TIRANA – RYCO in cooperation with the Germany Embassy in Tirana organized a signing ceremony for twenty awarded projects through Third RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals in Tirana on Wednesday. The ceremony is a celebration of the agreement between the German Government and RYCO aiming to support the school-to-school youth cooperation and exchange in the total amount of 350.000 euros.
The opening remarks were delivered by RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša and Ambassador of Germany to Albania H.E. Mr Peter Zingraf.
Mr Blanuša expressed sincere gratitude to the German Government for partnering with RYCO in order to support twenty youth and school exchange programs. He also underlined the importance of high schools’ for young people and societies on the local and regional level.
“High schools and teachers are among the key players when it comes to shaping young people’s attitudes. I am convinced that by implementing these twenty projects, they will manage to influence our youth in a better way, offering them an alternative to what we are living in the region today. We want to see the region changing, and we believe that the change is coming with people who believe that cooperation and not hatred is the way,” RYCO Secretary General Mr Blanuša said.
Mr Zingraf highlighted that the German government is proud to be a friend of RYCO and youth of the Western Balkans, adding that support to RYCO’s long-term success will be crucial to reconciliation processes in the Western Balkans.
“Young people must know the past of their country in order to build the path towards a smarter future of their region. Bringing the people of the region closer to each other is in everyone’s interest and will help to build stable bridges between societies,” Mr Zingraf pointed out.
Guests were also addressed with the joint presentation “RYCO Shaping New Narratives” held by Youth Representative of Albania in the RYCO Governing Board Ms Dafina Peci and RYCO Communication and Visibility Officer Mr Nikola Ristić. They highlighted that RYCO is not about the structures but rather about the mission that is implementing in the region.
The panel discussion “How Is RYCO Supporting High Schools Across the Region” brought together RYCO Program Manager Ms Bojana Bulatović, Ms Vojsava Kumbulla of High School Isa Boletini from Vorë, Ms Oltiana Rama of International Volunteering Projects, Ms Kozeta Rrokmani of the Directorate of Development Programs Education, Sport and Youth of Albania and Ms Milica Živković of High School Sergije Stanić from Podgorica.
Following the signing ceremony, the event concluded with an open discussion “How Can High Schools Contribute to Regional Cooperation?” moderated by Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina Ms Berina Bukva.