Youth must be given a chance to be the driving force behind changes in their community – this is one of the conclusions reached by the participants of Active Youth – Step Ahead to Joint Changes. Youth must understand and protect their rights and play the leading roles in the life of their community, which will also allow us to shape our environment to suit our needs.
Youth activism is the key concept in advocating for changes we want to see, and it is crucial to allow the creativity, inspiration and active participation of youth to shape the community and the world to suit the desired standard and needs.
If we want to encourage changes in our community and improve our surroundings, we must encourage local youth activism. We have to find innovative methods that will instill youth creativity and energy in our everyday lives.
This was recognized by organizations from Serbia, BiH, Montenegro and Slovakia, that are implementing the initiative Active Youth – Step Ahead to Joint Changes.
As a part of this initiative, a training was held from June 6 to June 10, 2018 in Belgrade, for a group of youth from Serbia, BiH, Montenegro, Slovakia, Kosovo*, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece and Albania. The goal was to help the participants strengthen youth participation and activism, and adapt it to the local dynamics and new circumstances in their communities.
I learned a lot during the training, and I met great people. The trainers and the entire team are very approachable and I feel very motivated to make a change in my country. I can’t wait to start working on something in Albania”– Eldijona Shukallari, Tirana Albanija.
Youth and youth workers, ages ranging from 24 to 35, explored different approaches to solving local youth issues in all of the countries implementing this initiative. The training also served as a platform for finding common topics and problems for you to work on together, and be active in their local communities.
“For me, the training was creative, and it encouraged me to think about how I can affect my community. I felt that I wasn’t alone and there are other young people who can help me. The training was very inspirational and it showed me that some things in the region can be solved through joint efforts”– said Zana Sulajdžić, from Travnik, BiH.
After the training, youth from all countries will work on local initiatives to test different approaches to solving youth issues, which will then be shaped into a publication.
The Institute for Youth Development KULT is a part of this initiative supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.