In Albania, the activities of Youth Voice campaign are being carried out by a network of 11 formal youth organizations, and 2 youth groups/clubs, specialized and working in different areas, especially with vulnerable young people, supported by UNFPA Albania and coordinated by the Observatory for the Children’s Rights. The organizations are networking with each–other and implementing various activities at National level, in different regions throughout Albania for the period July – November 2015.
The planned activities for this year’s campaign are focused on reaching out to decision makers and presenting the youth vision and advocacy messages to the national stakeholders and decision-makers and to further advocate for their inclusion into national action plans and budgets.
The second phase of the implementation of the EECA Regional Youth Voice campaign initiative was successfully launched on the 11th of July 2015, on the occasion of the World Population Day. During all this period (July – September 2015) the activities of the “Youth Voice” campaign, carried out by the Albanian youth voice network, have been focused in different areas and ways of organizations, such as: summer schools, meetings with the youth in different cities of Albania, written articles in the newspapers and media about the activities of Youth Voice campaign, trainings of youngsters on different topics, etc. The aim of these activities is to encourage all the organizations, individuals, youth clubs and other members, part of the Albanian civil society to give voice, inspiration and encouragement to the needs and priorities of young people. The section below describes main activities carried out in the framework of the second phase of “Youth Voice” campaign in Albania.
- Make it Possible Summer School
This summer school was developed in 4 phases during July – August 2015 in Tirana, Durres and Korca and involved groups of youth in different topics of discussion related to MDGs’ and SDGs’ affecting youth. The main priorities identified by the group were:
- Necessity to involve youth in decision – making processes;
- Educating youth about how we can contribute in the Sustainable Development Goals;
Setting an example / role model for all Albanian youth.
- Pollution Tour
On 1st of August, the “Pollution Tour was organized in Tirana, an activity which involved a large number of participants, led by a core group of 30 youngsters who did a tour with bicycles in the most polluted areas of Tirana, and in some places they helped clean up those areas.
- Minority Rights Academy
The Minority Rights Academy was a summer school held in Voskopoja from 8th to 14th of July, with the participation of 60 young students, activists from all minorities in Albania and marginalized groups, including youngsters coming from Greek, Macedonian, Serbian, Montenegro, and Bosnia origin, as well as Roma and Egyptians, other communities like LGBTs, people with special needs, etc. 15 lecturers from Albania and abroad, specialists and experts in human rights contributed in the realization of this summer school by sharing experiences and knowledge to build cooperation of minority groups and give them the opportunity to create the minority solidarity to the benefit of their cause.
- Meeting with youngsters from different cities of Albania, distribution of informative letters and Town Hall meetings with the city mayors
In the framework of Youth Voice campaign, many of the organizations part of the network, conducted meetings with young people in different cities of Albania, in order to give them the opportunity to articulate and lobby for their rights and needs. The group of youngsters gave their ideas about future projections for investments in the municipalities of Albania. At the end of the meetings, youngsters shared their messages, needs, problems and desires by making “selfies” and using the symbol of megaphone as a way of sharing the message. Some of the needs and requirements coming from the youth were:
- The municipality should play an active role against discrimination of women and girls because of the difficult economic situation, and not focus only on economic aid offered as monetary value;
- Opening of vocational schools for continued education and professional skills, which can influence the increase in youth employment;
- Transparency in the process of recruiting new employees in the cities should be made public;
- Increasing of investment in tourism and opening of new social services for youth employment opportunities;
- The municipality should strongly lobby to find sales markets for craft products made by women and girls to promote local products;
- Increasing of municipal support to youth awareness initiatives (by providing funding and logistic opportunities);
- Creation and restructuring of various laboratories in different schools;
- Enrichment of libraries with contemporary literature;
- Awareness campaign to prevent violence at school.
- With the new territorial reform and the decentralization of authority to municipalities, more must be done for better access to and more qualitative health services, including sexual and reproductive health, for young people and the most vulnerable.
- More protection and access for key populations to health and social services.
All the identified needs and concerns of the youth were formulated in the form of informative letters which served as an invitation for decision makers to participate in the discussion with young people and keep their promises given during the elections campaign. After each meeting with the youngsters of the cities, the organizations conducted Town Hall meetings with decision makers. These meetings were used as an opportunity for the youth to lobby for their interests and needs to the mayors.
- Balkan Film Food Festival held in Pogradec
The Balkan Film Food Festival happens every year in Pogradec with the participation of creators from all the countries in Balkans. During one week over 200 films of all genres are screened. This year the Balkan Film Food Festival realized a new initiative which was the production of Balkan Mish-Mash Production. Young artists produced 6 short films on current social issues faced by young people in Albania and broader in the Balkans.
- Training of youth in different cities
Different activities of training of youth and young leaders on advocacy and participatory government, as well as sessions with young people from SOS village to increase their capacity on self-esteem and confidence were held in various districts of Albania: Shkodër, Gramsh, Korçë, Lezhë etc.
Follow the links for more information:
Selfies and messages shared by youngsters: (you can also find other selfies and messages in the web link: http://shendeti.com.al/category/te-rinjte/selfie/ )