The project ”Youth Voice Macedonia” came to an end this month. After 12 months of trainings, meetings and events in the youth center and in schools and advocacy campaigns in Kumanovo, Lipkovo and Staro Nagoricane, the participants, beneficiaries and stakeholders met in Kumanovo on the 7th of February to look back at the work done and to see together what is the space for continuing the collaboration.
The event started with the presentation of the objectives of the project and an assessment of how and to what extent the objectives were met. The objectives were as follows:
- to promote youth civil engagement and dialogue in a multiethnic community
- to develop ability of youth leaders to devise and implement effective advocacy campaigns that unite their diverse peers;
- to monitor the response by the local communities and institutions to address the issues raised or to include youth input in decisions-making processes.
The presentations that the students had on the advocacy initiatives they developed showed that the objectives were met: interethnic dialogue was done through events and meetings where participants from various backgrounds gathered and worked together; the youth leaders that worked on the advocacy initiatives developed their capacity to plan, structure and implement an advocacy campaign and they are capable now to work and train other peers to start and develop an advocacy campaign; finally, through the engagement of community stakeholders such as schools administrations, local municipality, teachers, etc. raised the awareness of the importance of giving space to young people to take action on matters that affect them.
Teodora Mladenovska, one of the youth leaders who worked on the initiative campaign, is satisfied with the overall development of the project:
This project was a big contribution for each of us. I have learnt what it means to be a youth worker, to start an initiative, to motivate youth to be active and to work with stakeholders. As a student in the high-school ,,Goce Delcev” I represented the group from my school. Our aim was to come up with a better and more efficient way to inform youth about activities where they can participate such as: training courses, youth exchanges, seminars, scholarships, volunteering, etc. Also we want to rise awareness about youth work and to motivate young people to start their own initiatives, but also to encourage them to express their opinion. Even if the project finished, we will continue with our activities, because we know that the biggest changes start with small steps.