Twenty young leaders from Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia in the Regional Youth Leadership Mobility Program (RYLMP) conducted the first leg of their mobility in Tirana, Albania, in April 2023. The program’s focus on mentorship, research, and data-driven advocacy provided a supportive and collaborative environment that allowed the participants to thrive.
The fellows engaged in fruitful discussions with government officials, political advisors, and youth organizations; all centered around regional cooperation and youth participation to create mutual political, economic, and societal links in the region. They gained the necessary knowledge to conduct research, collect and analyze relevant data, and take evidence-based advocacy actions.
One of the highlights of the RYLMP was the “Fishbowl Discussion – Unfolding Youth Participation in Albania,” where engaging speakers shared their insights on promoting youth participation in society. The fellows also met with Dr. Odeta Barbullushi, the Advisor to the Prime Minister of Albania for Regional Cooperation, and Bora Muzhaqi, the Minister of State for Youth and Children in Albania, to discuss involving young people in decision-making and creating a more inclusive society.
The program’s emphasis on mentorship and collaboration allowed the participants to gain valuable insights into youth organizations’ and government officials’ approaches and strategies. They could also contribute their own ideas and experiences, building connections and friendships that will continue to foster cooperation and advocacy in the region.
Local mentors prepared a detailed report on the achievements, status, and suggestions for each specific team, which is now being continued in Belgrade and Skopje. The fellows’ feedback on the program was overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing gratitude for the opportunity to participate in such a rich and challenging experience that pushed them out of their comfort zones.
The Regional Youth Mobility Programme aims to strengthen regional youth cooperation and advocacy for youth-related issues. It is a data-driven program that seeks to identify and address the most pressing issues concerning young people in local communities. By collaborating with one another and sharing knowledge, the RYLMP fellows will continue developing innovative solutions to these issues in the coming months.
Center Science and Innovation for Development (SCiDEV), Albania; Centre for Education Policy (CEP), Serbia; and Youth Educational Forum (YEF), North Macedonia, are implementing the Regional Youth Leadership Mobility Programme (RYLMP) starting from October 2022 as a three-year programme. Support for the implementation of this programme is provided by the Open Society Foundations.