On October 29th, at 9 am, we have started our journey to the Regional Youth Forum ”From Distance to Connectivity among youth from Serbia and Albania”, which was held in Niš, Serbia.
This journey was such an exciting experience from the beginning, since our Albanian group didn’t meet with each other before and had met just in front of the bus, which was supposed to take us to Skopje, after which we would reach our destination in Serbia.
After 18 hours of the trip, we made it to Nis! The first thing that crossed our minds was how different the weather seems between our countries. Nis was very cold, even in sunny spots during the midday!
*** CONNECTIVITY OF YOUTH IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE SOCIAL DISTANCE DISAPPEAR
Forum started in the morning of October 30th and I can say that I loved the small hall of the Officers House, where the activity took place. The vast, bright space allowed the participants to easily interact with each other. It was an amazing opportunity to reach young people from Serbia, leave the stereotypes behind us and get to know each other like any other ‘’strangers’’ in this world would do!
During this event, Albanian and Serbian youth worked together to break the barriers that only uneducated and stereotyped minds could have. The atmosphere among people was impressing! We weren’t just interested in getting to know about: Kismet movie, youthhumans.net platform or the survey results, but also, many of us were curious to get to know each other more.
After the first day of the forum, we got the opportunity to eat in a traditional restaurant; honestly, we knew that Serbia was famous for meat and potato consumption; indeed that was the most delicious dinner ever! We didn’t forget to make “Ziveli/Gëzuar” (cheers) between tables, too!
*** ALBANIAN – SERBIAN 101: LET’S GO OUT, ORDER SOME DRINK AND CHEERS!
During the second day, forum made us more active, engaging us to work in small groups to generate ideas for future cooperation. We found the common language so well between each other, that made us really eager to collaborate and discuss the group topic. The best part was the presentations, where we understood how powerful each group ideas were!
One of the most special moments before the end of the forum, was when people of Albania and Serbia held each others flag, showing in this way that we are capable of breaking the stereotypes and that we are looking forward to a better future.
After closing the event, a very interesting part included the sightseeing of the most important spots in the town. We totally enjoyed the promenade in the city center, furthermore getting to know with the city.
*** IMAGINARY DISTANCE PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE OSCE PARTICIPATING STATES IN VIENNA
This experience has been incredibly valuable because of its goals. Youth actions can help so much in understanding and respecting process of each other, further leading to forget the grudges which are holding us back. After all, we are only humans and we are only defined by the values that we hold.