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Showers, lighting and local food – THW supplies youth camp

The history of the country, personal experiences, trauma and non-violence – these were the main issues during the “Peace Summer Camp” which took place in mid-July near Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina. More than 100 young people from all the country’s ethnic and religious groups took advantage of the event for sharing and exchange. Nine THW international specialists from Bavaria set up the infrastructure for the one-week educational youth encounter in the Igman mountains.

During the event, THW volunteers took care of the power and water supply, ensured the site was well-lit, constructed the sanitary facilities and operated a field kitchen. For the German operatives, the camp served as a field exercise to practice for future THW deployments internationally. The wide range of technical equipment used by the organisation during its missions leads to specific challenges, such as dealing with customs regulations and cross-border logistics or communication. All of this needs to be rehearsed.

The THW has been providing assistance to the Peace Summer Camp since 2002. Youth from all over Bosnia-Herzegovina meet every year here in Malo Polje near Sarajevo, at one of the sites used for the 1984 Winter Olympics. With a range of different workshops, the youth camp gives them the opportunity to explore their culture and country. Then they can take the insights and skills they learn back to local projects in their home regions.

For the THW volunteers there was a special highlight at the end of the camp: They accepted an invitation from the German embassy in Sarajevo and had the chance for extensive discussions with the diplomats and staff there. Coordination and logistics experts from the THW are often deployed to assist German embassies around the world in times of need. THW international co-operation takes place within the European Community Mechanism or acting on the instructions of UN organisations.

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