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The European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations goes beyond its participating countries (27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). Many other nations worldwide are supporting this EU initiative, organising activities throughout 2012 in order to raise awareness of the contribution that older people make to society.
Such is the case of Bosnia & Herzegovina, where over 60 people aged from 5 to 80+ braved mist and rain to walk nearly 3 km in the hills high above Sarajevo to mark the European Year. The walk, which took place on April 15th, was organised by Directorate for European Integration BiH (DEI) in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina/EU Special Representative under the EU Awareness II project funded by the EU.
Minibuses transported all the participants to Barice, from where they walked different distances to Čavljak. Children made a 2.5 km walk, while the older and braver made a 5 km walk. They all got together at the mountain rest hut and café, where everyone was offered a light meal before setting off on the way back. There was dancing and music, all in the positive mountaineering spirit.
Co-ordinator, Mr Muris Dervišagić, president of the mountaineering and skiing club Centar, said it was pleasing to see how the younger generation had shared the experience with the older people, many of whom were members of the club.
The oldest participant and passionate mountaineer was Adil Šahovic (“Šteka”), who at the age of 84 never misses an opportunity to get together with his friends from the club and enjoy another walk.
The EU's Head of Communications, Andy McGuffie who himself joined some of the hardier walkers for a longer hike, said that not only was this an excellent symbol of the strong links between generations in BiH, but also demonstrated the emerging tourism potential of the country.