SKOPJE – Within the framework of the 4th RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals supported by the European Union, the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) signed a contract with the Association for Educational Development Ekvalis on Friday, 26 February. The signing ceremony took place at the premises of the Agency for Sport and Youth of North Macedonia, in Skopje, and was attended by representatives of RYCO, the Agency and the awarded RYCO beneficiary. The contracting of a second beneficiary, the Youth Entrepreneurial Service (YES) Foundation happened online due to health-related issues.
The two projects will be awarded in North Macedonia, focusing on the topics of media literacy and youth entrepreneurship. The project implemented by Ekvalis will promote media literacy among youth in the region by focusing on critical thinking and leading positive regional narratives, whereas YES Foundation will connect youth by enhancing their leadership and entrepreneurial skills, helping them explore new opportunities and ideas that can be innovative in tackling the COVID-19 crisis.
“To address and discuss prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination in the media, our project will connect youth and support them in creating and sharing their stories through podcasts and a media campaign” President of Ekvalis Ms Sanja Mihajlovska highlighted.
The welcoming remarks were delivered by Director of Agency for Sport and Youth Mr Naumče Mojsovski, Advisor for Labor and Social Policy to the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Mr Milan Zivkovic, Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in North Macedonia Mr Albert Hani, and Youth Representative in the RYCO Governing Board Mr Vladimir Gjorgjevski.
“These initiatives contribute to youth cooperation in the region and that is why for the Agency for Sport and Youth it is always a pleasure to cooperate with RYCO and its Local Branch Office in North Macedonia,” Mr Mojsovski emphasized.
“The RYCO supported grants are connecting youth and youth organizations, and are contributing to positive developments in the region,” Mr Gjorgjevski added.
Speaking of youth’s role and engagement in these processes, Mr Zivkovic focused on the importance of democratic processes and youth inclusion.
“The government of North Macedonia supports RYCO, its functioning, and all of its processes because it is very active and has achieved many results in North Macedonia,” Mr Zivkovic underlined.
The projects supported within the 4th RYCO Open Call, which is financially supported by the European Union, are being implemented from February to October 2021, fostering reconciliation and regional youth cooperation, as well as strengthening the capacities of the civil society to adapt to the COVID-19 environment. Throughout the implementation of this call, innovative projects will provide youth in the region with new spaces for dialogue and engagement.
RYCO believes that it is of crucial importance to maintain youth cooperation and reconciliation momentum even in times of crisis. During the application phase, 129 applications were received which brought about 400 partnerships from the region. The overall financial envelope for the Call was 333,000 Euro.