A new youth empowerment initiative ‘Jeunes des 2 Rives (J2R)’ has started in Albania

RYCO Kicks-Off the “Jeunes des 2 Rives (J2R)” program focused on knowledge exchange and international solidarity education

The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) has onboarded a new project, ‘Jeunes des 2 Rives (J2R),’ aiming to provide opportunities for young people in Albania to exchange knowledge on civil commitment and learn from the experience of their peers from the Mediterranean basin, namely France, Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon.

Youth’s understanding of solidarity and living together, the development of critical thinking, and cross-border citizenship are a focus of the J2R project, whose implementation in Albania officially started yesterday, 1st of February 2024, at the kick-off event organized at the Europe house in Tirana. The event in the form of a panel discussion brought together representatives of RYCO, the French Development Agency, and the Embassy of France in Albania, and a delegation from the association Solidarité Laïque along with representatives of youth organizations that are part of the project. 

In his opening remarks, RYCO Secretary General Albert Hani stated that this new opportunity, along with other projects that RYCO has been conducting in the past seven years, such as Superschools, Western Balkans Youth Cultural Fund and RYCOnnecting Open Call, will additionally contribute to youth empowerment on a local level, and Western Balkan region in general. 

“Intercultural and solidarity-based youth exchanges that will bring to Albania youth from France, Morocco and Tunisia, and opportunities for Albanian youth to attend trainings and education sessions abroad, are an excellent chance to strengthen cooperation and contribute to capacity building of youth workers and educators on a local and regional level”, emphasized SG Hani. 

In this project, as a lead organization for Albania, RYCO will coordinate the network of civil society organizations through the implementation of active citizenship and solidarity-based youth exchanges in 2024. In addition, thematic workshops and trainings, transnational activities, and coordination meetings in Albania and abroad will take place. So far, the J2R Program has built a strong network of 80 organizations and associations from France, Morocco, and Tunisia, and with the recent joining of Albania and Lebanon, the network  will already expand with 5 civil society organizations such as Initiative for Social Change ARSIS in Tirane, HANA – Hand to Hand Against Nation Apathy (Youth Centre) in Lezhe, Center ‘Epoka e Re’ in Fier, The Youth of Ura Vajgurore in Dimal, and Puka Youth Movement in Pukë, are actively involved in this program. 

“Jeunes des 2 Rives” program is a great opportunity for the young people in Albania, to get acquainted with peers from France, Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon but not only that, the added value of this program is that it offers the space for young people to work together on their common challenges as well as combine their creative minds for their shared interests through active educational approach. RYCO and Solidarité Laïque are also exploring ways for regional cooperation with the rest of the WB6 societies, in order to achieve a full representation of the youth in the WB6 – shared in the concluding remarks project manager Ms. Evi Myftari. 

Wrapping up the kick-off event, all participating organizations delved into capacity-building training centered on Solidarity and Active Citizenship. The training aimed to enhance their skills for successful project implementation.


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