Civic Participation: For the Youth, By the Youth

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 in Articles, Youth ActivismRespond to this post »

While walking in the roads of Tirana, I see cafés full of people ranging from youngsters to old retirees. The question that always stirs my mind is: What are young teenagers doing in the cafés on their phones all day, instead of using their immense energy to do something more productive? As a developing country and emerging market economy, Albania is in a democratisation process, aspiring to enter the European Union. In order to succeed, many changes need to happen. Who better than the youth of this country has the power and the energy to become change makers?

Bearing this in mind and trying to answer the questions above, the options that came to my mind were... Read More »

Youth Bring Solidarity and Hope Back to Flooded Skopje

Posted on August 16th, 2016 in Articles, Youth ActivismRespond to this post »

Photo credits: Filip Jotevski

Written by: Ana Alibegova Proofread: Diego Heatherman Edited by: Ivana Petriskova

The young Ognen Janeski wishes the day had more than 24 hours. “It is hard in one day to combine your work-related tasks and to go to help those who are most in need, but I am giving my best”, he explains, obviously tired from the long day. He is coughing from the cold but is full with optimism and hope while making plans for the delivery of donations in the upcoming days.  The young TV personality already has an intensive lifestyle between his many projects as well as preparations of his TV programmes. Yet these days, his focus is on the families... Read More »

Youth Has Voice Too?

Posted on August 12th, 2016 in Articles, Youth ActivismRespond to this post »

Difficult, boring, opaque, unimportant – the descriptors of EU affairs world are not flattering. In the light of the widely talked about rise of the far right, increasing nationalism, hostility towards immigrants and the individual closing down of borders, the public opinion on the European project has seemed to lose popularity over the course of the past years. With youth sharply disconnected from the original ideas that supported in the very beginning the creation of a European project, the current political classes tap into frustrations gathered over the past last decades.

The young people of Europe as we know it have been raised in a war-less world and accustomed to a mostly open borders circulation within the... Read More »

Embracing Youth Volunteerism in Albania

Posted on July 26th, 2016 in Articles, Youth ActivismRespond to this post »

Gandhi once said: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. As a matter of fact, we, the young people, can actually make an impact. In fact, there are so many of us in this world that we have the potential and energy to bring positive change. It all relies on our willingness to act and to be passionate about good deeds. Volunteerism is one civic virtue that has not been very much present in our Balkan societies.

For a moment, I would like you to think: When was the last time that you volunteered? What did you do and how did you feel? If good feelings and memories cross your mind, than this... Read More »

Education – The Cradle of Youth Activism

Posted on July 18th, 2016 in Articles, Youth ActivismRespond to this post »

If you type the words youth activism on Google, you can find about 473.000 results and on the top of the page a common definition that ‘youth activism is youth engagement in community, organizing for social change’.

Exactly this topic was in the center of the project Switch on: Participation Mode. Realized by the NGO Youth Alliance Krushevo in six different cities in Macedonia, it set public debates and open discussions between young people and representatives of civil society, as well as teachers and professors. This project aimed to emphasize the potentials and opportunities of the youth civic activism, but also to stimulate the responsibility and the awareness not just of the youngsters and their parents but... Read More »

Don’t Be Afraid To Dream, Don’t Be Afraid of Life and Be Positive!

Posted on July 7th, 2016 in Articles, Youth Activism1 Response »

„In my opinion integration in Slovakia is not the best…  but I hope the situation will be better. It is a long process.“. This is how Martina Zemanová, a 26-year-old student at Comenius University and  member of Civic Association TU SOM DOMA (This is my home), explains the situation of young disabled people in Bratislava. This association gathers six enthusiastic people whose goal is to help and support youngsters with disabilities towards independent life. They are living together in one apartment, organizing free time activities, cultural events, trainings for their fellows, professionals and volunteers but also providing services for disabled people.

The main target of one of their projects, called I-mlyncek, is to raise awareness about their... Read More »

Bridge-Building Between Two Cultures

Posted on July 1st, 2016 in Articles, Youth ActivismRespond to this post »

The town of Komárno is located in the south of Slovakia with a population of almost 36.000 citizens. Through the town of Komárno flows the Danube, once representing the border between Hungary and Slovakia, nowadays simply a picturesque part of Komárno’s landscape. With the establishment of the European Schengen area the Elisabeth Bridge over the Danube is no longer a border crossing, but remains a vital connection between Slovak and Hungarian people. However, the fall of the border is not simply a relief for travelling from one country to another; it is a strengthened connection between two cultures, traditions and peoples striving to overcome the ever-lasting burden of historical conflict.

A bridge is not only there to... Read More »

‘If You Want to Understand the Whole Concept, You Need to Understand the Core´

Posted on June 28th, 2016 in Articles, Youth ActivismRespond to this post »

“If you want to understand the whole concept, you need to understand the core. ´says Erik, a 67 year old man who has been living in Nové Zámky his entire life. The city of Nové Zámky is located 100 km from Bratislava and only 25 km from the Hungarian border. The population is around 40.000 inhabitants, while 30% of them are a minority of Hungarian ethnicity. The integration of Slovaks and the inhabitants of Hungarian origin has been a big a social issue: “ The issue is going on for 1200 years, we are not killing each other though,” concludes Erik.

Language difference

Erik states: “The Slovak Constitution from 1992 asserts that the ‘state language’ on the territory of... Read More »

“If I Want to Live in a World Where I’m happy and Accepted I Need to Do Something for it Myself,”

Posted on June 20th, 2016 in Articles, Youth ActivismRespond to this post »

Frida Kahlo dominates the room with her silent stare. Gathered in a conference room in the centre of Bratislava (Slovakia) are thirty young people from different corners of Europe, reunited with the main purpose of discussing the situation of media and how it portrays minorities in the Old Continent.

One of the most prominent guest speakers to visit is Slovak LGTB activist Robert Furiel who shone some light on the situation of this community in his country. After studying and working in Prague for eight years, he came back to his homeland where he founded Saplinq, his own NGO aimed at fighting for the rights of LGBT and bringing the matter to public discussion. An avid reader... Read More »

Domec: Second Home for Homeless People

Posted on June 16th, 2016 in Articles, Youth ActivismRespond to this post »

Bratislava is a city in the central Europe with raising economy and standards of life. Despite the growth, there are many homeless people that are looking for safety and integration to society. For a long time there was a need for creation of NGO that would be able to solve the situation   of the homeless. Sergej Kára, Peter Adam and Alexandra Kárová in 2011 established an NGO named Vagus whose main aim is to create new and innovative services for people who lost their homes. The first step was opening daytime center for homeless people in Bratislava, where hadn’t been such center before. The group of participants of youth exchange Raise Your Voice 0.2. visited the shelter center Domec... Read More »