RYCO and Partners Step Closer to Regional Volunteering Program

WESTERN BALKANS – RYCO and its partners organized the third Co-design Workshop of the ROUTE WB6 project on 22 – 24 of July, aiming to support youth to fully engage in a collaborative design of a regional volunteering exchange program. More than twenty participants, including national project coordinators, former EVS volunteers, representatives of RYCO Local Branch Offices, and young people from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, joined active discussions on creating a new user journey.

The participants were greeted by RYCO Program Manager Mr Besnik Vasolli who highlighted that ROUTE WB6 is an important project of RYCO which will create the first-ever regional volunteering program.

“We are witnessing challenging times where volunteering is important more than ever. It needs to be promoted on the local and regional levels. Today, we are drawing the contours of a program and preparing ourselves to address challenges posed to us,” Mr Vasolli underlined.

The workshop continued with presentations from two experts engaged in the project, Ms Ajša Hadžibegović and Ms Mirela Rajković. The experts presented innovative tools needed to create a user journey for volunteering in a two-steps design thinking methodology. The first being promotion, mobilization, recruitment, selection, and the second preparation, volunteering activity, evaluation.  

One of the project goals is to establish a regional volunteering web platform to become a vital tool in reducing the social and ethnic distance among young people in the Western Balkans, as well as in strengthening European values that will lead to reconciliation, stability, and prosperity in the region. 

The two previous co-design workshops have been organized in Belgrade and Bitola.

The ROUTE WB6 project is being implemented by RYCO and six partners from the Western Balkans with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It aims to promote volunteering as a mean to achieving peace and reconciliation, improving volunteering infrastructure in the region, and developing a regional volunteering program. Also, it aims to mobilize youth and use volunteering as a tool for improving inter-ethnic collaboration, while fostering values that lead to reconciliation, stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans. Read more about the project here.


*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with Security Council Resolution 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

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