ALBANIA/KOSOVO*/NORTH MACEDONIA – Within the third RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals, supported by the Federal Republic of Germany, Let’s Do It Peja from Kosovo in partnership with Youth On Board frome North Macedonia and Shoqata ALPIN from Albania implemented the project Eco Friendship which took place from January 2020 to March 2021.
The Eco Friendship project tackled the lack of youth capacities and skills in environmental civic engagement through a cross cultural experience and cooperation. It helped to not only build the capacity of the youth on topics of environmental protection and awareness but also foster new social bridges and friendships among them.
“It has been an amazing experience to work together with our partners, RYCO and youth. We discussed SDGs, circular economy and the environment that surrounds us. We have had a great time during our activities and the fact that we have managed to positively change somebody’s point of view regarding the environment, gives us a bigger motivation to continue further and work even harder to improve the environment,” project staff representatives stated in their remarks.
By bringing youth together to learn about environmental challenges in the Western Balkans region, the project participants were able to identify common problems and solutions. They worked on workshops and groups to come up with ideas and suggestions for improving the environmental situation in their communities. similarities they are all facing and the reality of these situations. While working together, they led collaborative, innovative, and creative solutions to solve environmental challenges in the region.
“Me and my friends are very proud that we have successfully finished this training. We liked being part of it and we hope to have similar experiences in the future,” young project participant Mr Albion Olluri underlined.
“For the first time in my life I had a chance to meet and be friends with youth from North Macedonia and Albania. I enjoyed working together and sharing ideas with them during the training,” young project participant Ms Era Kartalli added.
The Eco Friendship project facilitated intercultural understanding and cooperation by using environmental issues as a guiding and facilitating tool that connected youth from Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia. By making new friends and jointly working together, youth created new networks and a strong community of future leaders that will ensure cross-border cooperation on environmental awareness and protection in the region.
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*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.