BELGRADE – Representatives of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Belgrade, RYCO LBO Program Officer Ms Bojana Zimonjić and LBO Program Assistant Mr Đorđo Cvijović met with young people in Serbia to discuss RYCO’s work and opportunities for involvement of youth in regional projects within a study visit organized separately by the Civic Initiatives on July 28 and the Association of Students with Disabilities on July 29.
The visit from the Civic Initiatives was a chance for youth from Vranje, Lebane, Bujanovac and Preševo to get closer insight into our work. It was part of a series of educational activities for selected young people from Southern Serbia, with the aim to build their capacities and provide them an opportunity to gain new experiences lacking in their local communities.
Participants and RYCO colleagues discussed the background and history of the RYCO’s establishment, our vision and main goals, as well as the published open calls for participation in ongoing regional projects. High school students within the group were encouraged to think about innovative topics and ideas for high school exchanges which could be supported within the new high school exchange scheme the RYCO is developing, as well as to share the information with their teachers and local peers.
On the other hand, the Association of Students with Disabilities invited the RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia to discuss youth policy and activism, as well as regional cooperation and opportunities for young people to participate in RYCO supported initiatives, at the School of Political Activism. During the session held on July 29, 2021 at the PLAVO theatre, participants of the school gained some new insights into all mentioned topics and the RYCO’s participatory approach and efforts for inclusion of all young people from the region were especially emphasized. The RYCO’s commitment to involve and empower especially youth from the most excluded groups, including young people with disabilities, was also an important message shared with present students.
Comments and suggestions raised by youth during the session will therefore be of great value in order to achieve this goal. Young people present at the session expressed their gratitude for openness and accessibility of the RYCO and its work, and stated that they feel much more motivated to engage in regional exchanges and other regional initiatives in the future.