Being a young person in Serbia in the 90s wasn’t easy. Poverty and censorship, inexistent freedom of speech, wars destroying lives, isolation… My personal motivation was to change the situation and contribute for a better life for all of us. Forming a brighter future is why young people must have their role in shaping the society they live in and its values, and one of the ways to do it is by getting involved in youth work.
Youth work encompasses activities based on the methods and principles of non-formal education with a goal to support young people to take initiatives and actively participate in the creation of personal and social changes. It is about voluntary participation, has educational components but also provides young people with personal and social skills necessary in everyday life. But, youth work also has one very important aspect – it is bringing people together.
The YEU Convention is one of the most important events of each year and for 2011 we’ve organized it in Serbia together with the Resource Centre Leskovac as a host organization. Partnerships between international and local organizations are always very challenging especially when you face many obstacles like we did while preparing the event. But there are many benefits in this type of cooperation – bringing many people from different cultures to the reality of small local communities, involving local youth and motivating them to continue working on youth rights and the improvement of the position of young people after the programme has ended.
As a result, many young people continue their involvement in YEU International by acting as multipliers on the local and international level. Each big change starts with a small step. If each of us makes the small step in our community, the world will be a better place. That is why all of us need spiritus movens. Through the cooperation between young people, youth organizations and all the other interested parties we will exchange experiences, knowledge and information and adopt good practices. And volunteering for improving your reality is never a waste of time.
Youth should not wait for its time to come. It is already happening and we must use it as much as we can.
YEU treasurer and member of YFJ Working group on Youth Work development