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 driving to Rahovec for the first time and while I was in the car a lot of thoughts were coming through my mind. I was thinking how the session will be, how they are going to react when they see me, how many will be there, are they going to accept me, and many other different thoughts. When I went in the centre everything changed and all the questions that I had in my mind, disappeared. I was amazed by the energy of these young people and the way they were interacting with each other left me speechless. If you want to see group of teens with such a calm vibe, and positive energy, then come and join me one day in Rahovec!

When I started doing leadership training with them, they were in the middle of the community level (first level of leadership training). For people who don’t know what leadership training is; it's a training that promotes leadership and that teaches young people about the meaning of leadership, based on practice with a purpose to empower young people and to equip them with leadership skills. So in my first session with this group we had to talk about stereotypes and prejudice, it was quite interesting to hear all these modern thoughts coming from youngsters of Rahovec.

A week later we had some guests from Prishtina to speak about gender equality, and I remember how talkative and supportive the boys were when it came to gender equality. That day I went back home with a big smile on my face, taking in consideration the progress that I saw in the way that those boys were thinking about an important issue such as it is gender equality. When they finished the community level of leadership and when they got the certificates, you could read the excitement and happiness in their eyes.

I am so excited for the new chapter that will begin with this group and I feel so glad that we will write that chapter together. Thanks to my experience with these young people I learned how to organize a session in proper way, how to set boundaries as trainer, and how to communicate better with teenagers.

They say that the first love is the one that will always be remembered, and as a new staff of YMCA the first group that I will always remember will be my group in Rahovec.


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