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Bosnian students and teachers are returning home armed with knowledge after visiting Dayton, Ohio

Ali Murtic and Davud Isakovic
Kathryn Mobley
/
WYSO
Davud Isakovic (left) and Ali Murtic (right) lived with Dayton host families while participating in the Dayton Bosnia Youth Leadership Program. For three weeks, they and 15 other Bosnian students learned about social engagement and civil discourse. They return home with a project focused on increasing awareness of depression among young Bosnian men.

A group of Bosnian students and teachers are leaving Dayton, Ohio tomorrow to return home. And thanks to the Dayton Medication Center, the Students are armed with a new social engagement projects to make their communities better.

For almost a month, 17 Bosnian students participated in the Dayton Bosnian Youth Leadership Program.

The Dayton Mediation Center manages it. Coordinator Miranda Brooks says the high schoolers created civic discourse and diversity projects they will later implement in their home cities.

"To interact with someone who has different ideas than your own. Because avoidance does not help anyone," Brooks said.

Ali Murtic and Davud Isakovic are juniors. They're designing workshops about men's mental health.

"We were raised to be soldiers to be strong to be tough, to not cry and to make our family a living," Ali said. "As a result of that, teen age men have the high suicide rates, they’re way more likely to get addicted to alcohol or drugs."

Meanwhile, a sign in his host family's front yard inspires David.

"'Hate Has No Home Here'—said in seven different languages. I hope to bring that to Bosnia, to be much more hospitable toward all people because we can’t live without each other," David said.

The exchange program grew from the Dayton Agreement, ending the Bosnian war in 1995.