VRNJAČKA BANJA – Representatives of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia, RYCO Local Program Officer Ms Bojana Zimonjić and RYCO Program Assistant Mr Đorđo Cvijović attended the ninth regular Assembly of the National Youth Council of Serbia (Krovna organizacija mladih Srbije – KOMS), which took place in Vrnjačka Banja from 23 to 25 July, 2021.
Invitation to this year’s annual event of KOMS reaffirmed strategic partnership between two actors, formalized by Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier this year. KOMS is an association of 109 youth and youth organizations, and is the highest independent representative body of youth in Serbia. The Assembly, the highest governing body of KOMS, consists of delegated representatives of all member organizations. This year, the delegates were accompanied by the RYCO LBO in Serbia, UNICEF Serbia, and representatives of umbrella youth associations of Albania, North Macedonia, Republika Srpska and Brčko district.
One of the plenary sessions at the Assembly was partly dedicated to presentation of RYCO and its ongoing activities, with special focus on capacity-building opportunities for civil society organizations and possibilities for participation of young people in regional projects. RYCO’s support for the advancement of project writing skills for the successful design of projects and initiatives that can connect the Western Balkan youth was once more emphasized. Delegates were strongly encouraged to use the new practical tool “Beginner’s Manual for Project Proposal Writing 101” developed for this purpose. Training on project writing, another initiative to strengthen local CSO’s capacities supported by the OSCE Mission to Serbia, was announced to all CSO representatives for Autumn this year.
Moreover, opportunities for engagement in ongoing regional projects implemented by the RYCO – RISE, ROUTEWB6 and MIRAI – were presented, which sparked a lot of interest among present young people. Additionally, more than 80 present representatives were introduced with RYCO’s plans for a broad and inclusive process of strategic planning for the next three-year period, which will include extensive consultations with all relevant stakeholders.
The event in Vrnjačka Banja was also a chance to establish stronger links with umbrella youth associations from the region and gain valuable inputs on their current status, existing good practices, as well as challenges they are facing in their work. Provided intakes will be particularly useful for developing the agenda for the regional meeting of representatives of umbrella associations, youth representatives of RYCO’s Governing Board and Heads of the RYCO LBOs, to be organized by LBO Serbia in following months.
The meeting will be one in a series of events gathering representatives of the RYCO and umbrella associations from the Western Balkans, and will build upon the results achieved in August during the initial meeting supported by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). The main goal of this multi-event process is to establish closer links between umbrella associations and the existing regional mechanisms, explore areas for closer cooperation in the future, and build foundations for a more strategic approach to regional partnerships.
Photos: National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS)