After a period of dedicated work and time, we can proudly say that our hard work has paid off, in other words – we came up to an end of the first module of educational and thematic workshops. These workshops have been implemented in different municipalities, as part of the project (Local) Youth Participation Matters, financed by the Embassy of Netherlands in North Macedonia. Young people coming from different municipalities, who were in the role of facilitators, were really dedicated and successfully managed to do their job great. This means that the facilitators lead the workshops and the whole process smoothly, as they were taught to do on the training we organized previously. With this module of 12 workshops they got the chance to use their skills and expand their experiences as a trainers and leaders of a group.
These workshops played an important role in many young people experiences with non-formal education on different topics. The topics that we covered in the first module of workshops were:
- Leadership, solving conflicts, building a team;
- Intercultural dialogue;
- Civic Engagement;
All of these topics are meaningful in their own way, especially nowadays when youngsters need more education on these topics. By choosing exactly this accrual subjects, we reached more people and
engaged more youngsters eager to learn more and get involved in their community. By choosing exactly this actual topics, we engaged more young people to join the workshops. The process of learning was interactive, interesting and fun. Through informal methods and creative exercises everyone got the chance to participate, learn something new and share their opinion. With the flexibility in the group and the cohesion that was created at the beginning, we managed to achieve our goal and provide the participants with the opportunity to learn in a relaxed and positive atmosphere about the topic that interests them and they consider it significant. By focusing on practical skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and interpersonal skills, which are essential for personal growth and success in various aspects of life, all the participants of this workshops had the chance to become better persons and expand their knowledge. What is of great importance is that all teams from all municipalities had the opportunity to do some activity or initiative of their own, as a final result, showing what they have learned from all the previous workshops. All wonderful and creative ideas were carried out and transformed from just an simple idea into practice, and various activities and campaigns were implemented. So, some groups had activities in open public space, some in youth centers, some online. All were valuable and significant, because it shows that young people want to be active in their society, take initiative and contribute to creating the change they want to see. Just as the name of this project says, local youth participation matters.
In summary, non-formal education and youth participation in educational workshops offer valuable opportunities for personal growth, skill development, social engagement, and empowerment of young people. This kind of workshops complement the formal education and ultimately prepare young people to thrive in an ever-changing world.