This year CID celebrated 10 years of existence. Ten years full of achievements, growth, networking and constant focus on the community we work for. So let´s go together through the 10 most beautiful moments of 2016 and see if we can overthrow the general feeling that this was rather a disastrous year for the world:
- Renovation of the MultiKулти youth center: one of the most important achievements of this year was the renovation of our youth center, with the support of UNDP Macedonia. Thanks to that, now the youth center works from 10:00 to 22:00 every day of the week and hosts youngsters from primary school to high-school in different activities. Among the most colorful events happening in MultiKулти in 2016 we remember the Graffiti Fest, the Bubble Parade, CUBE: the Exhibition.
- Celebration of the 10th birthday: yes, we threw a big party to celebrate our 10 beautiful years of existence. It couldn´t have been done in any other way, considering that in 10 years the CID family grew so big that it creates difficulties in finding a proper place for the party 🙂 But more importantly we wanted to have with us all the people who collaborate and help us in achieving our goals: donors, partners, local businesses and media, public institutions. Celebrating an achievement also means proving the capacity to continue in the same spirit, which is what we are mostly proud of.
- Strengthening the DYPALL Network: In the past months CID has been actively involved in developing a new network, called DYPALL: developing youth participation on local level. Since youth participation is one of our primary focuses as an organisation, it is crucial for us to share our experience and to team-up with other entities around Europe that work on the topic. In 2016 CID participated in several activities in the framework of the DYPALL network: the DYPALL conference in Portugal, the DYPALL study session in Strasbourg, the training course in the Netherlands, the steering group meeting which we hosted in Kumanovo, etc.
- To be or not to be formal? This was the topic of a KA2 project, developed in partnership with several organisations from Europe, Asia and Africa. CID is a pioneer on national level in fighting for the recognition of youth work, and this project gave us the opportunity to explore youth work in various communities around the world and contribute to promoting what has already been achieved on European level in the area of youth work. This year, in the second stage of the project, CID participated in the training course in Barcelona and hosted a youth exchange in Kumanovo and Ohrid.
- Look Beyond 3: Human Rights week: as you already know, Look Beyond became a brand of CID – every year we organize a Look Beyond event on a certain topic. Its 3rd edition was dedicated to the topic of human rights and had activities happening in Skopje, Kumanovo and Krusevo. Our commitment to keeping up alive the Idea of Look Beyond is vivid, because it reminds us to take a break, evaluate our work until now and plan our future actions by looking from different perspectives.
- Volunteering for Acceptance and Tolerance: in an ever-growing environment of hostility and ignorance related to the flow of refugees and migrants in Europe, we developed an EVS project that will explore and tackle people´s perception of the refugee crisis. In the framework of this projects, several Macedonian volunteers had the chance to volunteer their time in Italy and Greece and work in organisations whose activity includes the refugee camps; we also hosted two volunteers who worked in the Tabanovce camp in Northern Macedonia and shared their impressions and opinions with high-school students in schools in Kumanovo and with the public in general. Based on its successful start, we are looking forward to continuing the project in 2017. The volunteers are also keeping a blog of their experience.
- Hosting the UNITED conference in Macedonia: it was a great pleasure for us to host the conference here again, after 6 years. The conference, titles Living Together, focused on exploring various ways of conducting reconciliation in countries and communities hit by conflicts. CID is thankful to UNITED for partnering with us and entrusting us with this task. We are participating in the UNITED campaigns throughout the year: the International Day against Fascism and Antisemitism, the International Day against Racism, etc.
- It´s all about advocacy: this year CID extended its scope on regional level and became more active in the communities around Kumanovo. As part of the Youth Voice Macedonia, supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, CID organized advocacy groups of high-school students who organize activities to promote youth participation and to involve the local authorities and the youth in a co-decision process of decision-making.
- 5th School against Hate Speech: as one of the most active organisations in Macedonia in the National Campaign against Hate Speech Online, CID has brought the school against hate speech to its 5th edition. More people from around Macedonia had the chance to learn about what hate speech is and how they can combat it, and the pool of activists is growing every year.
- The CID crew joined the D-Fest, one of the biggest summer music festivals of Macedonia. With the support of Civica Mobilitas, CID had a stand during the 3 days of the festival where we advertised our activities, made soap bubbles and tried to engage the youth present at the festival in learning more about what a youth organisation is doing. Sleeping in a tent for 3 days, working during the day and partying at night really reflected the spirit of being part of a youth organisation – you try to get the most of everything you do! And yes, it can be work and fun at the same time.
This being said, we are ready to step into 2017 with confidence that what we do is received and welcomed by the community and that is all the motivation we need. Happy New Year everyone!