PRISTINA/PODGORICA/BELGRADE – The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) concluded the organization of a series of national annual events across the region aiming to present its achievements in 2020 and plans for the upcoming year. The events were organized within a regional campaign A Better Region Starts with YOUth supported by the Federal Republic of Germany.
The first three local events took place Tirana, Sarajevo and Skopje in the previous days. The fourth local annual event that gathered over 50 participants was organized in Podgorica on Tuesday, 29 December and it was followed by the event in Belgrade, Serbia that gathered over 70 participants. The event series was concluded on Wednesday, 30 December with the annual event in Pristina, Kosovo that gathered almost 50 participants.
“With these six local annual events, RYCO wished to foster relationships with stakeholders from the Western Balkans with the aim of making a true change in the region. We brought almost 400 of them – government institutions, youth organizations, schools, youth workers, international organizations and media editors. As our slogan and the campaign’s title say, we deeply believe that a better region starts with YOUth. Join us in this mission and make the Western Balkans a better region that invests in youth and their regional mobility and cooperation,” RYCO Director of Programs Mr Jan Zlatan Kulenović outlined.
One and a half hour events were gathering RYCO partners and supporters – governments, international organizations, civil society, schools, media representatives but most importantly, young people. During the discussions with them, RYCO was focusing on exploring the fields for improving already good cooperation with the stakeholders on the local level.
Through six panel discussions, the events answered the question why a better starts with youth and how RYCO is delivering its programs on the local level, putting a focus on more than 100 projects supported with more than 2,500,000 euros.
The second panel discussions were presenting personal experiences from the youth exchanges from perspectives of youth, civil society and youth workers. Finally, the final panel is outlining the plans and activities of RYCO for 2021.
The plans include the implementation of twelve projects supported within the fourth RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals, first volunteer exchanges and launching of the volunteer platform ROUTE WB6, supporting young social entrepreneurs within the RISE project, launching a new three-year RYCO school to school exchange program, launching a digital youth platform and numerous activities on the local levels implemented by the six RYCO Local Branch Offices.
The local annual events were followed with the media briefings for the media representatives where RYCO presented possible ways of cooperation between RYCO and media, informed media representatives on its mission, vision and programs but also introduced media representatives to RYCO’s communication and local branch offices’ staff.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.