The Rural Youth Hub – a dynamic group of young people committed to rural areas and rural development in Albania – participated in the sixth edition of the Regional Camp for Rural Youth. This activity took place in Vučje-Montenegro from 27 to 31 August 2023 and brought together 30 participants from the region.
The goal of this activity was to involve as many young people as possible and provide them with knowledge and skills needed to develop local communities in rural areas so they can be good animators in their communities. To know the needs of the community as best as possible, to delegate where necessary, to help manage the resources and everything that the local communities have as well as possible.
During two days, the participants of the camp had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of what it means to be an animator in a rural environment. Leadership and motivation of young people for active participation in the community and sustainable rural development and its essential role.
Representatives of RYH emphasized the problems that young people from rural areas in Albania face on a daily basis. The situation is similar throughout the Balkan region and joint efforts are needed to achieve positive results. During the workshop, emphasis was placed on the main problems that require immediate intervention, such as: backward infrastructure, minimalist social life, migration tendency due to lack of options and commitments, lack of services and economic instability.
Some of the recommendations that came out of the workshop were: Infrastructure development is a top priority and is key to keeping rural youth in rural areas. Measures should also be taken to build social life, allowing youth to connect with each other and share ideas and experiences, such as participating in camps like this one or special festivals. In order to have active youth, work opportunities must be created, subsidies for young people from local institutions for etc. Revisiting local structures, schools, ambulances, post office, shops.
During this event, examples of the work of local action groups were presented by Bojan Kovaç (director of GVV “Srce Bačka” from Kula-Serbia), who emphasized that in his daily work he tries to stop the exodus of young people from rural areas by developing and supporting small producers. Activist and director of the organization “Save Sinjajevina” Milan Sekulović from Montenegro stressed that young people should be more and more involved in solving problems and that their voice should be heard.
The third day was reserved for a field visit to see good development practices up close. Camp participants visited the plantations of Wine Vranac and one of its three wineries and learned about their history and economic activity.