Mitrovica’s Path towards Unity and Prosperity: Fostering young people, Empowering Women and Stimulating Civic Activism


by Ines Aljović Mihajlović

Civil society activist


Being in the heart of the Balkan, Mitrovica stands as a testimony to the rich fabrics of history and culture woven into the very core of the region. However, despite its past, Mitrovica today carries the burden of divisions that are not solely physical; it has become a unique symbol where a bridge that typically connects people and communities instead separates them. Instead of representing a connection between two parts of the city, this bridge has become a focal point of deep social divides, especially among youngsters. In recent years, political and media narratives have contributed to building unfounded perceptions and beliefs among youngsters, further deepening the divide. Focusing on these challenges and considering key steps to overcome divisions, involves educating the youth about the true role of the bridge and fostering dialogue between different communities.

This is also the story of a city carrying the weight of its past while striving to build bridges that connect the hearts and minds of the youngsters on both sides of the city. As we navigate through the complex perspective of a rapidly evolving world, the imperative to unlock the full potential of the community becomes increasingly apparent. This task demands active participation of the youngsters, empowering women, and stimulation of civic activism. This Op-Ed embarks on a comprehensive exploratory journey through the pivotal roles these three elements play in the nuanced growth and development of Mitrovica, emphasizing the necessity of collective initiatives to initiate positive transformation.

Youngsters, as the pulse of any thriving society, carry a reservoir of unused potential. In Mitrovica, this dynamic strength, when effectively used, can serve as a compass which guides the community towards innovation and sustainable development. Programs engaging youngsters, educational initiatives and mentorship opportunities must emerge as indispensable tools, providing the necessary nourishment for these young minds to not only survive but also to lead this city and its society.

Investing in quality education, vocational training, and entrepreneurial programs should become the cornerstone of this transformative journey. Equipping the youth with skills aligned with the demands of the modern economy, Mitrovica would ensure not only the personal success of its new generation but also would make a significant contribution to the overall prosperity of the community.

Empowering women, a crucial part of the social progress, must unfold in Mitrovica, as it should worldwide as well. Women, often underestimated but inherently resilient, can be the driving force of change. Actively promoting gender equality and providing platforms for women to participate in decision-making processes reveals an invaluable resource with the potential to reshape the socio-economic perspective.

Supporting female entrepreneurs, breaking barriers in education and healthcare, as well as challenging traditional gender roles, are crucial steps in stimulating for an inclusive community. By providing women with the necessary tools and opportunities for success, the entire community benefits from the diverse perspectives, skills, and contributions.

If Mitrovica would undertake these transformative measures, it would not only empower women but it would also ensure that the community as a whole flourishes through the richness and diverse strengths that women bring to the fore. This commitment inclusively lays the groundwork for a more dynamic and prosperous shared future.

The emergence of a vital and engaged civil society stands as the basic for the democracy’s flourishing. In Mitrovica, as in any community, active citizen participation in civic life becomes a source of immense potential. Civic activism, acting as a catalyst, stimulates a profound sense of ownership, responsibility, and coexistence among residents. This dynamic environment ensures that the voices of the community are not just heard but genuinely respected, placing the basements where collective wisdom and aspirations of residents play a central role in shaping the present and future of the city.

Community-led initiatives, which includes inclusive meetings in the assembly of the city, and collaborative projects, provides powerful avenues for tackling local challenges and introducing positive changes. If Mitrovica were to embrace and enrich a culture of civic engagement, the city would not only strengthen its democratic basement but also ensure that decisions are made with a sharp focus on the collective well-being of the entire community. Citizen participation would not only enable the expression of their views but also involve a profound consideration, fostering an environment where shared interests and aspirations are crucial in shaping the community.

While the individual contributions of youngsters, women, and civic activism undoubtedly enhance the vitality of the community, their collective synergy holds true transformative power. The interplay of these three elements forms the foundation of collective initiatives, creating a seamless blend that transcends isolated efforts. This harmonious cooperation does not just address specific issues but lays the groundwork for a comprehensive and holistic approach to community development. By recognizing the interconnectedness of youth engagement, women’s empowerment, and civic activism, we unlock a reservoir of potential capable of effective lasting positive changes resonating every aspect of the community.

Imagine a perspective where youth-driven initiatives take the leadership in promoting ecological sustainability, women entrepreneurs serve as initiators of economic growth, and civic activists passionately advocate for demands of social justice. The intersection of these powerful forces not only aggregates but creates a synergistic effect echoing through every corner of Mitrovica. Amplifying their collective impact creates a ripple effect reaching every nook of the city, bringing a profound transformation that touches the lives of its inhabitants and shapes the collective destiny of Mitrovica.

Finally, promoting the role of youngsters, women, and civic activism in Mitrovica surpasses an ordinary objective; it emerges as an imperative for the integral growth of the community. Through strategic investments in the potential of the youngsters, empowering women, and fostering civic engagement, Mitrovica would lay the groundwork for a future, characterized by resilience and dynamism. The collective initiatives stemming from these endeavors would not only shape the destiny of Mitrovica but would also serve as a beacon, inspiring communities across the region. This collective effort underscores the fact that when the power of youth, women, and civic activism is unleashed, exceptional positive changes become not just a possibility but an inevitability.


“The development and publication of this op-ed article has been supported by Kosovar Civil Society Foundation (KCSF) program ‘EJA Kosovo’, co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Sweden. The content of this op-ed article is the sole responsibility of the REC – Reconciliation Empowering Communities and does not necessarily reflect the views of the KCSF, SDC or Sweden”

Mitrovica’s Path towards Unity and Prosperity: Fostering young people, Empowering Women and Stimulating Civic Activism

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