The global pandemic situation which affected most of the world with the dangerous new type of COVID -19 virus reflected on YourJob activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well.
The introduction of quarantine and lockdowns in most countries did not bypass Bosnia and Herzegovina either. Different levels of government, cantonal, entity, and state, introduced different preventive measures, decisions, and recommendations. Not one decision was unique during the pandemic since March 2020. This caused that every single part of the country had own, local as well several national orders, meaning that working in the institutions was banned in one part of the country, while another was allowed to work respecting physical distance and safety measures rules.
Banja Luka, Čapljina, and Mostar were the most affected communities, where many people were hospitalized and some of them deceased, and the highest number of infected people occurred. However, Caritas did not stop with its activities just reorganized them in light of new recommendations and limitations. National Caritas in Sarajevo organized remote home office, Diocesan Caritas Banja Luka established a somewhat modified mode of operation and Diocesan Caritas Mostar was working shortened working hours. YourJob team and guidance counsellors worked in according to the general Caritas rules.
All planned YourJob program activities required rethinking and remodelling facing additional challenges such as cancelling or postponing. Youth counselling and meetings with potential employers were organized in a safety manner, wearing masks and gloves, disinfecting place between the meetings, and keeping physical distance between people. Some of the sessions were organized remotely. The five soft skills trainings were organized online during May and June with more than 50 participants. One online info-session was organized in Instagram live chat on May 5th, 2020 for 86 participants. While Booth camp Incubator for the start-up was postponed for July. The Internship program got a spot place in the program activities since communication with potential employers and interns was possible to organize in Banja Luka as well in Mostar respecting very strict safety regulations. In pandemic months, more than 20 interns find their own internship program. Signing Memorandum of collaboration and understanding was an activity that resulted in a signature of more than 30 MoUs. The weekly online team meetings were organized for guidance counsellors, administration and PR staff, and program manager.
A contingency and mitigation plan was created for the pandemic and post-pandemic period, and a plan for future activities was created too. Despite all organisational challenges, young people enjoyed services provided and organized activities by YourJob team. They found very useful information that was shared and trainings that were conducted. In this manner, young people could fulfil their unexpected free time with quality content and in the process learn how to increase their employability. With a little luck, patience and compliance with all recommended measures, there is hope that the pandemic will be stopped, and life will be back to normal.