to the growth of our local community.”Vedad Štaljo, Cultural and Artistic Society "LOLA"
With a focus on these objectives, the Cultural and Artistic Society “LOLA” initiated a project titled Through the alleys of traditions”. This project received support through the EU-funded Regional Programme for Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (ReLOaD2), implemented by UNDP. Through this initiative, a diverse range of cultural and artistic activities were conducted for both young people and adults within the municipality of Novo Sarajevo. These activities played a vital role in preserving the cultural heritage and traditions of the various communities and nationalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore, they served as a catalyst for the implementation of the Municipality of Novo Sarajevo’s 2022-2027 Youth Strategy. Vedad elaborates on the project’s goals, stating, “Our aim was to involve as many young people as possible in this project, enabling their personal development while simultaneously contributing to the growth of our local community.”
The project was structured into two distinct modules. The first module encompassed activities such as the preparation and organization of a photo exhibition featuring traditional folk costumes. Additionally, it involved the preparation and organization of the inaugural showcase of traditional costumes representing the diverse peoples and nationalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the other hand, the second module entailed the organization of an all-night cultural and artistic concert.
Recently, the Cultural and Artistic Society “LOLA” embarked on a new project titled MOST-“Intergenerational Relationship, Cooperation, and Tradition,” which is funded by the Regional Programme for Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (ReLOaD2). This initiative, is being jointly implemented by the Cultural-Artistic Association “LOLA” and the Association Partnership for Public Health within the confines of the Municipality of Novo Sarajevo. Through this project, the implementing partners aim to address the needs of the municipality’s population by providing enhanced cultural and artistic experiences and fostering intergenerational collaboration. They seek to bridge the generation gap between younger individuals and those in the third age group while organizing activities that bring these two demographic segments together. Vedad articulates the project’s purpose, explaining, “The MOST project’s primary objective is to forge connections between different generations and instill in young people an appreciation for cultural traditions in areas such as food, music, and more.”
The MOST project is designed to span a duration of six months, during which a series of diverse workshops will be conducted to engage participants throughout the entire project timeline.
About the project
The Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (ReLOaD2) is a continuation of EU-supported initiatives – Local Democracy Strengthening Project (LOD, 2009-2016) and the subsequently expanded Regional Program for Local Democracy in the Western Balkans (ReLOaD, 2017-2020). As the previous ones, this project is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). ReLOaD2 is implemented in the Western Balkans, in particular Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
Photo Credits: KUD LOLA
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