High school girl from Niš, winner of the seventh generation of the Beacon of Knowledge

Dec 4, 2023

Among the 12 teams of high school students from all over Serbia that participated in the “Lighthouse of Knowledge” competition, which is organized by the Association for the Affirmation of Culture and the Lighthouse of Knowledge, 17-year-old Teodora Bogdanović from Niš was the most successful. Her project “I follow my own path”, whose goal is to support children without parental care to become independent, was declared the winner.

This student of the third grade of the “Bora Stanković” Gymnasium says that she got the idea for the project at the “Force Follows the Brave” camp, which was organized by the Niš “Jedai Movement” for children without parental care. That’s why she chose the one about social responsibility and activism from the topics offered at the “Lighthouse of Knowledge” competition.

The project is intended for children without parental care who are in the Home or foster families and are between 15 and 17 years old. “Why between the ages of 15 and 17, because after 18 years they leave the social protection system and are left to fend for themselves. The problem is inadequate preparation and support, so they often find it harder to find work. That’s why we want to support them so that they can do better find out when they get out of the system” – Teodora explains.

She says that she received information from the Center for Family Accommodation and Adoption in Niš that there are 33 such children in Niš and that she believes that this type of education and support that her project provides will mean a lot to them.

Teams from Belgrade, Niš, Leskovac, Šabac, Bajna Bašta and Zaječar made it to the finals of the competition. The third place was won by the project of the Deep Print team from Belgrade, and the second place went to the team from Bajna Bašta with the BodiDilber project.

“This generation is truly phenomenal. Great young people and excellent projects. It is extremely important to emphasize how crucial the “Lighthouse of Knowledge” project is for our society. This initiative is aimed at educating young leaders and encouraging positive changes. Teodora, but also all the participants of this year’s “Lighthouses of knowledge” are a wind at our backs for us as organizers. We believe that they will shape our future for the better and bring about positive changes in our community.” – said the project manager, Maja Rubin.

“Lighthouse of Knowledge” is a traditional competition of high school students from 12 local communities in Serbia, which is organized by the Lighthouse of Knowledge and the Association for the Affirmation of Culture. The goal is simple but powerful: to design and develop projects that will contribute to improving the quality of everyday life in those communities. As the winner, Teodora received 300,000 dinars for the project “I follow my own path” in the competition, and she says that it will be launched in January next year.

The “Beacon of Knowledge” project is implemented by the Association for the Affirmation of Culture for the seventh year in a row. Great support in the implementation of this project was provided by the Embassy of the United States of America, the Ministry of Tourism and Youth, the Municipality of Bajina Bašta, the SBB Foundation, the Schneider Electric Foundation, Erste Bank and the Startuj.com portal.