ALBANIA/MONTENEGRO/SERBIA – Within the third RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals, supported by the Federal Republic of Germany, the Secondary Vocational School “Spasoje Raspopović” from Montenegro in partnership with Gymnasium “Sadik Stavileci” and NGO New Vision from Albania and Gymnasium “Stevan Jakovljević” from Serbia implemented the project Region without Prejudices which took place from January 2020 to March 2021.
The project focused on emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation to counter prejudices and existing stereotypes in the Western Balkan societies.
Due to the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the project activities shifted in the online space, however, young people interacted and connected with one another in a successful way, hoping there will be more opportunities for their cooperation in the future.
“This project has opened my eyes, not only in terms of prejudices suffered by other people, but also prejudices that I personally have. Activities of this type are important to encourage young people to think about what they say and the attitudes they cultivate,” Ms Milica Lazović, one of the young participants in the project, emphasized.
The activities carried out within the project helped young people embrace diversity, break prejudices and stereotypes by making new friends, learning new knowledge and developing new intercultural skills.
“I am really glad I was part of the project because I was able to interact with people from other places and it was a new experience to me. That helped me a lot to understand and speak my opinions without any barrier,” Ms Ralfina Tusha, another young participant said.
Speaking of new friendships made during the project, another young project participant, Ms Katarina Lepojević, added that: “The participants I worked with left a very good impression on me with their decency and kindness, and I am very glad that I became friends with some of them.”
In conclusion, “Region without Prejudice” project encouraged youth to strengthen intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding as well as to develop and adopt attitudes and behaviors for favoring diversities and emphasizing similarities among them. This will make a positive impact for Western Balkan youth cooperation in the fields of regional reconciliation and peacebuilding.