Showing posts from 2020

We all have a role in facilitating peace personally, locally, and globally! by Aoileann Conway (YMCA Ireland)

Name: Aoileann ConwayWhere I live: N. IrelandProfession: Community Youth Work (Ulster University graduate)Age: 24Interesting fact: I live for the outdoors and a good cup of tea!

m-power is a youth project that is in nine YMCA’s and one YWCA and delivered in 10 locations across the isle of Ireland. The youth project is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV program and naturally concerns itself with building, promoting, and facilitating peace. The three core pillars in which the project is based are good relations, personal development, and citizenship.Each program is delivered by qualified, professional youth workers in a non-formal, youth work setting. It offers qualifications, new experiences, adventure, outdoor pursuits, sports, difficult discussions, and a time to reflect.Each program has the same foundation, yet no two are the same as they are rooted in meeting the needs of individual young people to support their growth and personal development.I deliver the youth project acr…

From a Volunteer to a Project Manager by Zana

Hi I am Zana, not such an ordinary 23 year-old from Peja, at least I’ve been told so! The thing about me is that I am an extrovert with a bit of extra energy and creativity that needs to be channelled, and I started noticing that after I was out of university. Day dreaming of social equality and looking for opportunities to make a change, and as most of the youth I was eager to find somewhere I belong a space I can be me. Now here is how my YMCA journey starts.

So my friend invited me to this new training called I Am Whole in the YMCA in Peja, so it thought I would give it a try. Being a psychology student at the time I was amazed at the work I saw in those mental health sessions. Young people were learning about subjects we as a society never talked about; anxiety, phobias, mindfulness, body image all of these topics were and are considered taboo. I remember thinking at the time... now this is a platform where people should join. After we shared a lot of memories, fears, and happines…

The door is always open by Valentina

I’m Valentina and I am a youth worker at the  YMCA in my city- Peja and this is my story…

I was always a very hard-working person and very empathic I always loved helping people that is why I chose Social Work as my study field and from a very young age I got the chance to participate in different NGO’s as a volunteer so my love for being able to help people change started from a very young age and still grows.

After being a semester abroad and then coming back here without any idea what to do after my graduation, and for me as an very active person it was really hard. I got stuck between a lot of applications, always searching for the right one.

One of my friends who was a volunteer in this NGO called YMCA  shared some posts about what they do and I started thinking what would I do if I was there too?  And  there it was! A job application, while I was reading it, I thought  I would love to be part of this family so I’m really going to try. After I applied I was hoping…

I liked the idea of a new place to pass my free time by Leon

I'm Leon from Peja. I first heard about the YMCA at school when YMCA staff introduced the organization and from there I liked the idea of a new place to pass my free time and express my thoughts.

Leon whith friends at Peja Y
I started with the 'mYcommunity' program where we held 8 meetings. During these 8 weeks, we discussed various topics and one that I found interesting was Democracy because I never heard about it in school.  How people in ancient times in Greece have discussed in large groups and decided for their state/ cities. While nowadays, however, it is not as old as before, when poor people did not have the right to vote but now we are all equal in our cities regardless of gender, ethnicity, and age.

Leon while playing the Leader Game
In addition to the sessions, I also enjoyed the activities or games during the sessions and the opportunity to express my thoughts freely. Also, in the end, we as a group have prepared a video for ‘‘Violence against Children'…

The right to participate in decision-making processes by Njomza

I’m Njomza. I'm 15 years old and I'm from Gjakova.

Njomza Bytyqi
I've heard from many friends about the YMCA and they suggest me to be part of the YMCA. I participated in the ‘’mYcommunity’’ program where we discussed Democracy, Prejudice, Volunteering, Stereotypes and many other topics. During this time in this program, the topic which I have liked the most was about Prejudice and Stereotypes. In my opinion, prejudices are unnecessary. In everyday life, we should not use them because we must love everyone as they are without changing anything to them because we do not like them.

Njomza while reading for her group
We, the whole group, have participated in the assembly meeting of the Municipality of Gjakova, which was held together with the Mayor and the citizens. There we learned that we as citizens have the right to participate in decision-making processes, to complain about issues that concern us, such as hospitals, parking lots, traffic lights, taxation, etc. So there w…

We as citizens help to make our city a better place to live by Ela

I am Ela Perolli, I'm from the city of Gjakova and I'm part of the YMCA.

