As part of the GIRLACT project, 60 participants from Albania, Belgium and the Netherlands visited Vranje, Serbia for a 6-day study trip.

GIRLACT is a two-year project that offers young people, especially girls, educational content that supports their active engagement as well as equal opportunities in the labor market and society. The project supports civic, intercultural, social and relational competencies while also promoting mutual understanding, respect, ownership of democratic values and fundamental rights. The aim is to enhance critical thinking, financial and cyber literacy. The basis for promotion of active citizenship in learning is by addressing the increasing diversity of learning and providing access to training and inclusive, quality education for all. It is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Pomoć deci coordinates the project, in collaboration with Aflatoun International (Netherlands), European Peer Training Organization – EPTO (Belgium) and Parterё pёr Fёmijёt (Albania).

The overall aim of the study trip is to enable cross-community and trans-border networking, while assisting the participants in conceptualization and practical implementation of participants’ own ideas.

During the first full day of the visit, participants got acquainted with the inter-cultural past and present of the city of Vranje, as well as with multi-ethnic and multi-religious character of the city.
Following the site visits, which saw the participants seeing the cultural heritage of Vranje, including the White Bridge - Bridge of Love, Crossed Musk Church and St. Justin’s Church, partner organizations introduced themselves and the project to participants. At the end of the program, thanks to a presentation from Vranje’s youth civic association “Our World, Our Rules”, participants were able to learn more about youth activism in Vranje, starting from an idea to a formal organization.

The next day, in order to learn more about volunteering opportunities for youth in Vranje, participants visited Red Cross Youth Mobility. Following it, participants visited “Bora Stankovic” high school and learned more about the school system in Serbia. During the visit, participants also had the opportunity to exchange views and similarities of various school systems in their respective countries.

On day four of the visit, continuing the theme of getting acquainted with the historical and cultural heritage of the region, participants visited the birth house of Serbian realist writer, Bora Stankovic. Following it, participants traveled to Bujanovac, a multi-ethnic town where Albanians, Roma and Serbians live together. There, they got acquainted with organizations from the three communities. “Youth Form for Roma Education” introduced programs aimed at improving Roma education, “Albanian Youth Theater Group” where they had the opportunity to learn more about artistic activities of young Albanians and visited “Sveti Sava” vocational school where they were able to learn about vocational education in Serbia. The day was finalized with a discussion and exchange of views on multi-ethnic and multi-religious experiences in their own communities.

On their last day of the visit, participants visited Pasha’s residence, an example of Balkan Oriental architecture from the 18th century. The morning was finalized with words of welcome from the Mayor of Vranje.

In the afternoon, participants were able to learn about Roma inclusion and Roma health mediators thanks to the workshops provided by the “Association of Roma Educators” and “Youth Artistic Group”. The final presentation of the study visit allowed participants to learn about art as a tool for reintegration of returnee youth, through the organization “Friendship Knot”.

The event was finalized with a special musical-dance program organized by the youth civic organization “Our World, Our Rules”.

In the morning before departure of participants, evaluation showed that the visit was very interactive, engaging and allowed participants to exchange ideas and views on multi-ethnic and multi-religious experiences.

Young people will meet again in Albania to continue the exchange of information and experiences.

GIRLACT projekat: Mobility of Youth and study visit to Albania

As part of the GIRLACT project, 60 participants from Serbia, Belgium and the Netherlands visited Kukes in Albania for a 6-day study trip from the 25th September to the 1st October 2021.

In the first two days, young people were exploring Kukes, a small Albanian town in the north of the country, its cultural, historical and religious characteristics and were exchanging information about one another.

In the following three days, young people had an opportunity to hear how different organisations and institutions in charge of youth work in Kukes but also at the regional level in north of Albania. The hosts also organised various joint sports, cultural and fun events for all the young people, as well as workshops for exchange of views and knowledge about prevention of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination and for tasting various local food specialities.