Many young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina already make the decision to leave the country during their education. There are also those who return or do not think about life outside the borders of their homeland.
Almasa and Suzana volunteer at youth centers in Tuzla. While Almasa is not thinking about leaving the country, Suzana says she is not sure, hoping that she will have a chance for a decent life here.
“Because I’m fighting with myself somehow to determine in which direction to move. Is it even worth it for me to stay here, to invest my effort and work or to find better opportunities,” Suzana Dusanic says.
“What is it that keeps me in the first place? Well, it’s probably the love for this country. There’s also that old Bosnian stubbornness that won’t let us surrender right away,” Almasa Becic says.
Suzana adds that she is trying to influence the creation of opportunities in her homeland, unlike Mehan and Armin, who, they say, realized immediately after school that they did not have that future.
“The wages are not good. I have been in Germany for a year. Life is better, more money,”Mehan Celinkovic says.
“I am forced to go? Why? There is no perspective of any. I just don’t see myself here that much anymore,” Armin Celinkovic adds.
Professor Smiljana Vovna sees the reason for early thinking about leaving in the inheritance from parents, an insecure system that has been present for 30 years, without basic conditions for a dignified life, the fact that they grow up with the narrative that they should leave, which, she adds, is logical.
“Fortunately, we have very rare examples, but also those that return. What is their motive? I would look for it in that patriarchal upbringing, if we are still people who are attached to our family, if we are people who strive for a common life,” Vovna explains.
This is precisely the reason why Sejfudin Halilovic returned from Vienna and opened a cafe in Teocak with his wife.
“He tried, tried to stay, to work. However, the system that is there, unfortunately, did not appeal to my character.”
Our interlocutors tell young people that, before making a decision to leave, at least try to secure a future for themselves in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Who knows, maybe the effort will pay off.