Reflection on my role as a youth assistant in the ReLOaD2 project

April 9, 2024

I am Hana Suljević, a young woman from Sarajevo, working as a Youth Assistant on the Regional Program on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (ReLOaD2).

Before I started working on ReLOaD2, I participated in a nine-month internship as a communications intern within a different sector of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Energy and Environment. Admiring the values the organization promotes, I was eager to continue my involvement and contribute to projects that positively impact society. Therefore, the role of ReLOaD2 Youth Assistant seemed like a perfect fit, which proved to be correct. After a successful application and interview process, I joined the team in 2023, and the experience began to shape my life continuously, helping me grow both professionally and personally. The onboarding process was welcoming, introducing me to daily tasks and long-term objectives, while the pleasant work environment enabled me to form friendships with my team colleagues.

ReLOaD2, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by UNDP, focuses on strengthening partnerships between local authorities and civil society through transparent funding. It also supports young people by providing job opportunities, certified trainings, ensuring their voices are heard in consultative processes through thematic forums, and assisting with youth initiative implementation in local communities.

"As someone who has been active in community work, joining a project that supports youth and civil society was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I have always wanted to make a positive impact on my community, and through this experience, I managed to enhance my work and social skills. This, in turn, increased my self-confidence, making it an incredible journey of change and learning."

Hana Suljevic


During my assignment, I was involved in a variety of tasks, ranging from administrative duties to creative processes involved in organizing diverse initiatives for young people across 13 partner local governments of the ReLOaD2 project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A significant aspect of my role included organizing certified trainings in various fields such as Tailoring and Sewing, Media, Marketing and Advertising, Graphic Design, and Web Design. These trainings aimed to empower young people in the ReLOaD2 partner local governments by equipping them with practical skills and knowledge to excel in the job market. Witnessing participants apply their acquired skills and feel motivated to consider entrepreneurship has been a source of profound joy for me.

Their emerging success stories fill me with pride and further fuel my dedication to our cause. As a member of the ReLOaD2 team, I've not only had the opportunity to collaborate but also to bring my own ideas to fruition. One initiative I am particularly proud of is the Google Analytics training we organized for young people, a concept I proposed and successfully implemented. Being able to conceive and execute ideas within the ReLOaD2 project has been empowering and has reinforced my commitment to advancing the project's objectives, with a focus on further empowering young individuals.

Transitioning from being a participant in various youth events and initiatives to becoming an assistant involved in organizing youth dialogues, trainings, and diverse events has granted me a unique and comprehensive understanding of the complexities and challenges inherent in event management. Prior to my assignment, I attended such events solely as a participant, lacking the insider perspective. Now, deeply immersed in the organizational aspects, I have gained invaluable insights into the significance of meticulous planning and coordination. This experience has honed my skills in communication, problem-solving, and adeptly handling unforeseen circumstances. Engaging in the organizational process has enabled me to leverage my participant experiences, crafting content that is more engaging, effective, and tailored to the needs and expectations of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

My journey has taught me that engaging and motivating young people poses a significant challenge in organizing these initiatives. Nonetheless, I take pride in the fact that my team and I have consistently overcome these obstacles. Moreover, I was honored to be entrusted by my colleagues with the responsibility of assisting in organizing Regional and Local Public Calls for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and learning from that process. This endeavor entailed meticulous planning and coordination with partners from various IPA beneficiaries. These public calls played a pivotal role in identifying and supporting projects aligned with the ReLOaD2 objective of strengthening local communities.

"As I continue in my position as a ReLOaD2 Youth Assistant, I am excited about the new challenges and tasks that lie ahead of me. Supporting my peers in partner LGs through different initiatives of the ReLOaD2 project, even in a small part, made me feel honored and thrilled. The ReLOaD2 project's positive engagement with young people sets an excellent example for others. I hope it will inspire more similar initiatives in the future."