7 YEARS OF RYCONNECTING!
RYCO, the regional organization dedicated to youth development and cooperation, marks its 7th anniversary on the 4th of July.
So far, RYCO has made significant efforts in empowering more than 31,000 young people, by investing over 7 million euros in youth exchange programs, on regional and local levels. It has organized four Open Calls supporting nearly 240 civil society organizations and 115 schools.One of RYCO’s flagship projects, Superschools, has successfully connected over 150 schools, 1,000 students, and 300 teachers across the region. This initiative has not only facilitated educational opportunities but has also fostered lasting friendships among participants. Adna Oraščanin from the Centre for Blind and Visually Impaired Children and Youth in Sarajevo shared her experience, stating,
“This exchange means a lot to me. It helped me break the religious prejudices I had before participating. I believe that the friendships we have created will last for a long time.”
RYCO is devoted to the needs, concerns, and dreams of youth in WB6
In the WB6 region live more than 3,5 million young people aged 15 to 29 years, who make up over 20% of the total population.
RYCO Secretary General Albert Hani emphasizes that RYCO has been committed to enhancing understanding and unity by offering transformative programs that address their needs, concerns, and dreams.
“Today we celebrate togetherness in striving to build bridges of friendship, break down barriers, and empower the next generation to create a brighter European future for the Western Balkans. It is the continued belief in our mission that fuels our efforts, and our team is looking forward to many more years of collaborative action, as we create a brighter future”, says Mr. Hani.
RYCO Deputy Secretary General Denis Piplaš pointed out that young people are vital actors in the building of sustainable and peaceful societies.
“Recognizing and supporting youth is an essential step towards developing a cohesive and prosperous region. Peacebuilding creates an environment where young people can flourish, access quality education, gain employment, and participate actively in decision-making processes”, says Mr. Piplaš.
Improving the position of youth on a local level
RYCO local branch offices organize activities and implement projects on an everyday basis. Working together with youth organizations, governments, municipalities, and international organizations, they have managed to improve the position of youth on the local level. Bringing youth together in educational, cultural, civic, and social activities empowers them to share experiences, break down prejudices, explore other cultures, learn about each other, and reach personal fulfillment. Youth can bring about positive change and overcome remnants of the past, but it needs to be heard, valued, supported, and empowered. And RYCO will continue working on that, as encapsulated in its slogan: A better region starts with You(th).
BackgroundEstablished on July 4, 2016, as a result of the Berlin Process, RYCO stands as the only intergovernmental organization focused on peacebuilding, reconciliation, and cooperation in the Western Balkans through youth exchange programs. With its head office in Albania and local branch offices in Tirana, Sarajevo, Pristina, Podgorica, Skopje, and Belgrade, RYCO remains dedicated to creating a better region by investing in the power of youth.