From June 7 to 16, we had the chance as representatives of the Volunteers Centre Skopje to attend the training course “Volunteering connecting communities 2.0” in Durres, Albania organized by “Mladi volonteri” from BiH, and hosted by “Beyond Barriers”. The aim of the initiative, which includes 25 youth workers, four countries, schools and high school students, is to support and encourage them through knowledge and specialized instruments in the field of volunteering and inclusion locally and globally.
The first day was free, so we had time to explore the beautiful beaches and sea in the city – intertwined with many architectural styles from other civilizations, modern structures and the essence of Durres.
The project “Volunteering connecting communities 2.0” was presented in the second part of the training, in order to include young people in the field of volunteering in cooperation with schools.
On the third day, we went on a small excursion to Tirana, the capital of Albania, famous for its nightlife and architecture in the Ottoman Empire, during the communist era in Skanderbeg Square. The statue dedicated to Skenderbeg, the Orthodox Church in the city center, the Botanical Park, the Etem Beg Mosque which is being renovated… gave it a wonderful touch on a sunny day.
We used the next day to work in groups, where we agreed that volunteering should be barrier-free and organized, but we were divided over whether large corporations should hire volunteers to expand their capacity. We had a compromise that volunteering should be unpaid and well organized, but we could not agree on whether large businesses should use volunteers to increase their capacity.
Some of the workshops focused on engagement and involvement, and energy exercises to increase motivation were indispensable.
This training program has helped us in our professional and personal development. It is an ideal combination for learning new skills in the field of volunteers, while acknowledging the diversity of cultures and customs presented and displayed by other project participants. The unique perspectives of twenty-five young people from different backgrounds presented a variety of insights into the issues facing young people, enabling us to develop solutions for future implementation in our local communities.
The desire for a brighter tomorrow crosses language and cultural barriers, and we as young people are ready and willing to help future generations achieve their goals.