Youth perspective. What is the outlook for young people in the North Kosovo municipalities?
Sinergija unites stakeholders to spark the discussion on the effective support to youth.
With the cementing of the Brussels Agreement, the social and economic issues that confront the people in the North Kosovo have been brought into the light and engendered various relevant development projects. However, the overemphasis on the grandiose topics in the economic and political development sectors can often obscure the importance of solving many other social problems, such as the employment future of the youth in the region. According to the statistical data, the unemployment rate of the age group 15 – 24 skyrocketed at an appalling figure at 61%, posing serious challenges to the stability to the local society. How can one change the situation then?
Harboring the objective of improving economic status of the Youth in North Mitrovica and Zvecan municipalities, the Youth Educational Club Synergy (YES) conducted the research project under the mentorship of the Pontis Foundation. The youth aged 15 to 24 living in the North Kosovo, many of whom unemployed are targeted as the main group for the study. Considering that there have been various existing programs in the region, the YECS aims to determine the insufficiencies of these programs intended to employ youth as well as to identify the successful models. View the excerpt of the study in English here. Afterwards, the research findings are presented to the representatives as stakeholders who have implemented similar youth employment projects with the vision to create more programs that reduce the risk of failing in the future.
It has been illustrated in the study that almost half of the projects, mainly dealing with service activities and agriculture, implemented by the interviewed organizations had a direct goal of economically strengthening the youth. In addition, most of the participants in the projects are of secondary education and the data suggested that the ones at universities have not been actively engaged. More importantly, it is shown that the respondents from the civic society organizations continue to follow up and strengthen the projects, even after they have been terminated, which is extremely pertinent to the long-term development progress of youth employment in the North Kosovo.
Corresponding to the findings, the YECS proposed several policy recommendations to further strengthen the ongoing projects and engender more creative solutions to the issue. It has been pointed out that the active participation of the youth in the process is essential in fueling the process and that the institutions have the legal and moral obligation to enable them with indispensable infrastructure and strategic support. The active NGOs are advised to be more agile in their tasks of informing citizens and policy advocacy, while the donors need to pay more attention to the period of secondary education. All in all, the research findings along with the policy recommendations serve as potential parameters which the decision-makers and the youth in the North Kosovo can take into consideration and construct a better future with concerted efforts.
The study and the follow-up advocacy activities were supported by the SlovakAid and the U.S. Embassy in Slovak Republic.