With the establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) in the Western Balkans, the effort to support peacebuilding processes in the area have increased significantly. CID joined this effort by bringing together 32 participants from Western Balkan 6  (Macedonia, Kosovo[1], Montenegro and Serbia) to work together on developing local action plans that promote peace and reconciliation.

The Youth Academy “Peace Ambassadors” was the first activity of the 8-month project; it was held in Ohrid in the period from 19-23 September. The aim of the Academy was to prepare 32 participants for organizing and implementing an advocacy campaign with clear objectives and a plan for action. The idea was to have advocacy campaigns that will have an element of public display.

The outcomes from the Youth Academy are already visible, the participants from Kumanovo organized their first local activity ping-pong tournament “Multiкулти’s got champions’ with the aim to encourage young people of diverse backgrounds (different ethnicities, differently abled youngsters, male and female) to engage in intercultural dialogue through sports and recreation. By organising a tennis table tournament, the participating youngsters increased their teambuilding and healthy competition spirit, as well as respect for values such as fairness, equality, non-verbal communication, discipline, inclusion.

All the local activities from the 4 partner organisations will be incorporated in the Caravan 4 Peace, which is going to happen in the beginning of next year. The Caravan is going to take place in 4 cities where every group is going to present their advocacy campaigns to the public.

The activity is part of the project BalCAN Change, supported by the Regional Youth Cooperation Office. More information about the project can be found here.

[1] “This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence”