Building greater WYA solidarity: Hrvoje Vargic shares his plans, vision for WYA Europe

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“As WYA staff, we have an important role to accompany our members in their WYA journey – to celebrate their joys and successes and to support them in times of obstacles and sorrows. We want to help them grow and to learn from them,” Hrvoje Vargic, WYA Europe’s newest Regional Director, shares as he started working as a full-time staff in Brussels.

Hrvoje learned about WYA in 2012 after attending a youth conference in Croatia where he and his friends met the WYA Europe staff members. Inspired by WYA’s mission and work, he and his friends became WYA members and launched the WYA Croatia Chapter.

Since their inception in 2012, the WYA Croatia Chapter has become one of the most successful WYA Chapters in the world and has greatly contributed to the promotion of WYA’s mission by influencing national policy, training young people and leading various projects.

“We started the Chapter with a few of our friends who committed to undergo and complete WYA’s Certified Training Program, previously known as Track A. After we became certified, we organized a series of projects to introduce WYA to more young people and promote WYA’s mission. These included a weeklong WYA Week in Croatia and a national chapter composed of WYA Chapters from different cities. Today, the Chapter has grown to over 90 certified members working on different projects and campaigns,” Hrvoje shares.

Following his active involvement and the success of the WYA Croatia Chapter, Hrvoje decided to apply for the Regional Director position to share his experience and to help WYA members bring WYA’s mission closer to their home by opening WYA Chapters.

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“WYA has a unique identity that attracts many young people and offers them with authentic and youthful ways on how to live, understand and experience human dignity in their daily lives and to bring this mission and experience to more people in their community. I’m very committed and excited to help WYA Europe members to build their own Chapters and bring the WYA experience closer to their communities,” Hrvoje shares.

Part of his plan and vision for the WYA Europe region is to have greater solidarity among WYA Europe members and to inspire more young Europeans to join WYA’s mission and to have an active involvement. He also plans to have the best infrastructure to ensure that WYA Chapters have their needed support and resources to grow and become sustainable.

“We will have a more active role in supporting them by helping them fundraise and look for grants, provide support in their goal of becoming a legal NGO, and providing them with different training programs and resources on project management, advocacy, and communication. But most importantly, we will transfer to them the importance of dwelling deeper into WYA’s values and making their chapter a community of friends, which is essential for a Chapter to sustain,” Hrvoje shares on what members can look forward to under his leadership.

Aside from greater engagement among members and growing more chapters, Hrvoje also plans to strengthen existing regional projects like the European Arts Forum and Emerging Leaders Conference and to establish collaboration projects with other WYA regional offices. WYA Europe is currently in the process of implementing a cultural project with the WYA Croatia Chapter and WYA Middle East office for 2017.

“Collaboration among WYA Chapters and WYA regional offices is an important strategic goal for WYA Europe to
achieve our goals, form our members and to launch the Human Dignity Curriculum and FEMM (Fertility Education and Medical Management) programs to more places. WYA Europe members can expect to have greater support and new partnership projects with other Chapters and regional offices for next year,” Hrvoje gladly shares.

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Hrvoje invites WYA Europe members to be more active and for WYA friends to have greater support to WYA’s mission. “If you are a young person willing to invest your talents and energies into bringing WYA to your local community, don’t hesitate to contact us. And if you are a WYA friend or an alumnus who wishes to continue to support our mission, we will be grateful for any donation that you can share. The success of bringing WYA and its programs to the young people in different countries in Europe will depend both on the active support and strong commitment of both the members and donors,” Hrvoje adds.

To launch a WYA Chapter in your city or country, you may contact the WYA Europe staff at europe@wya.net. For members coming from other regions, you may email the WYA Headquarters at wya@wya.net if you would like to bring WYA to your community.