PRISTINA – As part of the ROUTE WB6 project implemented by RYCO and seven partners from the Western Balkans, Lens organized a stakeholders’ meeting which took place in Pristina on Friday aiming at discussing the development of volunteering infrastructure in Kosovo. The meeting gathered more than 30 participants from all around Kosovo, representatives of NGOs, LYACs, institutions and international organizations/agencies. Apart from the local entities, the meeting also involved the regional partners as panellists.
Director of Good Governance Office of Kosovo Mr Habit Hajredini emphasized that the meeting gives space to all entities to be included, communicate and serves as a ground for successful regulation of volunteering. He also added that developing such regulations is a priority for the Government of Kosovo. Moreover, Mr Hajredini added that the regional perspectives and inclusion of best practices, but also preventing the mistakes done in the region, as well as learning from the challenges are important for such a process.
Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Kosovo Ms Krenare Gashi-Krasniqi underlined the regional perspective and what RYCO stands for in the process. She stressed that promoting volunteering remains a priority in the Western Balkans and that RYCO is working towards achieving a unified approach which would stimulate collaboration in the region.
On the other hand, the project’s regional partners Mr Zlatko Talevski of the Youth Cultural Centre, Ms Dušica Trnavac Bogdanović of the Young Researchers of Serbia, Ms Ana Mullanji of the Beyond Barriers and Ms Sanda Rakoćević of the Association for Democratic Prosperity – ZID, gave an overview of how volunteering is being regulated in their societies, being constructive and emphasizing what it should be kept in mind when structuring a volunteering regulation. They also emphasized the importance of the civil society in the process and volunteering programs, camps, and centres which set a bottom-up approach to the legislation regulation.
The meeting witnessed a presentation of a draft policy paper on volunteering that was developed based on the discussions of the working group composed of government and civil society representatives. The participants also discussed the policy paper to be further through a series of consultations with the above-mentioned stakeholders.
ROUTE WB6 is a three-year Regional Youth Cooperation Office’s (RYCO) project which will strengthen capacities of the National Volunteer Services in the Western Balkans, develop and test Regional Volunteer Service, scale-up and promote a regional volunteer program. The project also targets young people, public institutions responsible for creation, development, and implementation of the volunteering policy, civil society organizations, National Volunteer Centres as well as local communities of the Western Balkans in which short-term volunteer program will be implemented. The project is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
*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