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Be a voice, not an echo! Youth Alliance - Krusevo
   Youth DigiZone

The project “Youth DigiZone” was joint youth action implemented in 2021, it was built on solidarity, cooperation and democracy striving towards building a stronger and more resilient Western Balkan region. The main aim of the project was active work with the young people from the region to raise their decision making and advocacy skills and to help mould a generation of democratic leaders who cross historical, geographical and cultural barriers for a fair and inclusive economy.

The initiative was led by Youth Alliance – Krusevo [North Macedonia] and implemented together with the partners YPN [Albania], BETA [Serbia], iCHAT [Kosovo], PS Maya [Bosnia and Herzegovina], CARM [Montenegro] and AYES [Croatia].The idea arose from the harsh impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic that highlighted the need for political and development actions and nested relationships between young people, institutions and governance decisions in the region. During the past 9 months we have managed to create a digital zone for capacity building of young people to use the digital platforms for creation of an enabling and productive youth-friendly environment in the region.

The evidence-based approach, that was secured through the implemented youth lens polls the partners and the participants learned how to gather and aggregate youth voices, experiences and needs related to Covid19 in the Western Balkan region. The results from the youth lens polls are aggregated in regional report ‘Situation of young people in Western Balkan countries + Croatia during and after Covid 19 crisis’. Based on the results of the youth lens polls we have implemented the regionalboot camp, during which the young people were provided with knowledge, information and good practices regarding democratic process and institutions, advocacy channels and structures and digital tools that they can use for supporting the democracy and cooperation.

During the project we have produced 8 podcasts names as ‘Digital Conversations’ with 33 different stakeholders (students, citizen activities, youth workers, decision makers) with which we have reached more than 15.000 audience. Furthermore, the partners and young people in the teams gathered different Western Balkan Youth Stories with virtual media campaign focused on good examples regarding the youth answer of Covid 19 crisis. In each country were selected 26 good examples and 7 examples were presented as creative videos demonstrating the key success of the young people in the story.

The pic of the project activities was the activity ‘Knowledge café’. 25 young people and youth leaders from 30th September till 4th of October 2021 gathered in Krusevo, North Macedonia to discuss the conclusions from the podcasts, to share the results from Youth Lens Polls and to ideate visions, recommendations and youth pledges for the future of the region in the new normality. The final outcome of the activity you can find at policy brief 'Visions, Recommendations and Youth Pledges'. 

The conclusions of all implemented ongoing activities where base for discussions within the three editions of the parliament of the future. Parliament of the future I [12.08.2021] ‘What is the difference between the representative, participatory and deliberative democracy?’, Parliament of the future II [5.11.2021]’Presentation of the youth visions, policy recommendations and youth pledges outcome of the Knowledge Café’; Parliament of the Future III [22.12.2021] “What we wish for our region in 2022”.

Finally, each activity and product were dedicated on the raising the youth voices and youth empowerment for propose of their own policies that reflect the young people realities in our region. From the project activities we have prepared reflective mini-documentary with main aim sharing experiences and knowledge as well as future action of the young people. 

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