SERBIA – The project “Youth of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia as Promoters of Peace and Reconciliation” implemented by the Association of Citizens “World of Words” from Velika Plana, Serbia in partnership with the Association for Dialogue in Family and Society “Small Steps” from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and NGO “Women’s Action” from Radoviš, North Macedonia supported by RYCO and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund through the second RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals held its main activity in Velika Plana, Serbia. The youth exchange gathered twenty-four young people and took place between 05 and 12 February 2020.
The project aims at a better understanding of human rights between young people while introducing regional youth exchange and cooperation as a prerequisite for building trust among young people from different ethnic groups through workshops, debates, role-plays and a performance.
The representative of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia Ms Ivana Antonijević expressed that RYCO is proud to support youth exchanges in the region and to be a true partner for all young people in the Western Balkans.
“RYCO’s mission is to provide opportunities for all young people to get to know each other, collaborate, learn together, and understand in trough intercultural dialogue that young people are the best ambassadors of peace,” she underlined.
The participants enjoyed an eight-day workshop program where they had a chance to get to know more about other cultures and to learn more about the importance of tolerance, equality and respect for diversity. In the workshop facilitated by Mr Demir Mekić through applied theater workshops, the participants learned more about interculturalism, repression, discrimination, stereotypes, prejudices, conflict and violence. At the end of the program, participants prepared the final performance “Perspective”, which they performed at the City Hall of Velika Plana.
During the final ceremony, Mr Dino Usanović, high school student from Sarajevo, handed a balloon with a message of peace to the mayor, while his friend Mr Imran Đurić praised the hosts for their hospitality and kindness on behalf of all the exchange participants, saying that he felt comfortable among his peers as if he were among his close friends. Ms Anđela Živoinović from Veliko Gradište added that the locals received them with smile and sympathy everywhere.
In the upcoming period, the project team plans to organize local activities providing young people with information on youth programs contributing to the process of reconciliation in the Western Balkans.