SERBIA – RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia in partnership with the OSCE Mission to Serbia organized the online discussion Youth exchanges – Beyond Travelling and Fun, which took place on 29 September. Over fifty participants took part in the online event, focusing on the importance and impact of youth exchanges in the region.
The discussion was attended by RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša, Co-founder, Researcher and Project Associate at the Center for Public History Ms Jasmina Lazović, Trainer on Youth Exchange Programs Mr Vladan Đukanović, and Participant of the program Humans of Albania and Serbia Ms Ivana Markulić, moderated by Mr Luka Božović.
The opening remarks were delivered by Secretary General of RYCO Mr Đuro Blanuša, who emphasized the significance of youth exchanges as a mechanism that strengthens reconciliation processes in the Western Balkans.
“We can proudly say that RYCO supported programs and initiatives really bring positive results. The experience that young people go through during the exchanges is irreplaceable and has multiplying effects once they return home with new ideas and perspectives,” Mr Blanuša underlined.
Speaking about personal experiences, Ms Lazović and Ms Markulić shared their lessons learned during youth exchange programs highlighting that beyond travelling and exploring new places, such programs are an opportunity to learn new things and connect with people across borders.
“One of the ways to overcome differences is to connect people with different identities, no matter the subject of the exchange or training. It is imperative to create a safe space for all youth to connect together, by sharing ideas and experiences in an open region,” Mr Đukanović added.
The event was concluded with a discussion on RYCO’s vision and role in the future. Mr Blanuša took this opportunity to affirm that RYCO will maintain its excellence in delivering youth exchanges and programs and will aim to strengthen youth cooperation in the region.