Active Ageing – Active Walking, Sarajevo Style

Just over 60 people aged from 5 to 80 plus have braved mist and rain to walk nearly 3 km in the hills high above Sarajevo on Sunday, 15 April to mark the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The walk 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 EU.

The group travelled in minibuses to the location Barice, at the base of Čavljak, from where they set off to walk the two lengths – 2,5 km for children and 5 km for braver walkers, to a mountain rest hut and café. Amongst them, the oldest participant and passionate mountaineer, Mr Adil Šahovic (“Šteka”) at the age of 84 years.

Organiser, Mr Muris Dervišagić, president of the mountaineering and skiing club “Centar”, said he was delighted at the number of people, especially considering the poor weather conditions. He said that 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.

Even the youngest child managed the steep walk up without complaint, though a minibus was available to take the smaller children back down again.

The EU’s Head of Communications, Andy McGuffie (Pictured below, left, with Team Leader Mary Donovan), who himself joined some of the hardier walkers to go for a further hour’s 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.

The EU has declared 2012 as “The EU Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations” to raise awareness of the contribution that older people make to society. It seeks to encourage policymakers and relevant stakeholders at all levels to take action to create better opportunities for active ageing and to strengthen solidarity between generations.