Final event of the project „Different needs – Identical rights“

On May 28, 2024, the Final Event for the dissemination of the project results within the project “Different Needs – Identical Rights” was held in the premises of Mladi Hub Bitola.
The event was started by Elena Gjeroska, project coordinator, while Emilia Gjeroska, project manager, pointed out that 18 young people from 9 rural Pelagonian municipalities have been trained with this project for real youth involvement in the process of creating and implementing policies. That is, 18 young people are ready to get involved in the processes of administrative-legal cooperation with municipal councils and mayors.
The analysis of the specific needs/problems of young people in rural areas compared to young people living in urban settlements was also promoted at the event. Consultant Rubin Nikoloski presented all the findings, as well as recommendations for the real problems of young people from rural areas. The conducted analysis of the needs and problems of young people from rural areas included field research, analysis of documents and databases, interviews with young people, local authorities and citizen organizations.
Initiatives were also presented by young people from two municipalities from rural Pelagonia, who strengthened their capacities with the training held within the project, with the aim of greater involvement in decision-making in their local communities.
This activity is part of the project “Youth – Inclusive Local Communities “, which is implemented by the National Youth Council of Macedonia – NMSM, in partnership with the Foundation for the Development of the Local Community – Shtip, SFERA International Bitola and Platform for Youth Empowerment JEP – Gostivar, with financial support from the European Union. The main goal of the project is to improve local governance through increased inclusiveness and social influence of young people in local democratic life. The project is implemented with financial support from the European Union.

May, 2024

Certificates for the participation of young people in the creation of local policies

50 young people from rural Pelagonija received International Certificates for non-formal education for civic participation. The young people from the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija 2” had an exceptional opportunity to participate in a Training on citizens/youth engagement practices, 25-28.04.2024 in Ohrid, held by the expert Willeke van Leeuwen, from the highly regarded Academy of Local Government from Hague, Kingdom of the Netherlands. Representatives from Pro Local, Bitola and representatives from eight other local civil society organizations from rural Pelagonija also participated in the training.
Interactive sessions, discussions and many exercises imparted practical knowledge to young people on how to become more involved and create local policies in their local community. The focus was also on methods for building the capacities of youth organizations in cooperation with the local self-government and how to together ensure a high degree of youth participation and a motivating space for the development of youth policies at the local level.
The four-day Training ended with the ceremonial awarding of Certificates for successfully completed Training to more than 60 participants and attendees.

April, 2024

Training on Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies

As part of the activities of the “Different Needs – Identical Rights” project, on April 13, 2024, in the Youth Hub in Bitola, the Youth Law Training, was held, aimed at 18 young individuals from the rural areas of Pelagonia. The aim of the training was:
– 18 young people from rural Pelagonia to familiarize themselves with the Law on Youth Participation and youth policies at the local level
– to be informed about youth involvement and promotion of youth activism through local CSOs
In the theoretical part, the participants got acquainted with the Youth Law, how it was drafted, adopted, what is important about it.
In the practical part, young people were given the chance to draft a “Youth Law” as they think it should be, with a practical exercise where they will stand as enforcers of the Law.
This activity is part of the project “Youth – Inclusive Local Communities “, which is implemented by the National Youth Council of Macedonia – NMSM, in partnership with the Foundation for the Development of the Local Community – Shtip, SFERA International Bitola and Platform for Youth Empowerment JEP – Gostivar, with financial support from the European Union. The main goal of the project is to improve local governance through increased inclusiveness and social influence of young people in local democratic life. The project is implemented with financial support from the European Union.

April, 2024

Training for youth activism and outreach

From the 11th to the 13th of April, a Training for Youth Activism and Outreach was held in Bitola, within the project “Empowering the people to Pelagonia 2”.
This training aimed to provide knowledge and skills for youth activism and outreach to participants from 9 different organizations. Through various non-formal methods, the participants acquired new knowledge and tools on how to establish youth activism programs using non-formal education methods and how to increase their volunteer cores. Within the training, practical examples were presented for establishing mechanisms that facilitate the process of making changes and that enable cooperation between young activists and civil society organizations.
In addition, the participants improved their approach to working with young people, how to attract young activists to their organizations. This training made it possible to strengthen the capacity of the involved civil society organizations to work with young people as part of their daily work. These new knowledge and skills enabled the participants to be more effective in their youth work and to increase their presence and influence in the community.

April, 2024

The first youth platform in Pelagonia

The first youth platform has been implemented in the Pelagonian region: a new era for youth empowerment
In a significant initiative aimed at addressing the challenges faced by young people in the region, one hundred dynamic young individuals from the Pelagonian region successfully launched the first Youth Platform. This pioneering project marks a great leap towards the advancement of cooperation between the civil and public sectors, with the ultimate goal of raising the voice of the youth in the community.
Nine key local organizations, led by Pro Local, and the nine municipalities of the Pelagonian region, signed a memorandum that signifies a collective commitment to use human and financial resources to positively transform the living conditions of young people in the region.
Emilia Gjeroska, president of Pro Local, announced the initiative, stating: “Today we are joined by 100 new young leaders who have gained vital knowledge and skills over the past three years, all in pursuit of improving their community. The establishment of this platform marks a bold step forward, embodying our shared commitment to drive positive change for young people in our region.”
Toni Konjanovski, the mayor of Bitola, representing the mayors from the Pelagonia region, assured that the municipal doors are always open for fresh ideas and proposals aimed at social improvement. He stated: “The youth platform will function on the principle of equality, ensuring equal rights.” This means that he will make decisions with equal voting rights among politicians and civil activists.”
Deputy Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Robert Dekker congratulated the youth for their proactive attitude towards social challenges, inspiring their peers from across the country. He praised the Platform as a critical mechanism for the continued success of cooperation between local authorities and the civil sector. This initiative stems from the project “Strengthening the people of Pelagonia”, supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

