PLJEVLJA – RYCO Local Branch Office in Montenegro, supported by the French Embassy in Montenegro, organized the second Intercultural Youth Hub, which took place in Pljevlja from 6 to 8 November. The event brought together twelve young people from Montenegro, belonging to different ethnic, national and religious groups, to work on their intercultural skills and competences.
The official opening of the event was attended by the Head of RYCO Local Branch Office in Montenegro Mr Edin Koljenović and Charge d`Affaires at the French Embassy in Montenegro Mr Laurent Goncalves.
During the opening remarks, Mr Koljenović highlighted that youth cooperation in times of COVID-19 is facing major challenges. One the other hand, he stated that cooperation between RYCO and the French Embassy continues and this activity was one of its products, presenting a strong instrument for establishing social connections, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion. Moreover, it allows young people from Montenegro to meet and cooperate despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Addressing the participants, Mr Koljenović presented the work of RYCO, focusing on the partnership that the RYCO Local Branch Office in Montenegro has developed with the French Embassy in Montenegro since its establishment.
“The Intercultural Youth Hub is one of the activities through which together with our friends from the French Embassy we strive to provide youth with opportunities. These activities aim to create bonds between young people, despite the circumstances of COVID-19 that made them a particularly vulnerable group left out with not so many opportunities,” Mr Koljenovic underlined.
Through the three-day program consisting of interactive workshops and debates, participants had the opportunity to get to know one another, build trust and thus reduce the level of ethnic distance among young people living in Montenegro, also in relation to recent events happening in Pljevlja. This ethnic distance produced by ethnic narratives and stereotypes is high among those who did not have the opportunity to meet and spend time with their peers who belong to different groups.
The Intercultural Youth Hub provided young people with an opportunity to engage and build their capacities in areas of youth participation and activism, as well as to raise their awareness on opportunities for participation in regional mobility programs.
The participants of the event were representing the Secondary Vocational School Berane, Secondary Vocational and Higher Education School “Sergije Stanić” Podgorica, Secondary School of Economics and Catering Niksic, Grammar school “Stojan Cerović” Nikšić, and Grammar school “Tanasije Pejtović”, Pljevlja.