Throughout October 2021 – February 2022, the project team of “Building Partnership for Youth, Peace, and Security” made stops in Tirana, Puka, Elbasan, Korça, and Kamëz for the implementation of five local workshops on peace. Five events of this kind were organized with young people, 16-29 years old, with the support of the peer trainer, Flutura Brakaj,
The activities aimed at familiarizing the participants with the concepts of Peace and Security, as well as youth involvement in peace processes, and presenting them with the 5 main pillars of UN Security Council Resolution 2250. In the meantime, the activities served as a space where the participants reflected in groups on the importance of the culture of peace, tolerance, intercultural dialogue, conflict transformation, etc., and to generate/ design concept-ideas for youth activities and initiatives, tackling the concept of peace based on their perspective.
Based on the participants’ feedback, the activities met their initial expectations. They stated that participation in the workshop helped them reflect on the importance of non-formal education and boosted confidence in their role in peacebuilding processes. They also wish to witness the creation of mechanisms that promote a culture of peace in Albania or the inclusion of marginalized groups.
Local Workshop No.1
The project team implemented the first workshop in Tirana, kickstarting the series of activities in the framework of the “Building Partnership for Youth, Peace, and Security” Project. The event was attended by 14 young people, mostly pupils and high school students.
Participants showcased dedication and motivation throughout the workshop. Through dynamic discussions, they brought to attention a series of topics for which they proposed concrete solutions in collaboration with local actors and stakeholders. They proposed the implementation of project ideas targeting youngsters from outside the capital and promoting the inclusion of marginalized groups in social activities and especially of young people without parental care living in residential centers etc.
Motivated by their previous engagement and experience of social activism these young boys and girls expressed interest to further engaging in identifying/creating solutions to issues affecting young people.
Local Workshop No.2
Encouraged by the success of the first workshop, the second workshop took place in the city of Puka, 6th-7th November 2021, with the support of the Youth Center – Puka. The event was attended by 20 young girls and boys from Puka, and nearby areas.
Coming from similar backgrounds (having grown up in the same city and sharing the same traditions/customs) and due to their previously established relationship, increased the group’s cohesion. They shared similar ideas /opinions on the topics that were discussed.
The participants proposed different initiatives focused on:
- Promotion of young people’s talents in Education, Sports, Literature etc.
- Awareness-raising of youth, as well as of the professionals who work with youth (teachers, representatives of institutions, youth workers) over the importance of Peace culture and their involvement in these processes;
- Organizing a peaceful march with over 200 people: young people, citizens, community actors, etc.
This workshop concluded with common ideas and opinions about activities fostering solidarity among the citizens.
Local Workshop no.3
The third workshop, in the framework of “Building Partnership for Youth, Peace, and Security” Project was held in the premises of “Woman Center for Development and Culture – Albania”, in Elbasan.
The activity was attended by 14 energetic young people eager to get involved in discussions about the problems they face in their community.
They discussed on the implementation of the following initiatives:
- “Peace is the Way” – an idea which consists on counseling and online assistance for young girls and boys facing emotional disorders;
- “Family Relationships” – a project idea focusing on on further consolidation of the parent-child relationship;
- Bloom ISHC (Informative Sexual Harassment Corner) – A virtual space, dedicated to informing youth and training them to raise awareness on sexual harassment and reporting of these sexual violence.
By the end of the workshop, young people shared ideas and thoughts on what can be done to increase the number of non-formal activities and boost the involvement of young people in activities related to peace and security.
Local Workshop No.4
Next, UN Association Albania traveled to Korça, from December 5th to December 6th.
8 youngsters participated in this activity. They all emphasized the lack of non-formal education activities in their city. The discussion focused on a series of topics and the implementation of several project ideas such as:
- Creating spaces for young people to speak about issues as their role in peacebuilding processes;
- Raising awareness of the phenomenon of violence within the family domain, school domain, and in society in general;
- Further acquaintance with forms of discrimination, hate speech, etc.
The discussion sequence concluded by focusing on the challenges and needs that emerge on a large scale in their community and that directly inhibit young people as is the lack of non-formal education activities.
Local Workshop No. 5
The last workshop held in Kamëz, 26th-27th February brought together members and activists of ‘Grupi ATA’.
The workshop was marked by the dynamism and active participation of the young people. Throughout the activity, they expressed their thoughts about key concepts such as peace and security and the way they are perceived in their community.
Eventually, two working groups were formed who worked on the following project ideas:
- The involvement of the Student Government of Kamza High Schools and other young people in a peaceful march with statements about peace, followed by clean-up activities in one of the nearby parks;
- Calling to attention/advocating for solutions to public transportation issues;
- Raising awareness of institutions about the challenges faced by students.
Conclusively, young people expressed the desire to carry out as many activities in their city as possible with a focus on peace and security and on the UN Security Council Resolution 2250.