March, 2024

Advocacy training

As part of the activities of the “Different Needs – Identical Rights” project, on March 23, 2024, in Mladi Hub in Bitola, Advocacy Training was held, aimed at 18 young individuals from the rural areas of Pelagonia. The aim of the training was to strengthen their understanding of the rights of youth participation, the procedures available to young people to improve the conditions for growth and development, as well as to gain new knowledge about the legal frameworks that support these processes, including the law on youth participation and youth policies and the Law on Local Self-Government. The training sessions were designed to enable participants to acquire advocacy techniques and tools for effective representation in local environments by using participation mechanisms such as local youth councils.
This activity is part of the project “Youth – Inclusive Local Communities “, which is implemented by the National Youth Council of Macedonia – NMSM, in partnership with the Foundation for the Development of the Local Community – Shtip, SFERA International Bitola and Platform for Youth Empowerment JEP – Gostivar, with financial support from the European Union. The main goal of the project is to improve local governance through increased inclusiveness and social influence of young people in local democratic life. The project is implemented with financial support from the European Union.

March, 2024

Freedom of expression is a basic human right

From the 2nd to the 3rd of March, the 10th consecutive training was held in Bitola within the project “Empowering the people of Pelagoniјa 2”.
On the topic of “Human rights, cultural diversity and social cohesion”, we talked with the expert and activist in the civil sector – Fatma Bajram Azemovska. Through interesting quiz questions, we discussed human rights in Macedonia, cultural elements of all nations in our country, as well as what are the factors for the sustainability of social cohesion in a country.
We ended the day with Vladimir Pavlovski, a participant from the previous generation of the “Empowering the people of Pelagoniјa” project, who shared his experience in the project and told us through a presentation what civic activism means and how important it is to involve young people in social processes that will contribute to them feeling that they are part of the changes in a society.
The second day of this training started with a visit to the Archaeological Site of Heraclea Linkestis, while from the guide Rubin Nikoloski we learned interesting information about one of the most important ancient cities in Macedonia.
With Dimitar Mitrov – an expert in the field of sexual education, we talked about the topic “Freedom of sexual expression”, that is, about demystifying taboos and stereotypes around sexual expression. A discussion was developed around the freedom of sexual expression today and throughout history, presented by showing photos and short videos that talk about the trends and specific taboos and stereotypes towards what is socially acceptable expression of sexuality today and in the past.

March, 2024

Capacity Building Training

In the framework of the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija 2”, a Capacity Building Training was held from February 21 to 23 in Bitola. From the 9 organizations involved in the project, 2 members from each organization took participation at the training
The representatives of the organizations had the opportunity to understand in which direction of action their organizations are moving, to analyze the current situation in the organizations.
In addition to analyzing the current situations in the organizations, the SWOT analysis and the PESTLE analysis were elaborated in detail, in order to define strategic goals, priorities and indicators later. Finally, an Action Plan with an indicative financial plan was prepared.
The three-day training included both a theoretical part and practical work in groups.

February, 2024

Young talents through the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija 2”

The 9th training within the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija 2” was held in Ohrid (02-03.02.2024).
With a motivating start, the young people presented their ideas/projects in front of representatives from the municipalities. They had the opportunity to share their ideas, but also to hear all the procedures and actions that will be needed in the entire project implementation process. At the end of this working session, the 9 best ideas were selected.
We continued with the personal development workshop together with the expert Toni Popov, an artist, on the topic “How to use your talents”. We talked about what talent means and how to know that we have it, what things are needed to develop talent and how to deal with challenges and the fear of failure. We ended the workshop with an artistic act, so each of the participants captured their creativity with the help of paints and paper.
We finished the first day of this training with Dejan Ristevski, an IT expert, who discussed with a certain number of participants about the creation of an electronic tool with which all young people from Pelagonija would enter into communication with contact persons from the municipalities in the simplest and fastest way.
We started the second day with German Filkov, analyst and researcher in the field of good governance, on the topic “Transparency and accountability of local self-government”. The workshop began with an explanation of the meaning of the terms transparency and accountability, and then the young people discussed how transparent and accountable the municipalities and institutions in Pelagonija are.
Mihaela Stojanovska, a participant from the previous generation of the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija”, shared her experience in the project, but also her talent for photography. She pointed out that her talent as a photographer surfaced, taking pictures through the activities of the project. She encouraged the youth to express their talents and abilities regardless of the circumstances.
In the end, Teona Kolodezni, who is a participant in the project, presented all the proposed designs needed for the project’s visibility, while the participants chose one that will be the trademark of all participants in the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija 2”.

February, 2024