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Organizations from Albania and Kosovo working with youth issues recently visited Serbia. The aim of the study visit, which was organized by Olof Palme International Center, was to learn from Serbia’s experience regarding youth work.

In the last couple of years Serbia has adopted a national youth strategy, established youth offices at municipal level, appointed youth coordinators and developed local youth action plans. A Law on Youth was also passed last year and all of this this has created a space for youth issues and youth participation.

During the study visit, partners met with representatives from different institutions and organizations such as the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the newly established National Association of Professional Youth Workers, a civic resource center supporting youth initiatives, and several youth organizations.

Erind Celmeta from the organization Children´s Human Rights Center of Albania said that the visit was very good in building bridges for facilitating exchanging ideas.

– I know that there is a lot of similarities between our countries, being in the Balkan region we deal a lot with the same kind of issues. But I also have to sort of convert things in order to adopt them into my own context. One of the things that inspired me were the different ways of giving youth a very creative part that we have seen examples of. In terms of campaign and using technology in order to motivate for participation, and to make it sort of trendy for them to participate. In Albania there is a great need to motivate youth to participate.

There were also field visits to the Environmental Center Radulovacki in the town of Sremski Karlovci and the Youth Office in Obrenovac. Experiences, challenges and ideas were shared between the organizations from Albania, Kosovo and Serbia. There were a lot of discussions and sharing of good examples on how to get youth issues up on the political agenda, how to motivate young people to become active in organizations, and how to strengthen youth participation in political decision making processes.

Enio Ohri from the Albanian organization Mjaft Movement reflects on the idea of youth offices.

– This is quite developed here in Serbia but not in Albania. This is something that we can learn from. It could be a nice idea to start pushing for this kind of process, towards the local level but I think firstly towards the executive government level.

Text and Photo: Stina Oskarsson,

 

Published: 2013-06-26

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