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Y-PEER Macedonia joined the regional campaign “Youth Voice-The Future we want” and in the past weeks gave young people a true chance for their voice to be heard, and, of course, is continuing with its activities. The EECA Youth Voice Campaign shares on daily basis many facts and reasons on why this campaign is of great importance for the youth from the region and which is the rationale behind its great significance, but let us share the story how we did it on our lands, or the “Making of” of our local campaign.

As the alphabet starts from A and the story begins from one point, at the very beginning the team of Y-PEER Focal Points and NGO representatives gathered and brainstormed around the idea of conducting effective, youth branded and youth oriented campaign. The desire to engage young people was the leading premise in the team and it was agreed to be reflected as much as possible in the visual communication of the campaign. That’s how the Macedonians FP launched the campaign.

Trendy youth-empowering message was tailored and designed in Cyrillic, with illustrated visuals by recognized young Macedonian artists. The immediate enthusiastic reactions from friends, facebook fans and supporters were there. Our target group – the young people were asking questions on how they can join and what the end goal of the campaign is. This was a great feedback and engagement of our peers. The campaign launched itself with the first Facebook post of the poster. After that social media strategy was designed accordingly and “on the field” activities started.

“It was a real challenge to attract the attention of the students, at times when they are on the streets protesting for their educational system and recent announced changes. If we only shared raw facts, that we are 1.8 billion- biggest ever known number of young people in the history of humankind we would get only to the news portals, but with the branded recognizable 100% youth products we managed to motivate young people to take part in the campaign”

States Damjan Nikolovski, Y-PEER Macedonia Focal Point in Charge

In the first phase of the campaign, Y-PEER volunteers visited universities, youth events, youth organizations and urban locations along with the “Face in Hole Board” , white papers and colorful markers. Starting from day 1, young people shared more than 50 messages in only a day. “Resources and (not only) moral support for the youth” , “Educational systems that ensure quality”, “ Comprehensive sexual education in the schools” , “ If you are loud you can always be louder” and many other powerful messages were written on the board, we took photos and sent them to print for the final exhibition where even more people can see them.

The other promotional materials also reflected the youth spirit and the honest approach towards the end goal of the campaign – young people to be empowered to state their opinions as much as possible, so in the next phase their voice can be clear, relevant and loudly shared with the stakeholders in the society.

“The design of a campaign is to design an approach. Young people are bombed with lot of information nowadays, especially in their online presence. But, it’s crucial for the credibility of mass youth campaign like this one, to engage them, attract them and give them ownership of the big vision. (Young) Macedonians may sing good, dance better but they still need to learn how to articulate their voices and demands. This campaign “Youth Voice-the Future we want” is the great chance for us to learn and practice to share our voices more loudly. And it’s just a start of the long term engagement we made as a network.”

States Irina Janevska, Y-PEER Focal Point.

The national implementation of the campaign envisages two other phases and many paralel activities for engagement of young people.

The overall goal of the project is to mobilize the Macedonian youth and gather the voices of young people with different social backgrounds regarding the national development priorities with on-line and off-line activities. The objectives of the project are as to conduct on-line campaign to mobilize and inform the young people regarding the development issues and gather their messages and to conduct promotional events in order to raise the awareness regarding the importance of youth involvement. Stay tuned for the next updates from the Y-PEER team.