Young people in Montenegro launched campaign #TvojGlasJeBitan – Your voice matters

The #TvojGlasJeBitan – Your voice matters campaign began as a reaction to the results of the 2018 elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, launched on January 5, 2020, by young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the turnout of young people that year was very close to the European average, young people felt that their country needed much more than the average. The campaign is focused on positive rhetoric, and modern ways of communication and marketing, with the aim of increasing turnout in the next elections, with a focus on young people. The turnout of young people was around 49%, while the percentage of elected young representatives was only 5%. It is a resource in which we want to invest energy. The campaign was eventually recognized by the BHRI program, implemented by the International Organization for Migration in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After half a year of operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the campaign was recognized in Montenegro, and on July 4, it began its work in our country. It originated from student Nermin Topovčić, and was brought to Montenegro by high school student Ana Damjanović, who became its coordinator. In just three weeks, over 50 young people joined the campaign, and hundreds provided their support via social media. Montenegro’s accession to this campaign has given the wind in the back to another country from the neighborhood to launch this initiative – Serbia, and preparation for the start of campaign in Croatia as well begun.

The team in Montenegro conducted a survey called “Politics from Youth perspective” which showed that young people crave change. Also, the results of this small survey indicated problems such as young people’s ignorance and lack of interest in politics. There was a huge percentage of those who lost faith in democracy and a devastating number of respondents who found that their attitudes were a lot, if not completely, manipulated by family and society. Correcting all of the above, which includes education, political literacy, popularization of politics, raising awareness of the importance of participating in the election process and encouraging critical thinking, as well as initiative to introduce the subject of Civic Education as compulsory in all high schools, are the most important goals of the campaign.

“Montenegro was bequeathed to us by our ancestors. We cannot change what they did and the way we inherited it, but we are definitely the ones shaping the piece of land that our descendants will inherit. By just fleeing our homeland and criticizing politicians, we will achieve absolutely nothing. We all want change, but the desire is not enough. If you want to change, you must first become one. Don’t just be mere observers, but become the directors of this play that we call life “, said Ana Damjanović to all young people.

” We believe that the campaign will affect young people a lot because we will try to interest young people in the development of political culture and civic virtues through our fieldwork, online, and media activities. Unfortunately, due to protection measures because of Covid19, the work will be reduced and focused on online activities. We believe that we will contribute to the development of Civic awareness throughout Montenegro about the importance of participating in the election process, even though it is a long and continuous work”, Ana added.