Spring has sprung...at least that was the conclusion I had to draw when we turned up at Novi Most's youth centre in Mostar after this morning's uni-hockey practise session in a nearby school. The sun was out and so, it seemed, where most of our regulars. The patch of green (or more often brown) space in front of the Klub building was covered in young people wielding rakes and picking up litter. This was outdoor spring-cleaning in action; even the pavements were getting a wash and sweep!

It's at this point I could pose the classic question: do you want the good news or the bad news? Naturally, it's a rhetorical question. So here's the bad news. Thanks to Mostar's strong winds and its inhabitants propensity to litter it will not be long before it looks like this morning never happened. But the good news is it did happen. I wasn't there but I'm certain the clean up was initiated by one of our local workers. Encouraging young people to all muck in with cleaning up rubbish and tidying up their environment cannot be anything but a positive experience for them. If we can help them make a connection between community, cleaning up and having fun then I think we can say we're making a positive contribution to the hope of a better, cleaner future for Bosnia and Herzegovina. We know it is but a small start, still rather that than ignore such challenges altogether.


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