Closing project event in Montenegro

The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) organized a final event within its EU-supported project “Enhancing Youth Cooperation and Youth Exchange in the WB6” in Podgorica on 8 February 2022. The event presented the results of four projects supported within the 4th RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals. It was attended by representatives of RYCO, the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, Ministry for Education, Science, Culture and Sports, Directorate for Sports and Youth, Representatives of RYCO Governing and Advisory Boards, RYCO beneficiaries, Young European Ambassadors, young people who took part in the RYCO supported activities.

The supported projects successfully addressed the gaps of youth active engagement in regional reconciliation processes by focusing on aspects of democracy and identity, enhanced youth cooperation in the fields of dealing with the past, youth empowerment and development, social inclusion of youth at risk, intercultural dialogue, etc. They were implemented by Montenegrin Pan-European Union, Grammar school “Slobodan Škerović”, NGO Juventas, Foundation Biznis Start-up Centar Bar.

“Through a series of activities implemented within the project in which my organization took part, young people managed to overcome numerous prejudices, share experiences and learn about the ways in which their peers and organizations from the region approach problem-solving matters,” Ms Ivana Kulašević, representative of NGO Juventas, concluded.

The projects supported by RYCO and the EU within the 4th RYCO Open Call across the Western Balkans fostered reconciliation and regional youth cooperation, as well as strengthened the capacities of the civil society to adapt to the COVID-19 environment. They were implemented from February to October 2021.

During the application phase, 129 applications were received which brought about 400 partnerships from the region. The overall financial envelope for the Call was 333,000 Euro.


RYCO’s Regional Strategy Forum

The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) has organised the Regional Strategy Forum aimed at gathering inputs from the region for its new three-year strategic plan. The three-day event was held in Fruška Gora, Serbia, 8-10 November, and gathered more than 70 representatives of civil society, governments, international and regional organizations, and youth. The final RYCO Strategic Plan 2022-2024 is planned to be adopted by the end of the year.

During the forum, RYCO has presented the results of the local consultations which gathered over 370 people in the previous months as well as its recently published Shared Futures study which it aims to use as the evidence-based tool for the strategy development. On the other side, the participants discussed RYCO vision and values, youth exchanges and intercultural learning, peace building education, peace outreach, peace supportive environment, support and building capacities of peace building multipliers, and cross-cutting issues such as gender, inclusion, participation, etc. Furthermore, they also discussed partnership building and outreach and visibility of RYCO.

Nenad Maletin from the DPNSEE Office participated in the Forum.

RYCO thanked all dedicated participants for their invaluable inputs and support. The event we showed that the Western Balkans has a bright future only if we join our forces and work towards a common goal – a prosperous Western Balkans, a region closer to the European Union where young people want to stay and build their future. The Regional Strategy Forum is an example of such a region.


Fourth program check in meeting

The DPNSEE Staff and RYCO Local Branch Offices Belgrade and Tirana had a regular update on the implementation of the “No risk, no borders for young people” on 14 September 2021.

We informed our RYCO colleagues on the implementation of the Workshop 2 held 26 – 29 August in Velipojë, Albania.

We also informed them that the Open call for experts to develop the Curriculum focused on work with the youth at risk that will be the outcome of the No Risk, No Borders project and potential future projects and programs in the area of youth risky behaviour.

Our RYCO colleagues reminded us on the need to engage an external company to perform audit of the project.


On the spot check meeting

Today we held the On the spot check meeting with our colleagues from the Regional Youth Cooperation Office. The aim of the meeting was to get the feedback on the narrative and financial interim of the report of the No risk, no borders for young people in South East Europe project.

These meetings focus mainly on the financial part of the project implementation, with the purpose of grant monitoring as well as mentoring on how to submit a sound financial report within the framework of the grant contract, with the financial support of RYCO and co-financed by the European Commission.

The colleagues from RYCO and external expert proved that the reports are done in an appropriate way and gave us some useful comments for minor corrections.

Third program check in meeting

The DPNSEE Staff and RYCO Local Branch Office Belgrade had a regular update on the implementation of the “No risk, no borders for young people” on 13 July 2021.

We informed our RYCO colleagues on the Follow up activities after the Workshop 1 where young people from the region have the opportunity to travel and experience work in drop-in centres abroad. We also presented preparations for the Workshop 2 scheduled for 26 – 29 August in Velipojë, Albania.

Finally, we discussed the Curriculum that will be the outcome of the No Risk, No Borders project and potential future projects and programs in the area of youth risky behaviour.

