As Summer has kicked-in and the students have said good-bye to the school desks, the first Module of our project Creative Youth Empowerment was concluded. The 6 workshops were implemented in parallel in 3 muicipalities: Kumanovo, Staro Nagorichane and Lipkovo, targeting young people from diverse backgrounds (religious, ethnic, economic, etc.). The workshops focused on the personal development of participants that enable the direct active involvement of young people in their communities.

What was the highlight of these workshops? The participants, although more or less comfortable with each other due to previous interaction, have learned that there are numerous ways of self-expression and of self-reflection. Through simulations and small and big-group discussions, they have explored ways in which a person acts as a problem-maker, as a problem-solver; they have explored how someone reaches a certain decision by looking back at their own experiences, and have played short sketches that helped them detach themselves from their own perspectives. All these activities have led to a greater self-awareness with a focus on what skills are needed to be a leader in community and to take initiative in daily life activities.

So what next? A series of online meetings will follow, which will support the participants to research the needs of youth in their local communities and to make a comparison and analysis of their findings. The meetings will take place on the Moodle platform throughout July, August and September. This step will prepare the participants for the great task of working on advocacy campaigns in Autumn.

The aim of the project Creative Youth Empowerment is to foster youth participation in decision-making processes by building the capacities of young people to advocate for their needs. Through activities that use theatrical techniques and the CID Academy program, the project will support the youth to experience and pass through a process of personal, emotional and cognitive awareness of their potential, in order to better understand the importance and relevance of active youth participation in the community. 
Creative Youth Empowerment is a project that began on April 1 of this year and will last until January 31, 2019, being  supported by USAID through the Civic Engagement Project.