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Keep Dreaming!

The question of the connection between mental health and active participation in the community and social initiatives is a contemporary topic that is the focus of the “Keep Dreaming” project. The project consists of several activities with partners from Macedonia, Spain, Italy and Greece aiming at making the connection between these two topics and providing valuable insights as well as better prepared youth workers in addressing these issues. That was the main goal of the “Keep Dreaming” training course, hosted by Volunteers Centre Skopje in Struga, Macedonia, from October 23 to October 28, 2023.

The peaceful city of Struga which is situated by Lake Ohrid, proved to be an ideal location for reflections on mental well-being. Throughout the sessions organized by the partners, a wealth of knowledge, open discussions, workshops, and activities were facilitated to uncover effective approaches to promote mental health and participation. The participants shared personal experiences, challenges, and stories, creating an environment of understanding and empathy. 

The sessions touched upon the topics of the project starting with some team building, introduction to the project as well as getting to know each other of the participants. Youth participation took the central stage on the second day, where participants got to know about Roger Hart’s theory of the ladder of participation and made a connection with their local communities and the young people that they work with. On the third day, there was a focus on the theory behind mental health and stress, what is the science behind it and how we can use it to help us. The fourth day of activities made a connection between the topics and participants were able to discuss how they can come back and implement what they have learnt, but also exchange good practices among each other. They made advertisements to point out what can act as a contributor to good mental health and the triggers to deteriorate it.

The participants came away with valuable insights and built a network with like-minded people. The training not only enhanced their competencies but also inspired them to motivate young people in their community to be more active and prioritize their mental health.

The “Keep Dreaming” training course was just the start of our project journey. Soon the partners will share the results of the research on the relation between mental health and participation in youth and launch the social media campaign. Stay tuned!

Jolanta Ciopcinska & Andrej Naumovski

Project team

Project “Keep dreaming” is funded with the support of the Erasmus+ program of the European Union, through Key Action 2 – KA210-YOU – Small-scale partnerships in youth and implemented by: Fundación Plan B Educación Social (Spain), Idee In Movimento (Italy), InterMediaΚT (Greece) and Volunteers Centre Skopje (Macedonia).