Interim report submitted

DPNSEE have submitted today the Interim report for the first three months of implementation of the No risk, no borders for young people in South East Europe project. That included Narrative and Financial reports, Breakdown list of expenditures and all supportive financial documents.

The reporting period covers only first preparatory activities including Planning Team meeting, Call for the logo and visual identity, Open Call for youth activists and workers, Pre-task activity and come actions in preparation of the Workshop 1 scheduled for the end of May 2021.


Second program check in meeting

The DPNSEE Staff and RYCO Local Branch Office Belgrade had a regular update on the implementation of the “No risk, no borders for young people” on 25 May 2021.

We informed our RYCO colleagues on preparations for the Workshop 1 starting in two days in Sremski Karlovci, Serbia. Both sides were enthusiastic and looking forward for the event.

A few more information and clarification made this exchange very fruitful.


Warm-up for the Workshop

To get to know each other and “warm up” for the Workshop, DPNSEE and partners of the “No risk, no borders” project invited project participants to an online meeting on Wednesday 19 May 2021.

Through an Open call, the project participants received 44 applications out of which they selected 25 participants. 17 of them are female and 8 male. They are of different ethnical, religious and geographic background. The group includes young exposed to conflict, violence and/or bullying, involved in conflict with the law, young people who use drugs, youth with alternative lifestyles and those from LGBTI communities.

During the call, they all expressed openness and willingness to work in a multi-cultural setting. We all were enthusiastic to meet and work together.

The Workshop will be held from 27 to 30 May in Sremski Karlovci, Serbia.


Project team meeting

The “No risk, no border” Project team held an online meeting on 14 May 2021. The items on the agenda included Final list of project participants, Workshop 1 – programme and trainers, Scholarship agreement, Travel details – transport Belgrade – Sremski Karlovci, Pre-task activity, Zoom meeting with participants, Letter to participants about the Workshop 1 and Project promo material.

We were glad to conclude that we have a good group of participants open and willing to work in multi-cultural setting and that preparations for the Workshop scheduled for 27 – 30 May are going well.

Open call for project participants

Partners of the project “No Risk, no borders for young people” invite young people aged 18 – 28 from the Western Balkans to send their application for participate in the project.

The project is coordinated by the Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE) together with the project partners Aksion Plus (Albania), Margina  (Bosnia Herzegovina), Juventas (Montenegro), Prevent and Re Generation (Serbia) and supported by the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) within its 4th Open Call co-financed by the European Union.

More about the project is available following this link>>>.

Participants profile:

  • 25 activists, youth leader and youth workers, preferably members of civil society organisations
  • Aged 18 to 28
  • Young people from or those working with the youth from groups at increased risk
  • Interested in learning how to cooperate in multicultural settings
  • Able to communicate and write in English
  • Willing to work as multipliers of experience and results through visibility and dissemination activities, before, during the project actitivies, including the reporting phase, and after the project
  • A participants group with an appropriate geographic, gender, national and balance of members from or working with various groups of youth at risk

What we expect from the participants:

  • Complete pre-tasks and participate in the follow-up activities of the project
  • Attend all sessions and activities during the both Workshops
  • Agree and understand that the project partners are responsible and coordinators for this project and will not challenge or create any issues that will influence its flow
  • Bring along personal items as requested by the organisers of the activities (i.e. clothes, shoes, medicins in case of health issues, etc.)
  • Participate in promoting visibility of the project
  • Participate in the production of the deliverables of the project
  • Be active on dissemination of the results as a multiplier of new experiences, info and knowledge
  • Provide all necessary documents (invoices, visa expenses, travel reservations, ID copies, boarding passes, etc)

The structure of the project workshops is highly intensive and demanding, plus requires full attendance and participation. The workshops starts at 9:30 am and will end around 8:00 pm with regular breaks for refreshments, meals and personal needs. Therefore, youths who will attend as participants need to show responsibility commitment during their participation. The topic of the project is related to many indoor activities and less outdoor. Any extra hours for touring around besides the free time as they are mentioned in the timetable are not eligible.

If the protection measures in the countries where the activities are held prohibit gatherings of large groups, the Workshops 1 and 2 will be provided online.

Also, work with youth from groups at increased risk during the project may be challenging, but the project partners will provide support from experienced staff.

If interested, the Open Call is available following this link>>>. Please, share this information as wide as possible around the region.

The application forms is available at the web pages and social media of the project partners. Each project partner is eligible to select up to 5 participants in the project.