Western Balkans Youth Engage in Environmental Protection

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA/NORTH MACEDONIA/SERBIA – Within the third RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals, supported by the Federal Republic of Germany, Projekte Vullnetare, Katolički školski centar “Petar Barbarić” – Gimnazija Travnik from Bosnia and Herzegovina in partnership with OSTU Nace Bugjoni  from North Macedonia and Ekonomsko-trgovinska škola from Serbia implemented the project #3forECO which took place from January 2020 to March 2021. 

The project #3forECO strengthened cross-border cooperation among youth and educational institutions in the field of ecology and environmental protection. It raised awareness on the importance of environmental sustainability and protection through youth engagement in cross-border activities.

During the project, young participants learned about common issues that they are facing in the field of environmental protection in the Western Balkan region and enabled them to enhance their knowledge and skills on the topic.

“I hope this project will help us understand our role in tackling issues related to the environment. Also, I hope decision-makers will hear our voice through this project and join us so we can all live in a clean and healthy environment,” project participant Ms Sara Milkovska underlined.

Youth felt empowered to take responsibility and action in their local and regional communities, and were motivated to learn more about the natural and cultural heritage in the region. Moreover, they were also enthusiastic about meeting new friends and creating new bonds with each other. 

“The best memory I carry from this project is meeting with friends from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina despite the fact that we only met online,” project participants Ms Marta Stefanovska added.

Throughout the activities, youth were encouraged to share and address ideas on the challenges posed to environmental protection in the region and lack of youth collaboration for shared environmental causes. Speaking of the need for further youth cooperation on such issues, another young project participant, Ms Tea Perić concluded:We share very similar problems so we have to work together.”

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