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Croatia/Latvia: Peer learning for rural minorities

2 November 2023

Zagreb, Croatia: 12-15 October 2023

CROATIA: A delegation from the Latvian NGO Sēlijas Salas visited Zagreb from October 12th to 15th, engaging in a peer learning visit to the Association for Nurturing and Promoting the Culture, Musical and Spiritual Traditions of Bosniaks (ALEM). This visit facilitated cultural exchange, discussions on rural development strategies, and exploration of political education initiatives, fostering collaboration and mutual learning between organizations.

The Sēlijas Salas delegation, comprised of 2 staff members, immersed themselves in various activities aimed at cultural exchange and mutual learning. During their visit, the delegation had insightful meetings with the leadership of organizations representing the Bosnian minority in Croatia’s political landscape. These discussions centered around the importance of political education, particularly among youth. One highlight was their participation in ALEM’s Political Academy, which sparked interest in implementing similar practices in Latvia.

The visit strengthened collaboration between Sēlijas Salas and ALEM, laying the groundwork for future partnerships and highlighting the importance of ethnic and local pride, NGOs in shaping positive information landscapes and fostering communication between residents and local governments for driving positive change.

Sēlijas Salas unites small towns, rural settlements and active non-governmental organizations within the historic land of Selia. Established in 2017, it aims to promote Selia’s recognition, enhance local residents’ self-confidence, and improve rural life quality through methods like project attraction, community support and rural tourism.

ALEM safeguards and enhances the cultural, musical, and spiritual heritage of Bosniaks. Through various initiatives and activities, ALEM seeks to protect the national identity of Bosniaks and advocates for the rights and interests of Bosniaks in Croatia and beyond.

This content is a guest post from one of our partner organizations about their work as part of our ‘Minorities, Accountability, Rights, Independence and Organisational Development’ (MARIO) programme. Learn more >

MARIO is funded by the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (2021-27) of the European Union (ref: 101091387).