Ela Perolli
My story began at 'mYcommunity' program. I feel so lucky that I had the chance to be part of it because we had so much fun and we discussed various topics such as volunteering, democracy, prejudice, leadership, stereotypes, violence, and feminism.

The topic that I liked the most was democracy, where we watched a video of how it started in Greece. We learned that democracy is not just about voting, but also about protecting people's interests, regardless of race, gender, religion or political opinion. Now I realized that it is good that our state is a democratic place and we are all equal before the law. Also, we were in the municipal assemblies meeting where we heard about citizens' complaints and problems. I felt good listening to citizens talking about their problems in the community because by complaining, working, and commenting on the work of the Municipality, we as citize…

I immediately applied online! by Olta

My name's Olta Nallbani. I'm 16 years old and I'm from Gjakova. I’m currently participating in the 21st Century Skills Program organized at Innovation HUB Gjakova. I learned about the project through social media and I have immediately applied online for both the Environment and Skills for work projects.

Olta Nalbani
Both programs are very entertaining, because they are conducted through very creative activities that are fun and engaging, while at the same time socializing.

At the Environment Program themes are focused on climate change crisis, where apart from learning about statistics and climate change around the globe, we are encouraged to walk, bicycle, save water, clean the environment and take community actions.

Olta with her frinds at Innovation HUB Gjakova
While at the Skills for Jobs, we have been introduced to soft skills that are necessary to know in the 21st century. So far in this project we learned about how to write an official email, how to write a CV and …

UPSHIFT - The most amazing experience by Alda

My name is Alda Muhaxhiri. I’m 16 years old and a student of gymnasium “Hajdar Dushi” in Gjakova.

Alda at Innovation HUB Gjakova
I was a  participant in the UPSHIFT event which lasted 3 days but I can say that throughout these 3 days I’ve had the most amazing experience and had spent the most beautiful days with the amazing staff and the smart, supportive people that were with me.

Alda and her group working in their project
Our project idea was to make a student’s application for universities of theBalkans, but there were people who also came up with amazing ideas such as; technological school library or the Cultural Heritage. I can’t really choose which project was the best because they all had their importance.

I have learnt and explored my experience on this group project which includes a number of elements such as analysing articles and writing annotated essays of different articles. I also had access to learning tools like online resources, textbook material  which helped me impr…

Mentoring wonderful teenagers by Shpat

I am Shpat Kozgori, co-founder of the Advertising Agency LEVEL, based in Prishtina.

Shpat Kozgori
The opportunity to become a mentor became real by CSR Network of whom I am grateful for this opportunity. I was a mentor for "PODIUM: Advocacy for Change Workshop" organized and implemented by YMCA with the support of UNICEF. The three-day program was at the Innovation HUB Gjakova, and was a great experience for me to mentor those wonderful teenagers.

Shpat monitoring his group in PODIUM Workshop
The best moment for me was seeing the girls on the team sharing their ideas together and working as a real squad for a positive change in the community!

Shpat with his group during certificate day 
I also like to note the positivity in the YMCA and the atmosphere of the working team there, they did an outstanding job.

Come and join me one day in Rahovec! by Ylli

Hi all, maybe some of you already know me and some others not, but let me introduce myself, before you start reading my new story. I am Ylli Alija from Gjakova and I work in YMCA as a youth worker since December 2019.

When YMCA Kosovo staff told me that I can write a blog about this group that I am about to tell you, I got so excited for many reasons. First of all the group that I am talking about is the first and the only leadership group that we (YMCA) have in the municipality of Rahovec; in some way they made history? I guess yes, because they will always be remembered as the first group of Rahovec who attended at the leadership training and I think they will lead the way of YMCA by inspiring new generations to become part of us. Believe me or not they are also the first group that I had to hold the leadership training with, so they are kind of special in my heart and that’s why I want to share my story about this group with all of you.

I remember when me and my colleague were driv…

I just can’t wait to go there by Anila

I’m Anila Mati, 15 years old from Gjakova. For the past few years I’ve been part of the YMCA in Kosovo. I heard about YMCA from my friends and I was curious to be part of it. At first I started in the Leadership program with the Community module which is the first level, now I’m on the last level which is the 5th one. I’ve also attended the Y Woman program, “Podium”, “Upshift” (UNICEF projects) and now I’m a peer trainer in the Leadership project.

Anila with friends during Y Women training
I’ve created unforgettable memories and that’s why I can’t even decide which one is my favorite. Recently I’ve been very interested in the “Mental Health” program and I can’t wait to join that next!

