The Regional Youth Mobility Leadership Programme for the youth from Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia has started

The Regional Youth Mobility Leadership Programme for the youth from Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia has started

The Regional Youth Mobility Leadership Programme for the youth from Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia has started

Last weekend, a two-day event was held in Public Room in Skopje, which marked the beginning of the Regional Youth Mobility Leadership Programme (RYLMP) from Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia. The program aims to encourage young people from the three countries to influence policy-making. The event was organized by the Youth Education Forum (YEF).

Teodora Stolevska, the Executive Director of the Youth Educational Forum, and Adrijana Lavchiska, Program Manager of the Open Society Foundations – Western Balkans, opened the event with welcoming speeches.

“The inspiration for this program comes from the need to create sustainable cultural ties between the youth of North Macedonia, Albania and Serbia. We as young people face the same challenges in our countries. All countries face the problem of brain drain and it is the key causes: the lack of employment opportunities, low quality of education, pollution and the lack of youth involvment in the decision-making processes. One of the key reasons for creating this program is to encourage young people to solve these issues and more importantly – solve them together.” said Teodora Stolevska.

The participants of the Regional Youth Leadership Mobility Program (RYLMP) for 2023/24 are young people aged 21 to 30 who are students, members of the academic community or civil society organizations, young professionals and youth activists from the region. By participating in the program they will develop their skills in the field of research, advocacy, leadership, activism, intercultural exchange and strengthening of regional cooperation between Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia.

When asked why they joined the program and what their expectations from it are, we received the following answers:

“I joined the Regional Youth Leadership Mobility Programme because there are problems that are shared, and I believe that only together can they be solved and beyond the borders. I expect to learn, share, and connect with other amazing young people who are enthusiastic about finding solutions to the problems we face, without hate and judgment,” shared Elena Saveska, a participant from North Macedonia.

“I decided to join the Regional Youth Leadership Mobility Programme because I am looking forward to expanding my activism and advocacy efforts at a regional level. My expectations are to collaborate with bright youngsters from the region and come up with innovative solutions to our common challenges,” said Jesmina Sengla from Albania.

“I decided to join this program because I think it is really important to have good relations with the people of the Western Balkans and to make constructive plans for our countries as well as to have a positive influence in the fields that face problems. Together with my team we will work on youth participation and since we have similar problems on the subject in the three countries, it will be easier and more progressive to solve the problems towards the end of the program. I expect that there will be concrete progress and that through the program young people will actively participate in decision-making processes,” answered Mila Paic from Serbia.

Participants, divided into teams, will next work on their proposals for data-driven advocacy actions, which will focus on one of the priority thematic areas:

  • Regional cooperation and European integration,
  • Education and employability,
  • Migration and brain drain,
  • Youth participation, and
  • Youth action for the dual transition: digital and green.

The participants will spend a two-week mobility period in each of the countries, where they will visit the relevant institutions and organizations and work on the selected topics together with their teams and mentors.

The program is implemented by the Youth Educational Forum together with Center Science and Innovation for Development (SCiDEV), Albania and Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR), Serbia, with the support of the Open Society Foundation.