In general YMCA helped me a lot in different ways. I became more socialized with new people which I’m very close with now, I did volunteer work, I became a leader etc. Now I’m very open to try new things such as different programs in YMCA and meet new people. YMCA is like my second home because it gives …

We can strive to protect our planet on a daily basis by Zana

I am Zana Shala a young girl from Gjakova. I have been taking part in the Environment Program at the Innovation HUB, Gjakova since February 2019.

Zana Shala
The program is quite compelling as it teaches young people about the destruction of the environment all over the world. I decided to roll up to the program as soon as I saw the call; and I have immediately applied online.

Zana with her group
The sessions are attractive and amusing as they run with groups though quizzes and group challenges, where we are tested on how much we know about the environment, climate change, environmental resources and global warming. Besides group work, all activities are further developed through debates and discussions. 

So far, I have learned a lot about: Climate Change, why does it happen? who causes it? how to prevent it? what are the greenhouse gases? and many other topics. I come to know that climate change is happening now and it is threatening our existence.

Zana during her project presantation

The three days of the UPSHIFT were fantastic by Arbios

I am Arbios Byci 15 years old from Gjakova. I am part of the project "Cultural Heritage" that derived out of UPSHIFT: Social Impact Workshop.

Arbios Byci
Our group has come to conclusion that Gjakova citizens and its visitors, have limited or no access of information about cultural heritage, so we decided to develop a website that contains information about cities cultural sights. The website will help people to find all cultural places that Gjakova has to offer. We were informed about this opportunity when YMCA staff came to our school and informed us about it.

Arbios with his group working in their project
The three days of the UPSHIFT workshop were fantastic and we had a great time. Activities were very attractive, of which, I found quite challenging and attractive combination of activity called “Three Why’s” and “The Problem Tree” an activity that enabled us to find solution to our raised problem.

Besides having a great time with peers and mentors, I have developed criti…

UPSHIFT - help your community for a better future! by Melisa

My name is Melisa Glogjani, I am a 10th grade student at “Hajdar Dushi” Gymnasium, in Gjakova.

As for the UPSHIFT project I was introduced by YMCA staff, organized and delivered in our school. I was attracted immediately and noticed that it is a good opportunity to gain knowledge and to contribute to my community.

Melisa with her group
UPSHIFT  was one of my best experiences so far, since I learned so many new things there.
Starting from team work, sharing ideas and experiences with peers from different schools, and
developing ideas into projects. During the UPSHIFT workshop I have learned what it is like to conduct a presentation in front of many people, which I have gained confidence that I didn’t have before.
Melisa whith her group working in the project
Our project was about IT importance and usefulness in our daily life. Therefore, we developed
a project in order to equip youngsters of Gjakova Municipality with IT skills.

Melisa with her group during UPSHIFT certification day

UPSHIFT - A new experience by Anila

I am Anila Mati, 15 years old from Gjakova. I am part of the winning group from the UPSHIFT project that was organized at Innovation HUB Gjakova.

 I was lucky to attend an information session at my school where YMCA staff introduced the UPSHIFT program. After this session, together with four friends of mine we decided to apply with the idea of tackling the lack of information about emergency situations amongst children and youth. Our project aims to increase the knowledge on how to properly react in emergency situations as well as where to address the issues once faced with.

Anila with her group 
UPSHIFT –  is a three-day workshop and was a new experience for all of us. It was interesting to see how a broad idea was step by step developed into a project, where with the help of our mentor we have been guided through different techniques that enabled us to set the idea into concrete actions.

The UPSHIFT program has been conducted in a friendly atmosphere where we were encouraged to expr…

That's why I wanted to be part of Y Woman! by Rumejsa

My name is Rumejsa Zeka, and I am 15 years old. I go to Bedri Pejani Gymnasium in the Municipality of Peja.

Rumejsa at Gjakova Y
Lately I started to be part of this organisation, as every beginner I am attending Leadership training and Y Woman program. I feel great at the Y, the first thing to note is that I have to thank the people who recommended me to go there.Until now everything went really well and all the sessions for both programs were a success and I am more than pleased. I think going to different activities or training is very important for each individual.
Rumejsa during Y Women training
For myself, I really wanted to go to Y Woman because of seeing how it has affected my feelings and my self-esteem increases with more desire to get there. Every topic, every activity that has been discussed there affects the human being.

Y Woman is a group or otherwise training that has influenced my mind development and my abilities. So from this gender equality training I have accepted t…