Get to know the 8 Programmes of Tirana European Youth Capital 2022:
Youth Makes Creative Economy and Innovation
Creativity is an asset and potential still untapped in the Albanian economic sphere and should be considered as the inspiring energy and ability that encourages many individuals, including young people, to take new initiatives and transform their society.
This programme extends the spectrum of the creative and innovative potential of young people who have the ability to identify ideas and present original solutions that can directly influence many areas of citizens’ lives.
The purpose of this programme is to support the transformation of young people’s creativity into culture and innovation based mainly on the use of technology but not only. It will enable young people to establish an authentic approach, giving them the opportunity to express a new development model based on innovation and the importance of entrepreneurship.
The programme provides space for a variety of training and mentoring activities, the creation of platforms for capacity building and creative economy, grants and improved access to finance, network expansion events, job fairs, etc.
Youth Creates Culture
Culture has the power to transform the vision of a society, strengthen local communities and create a sense of identity and belonging to people of all ages, but especially to the younger generation. As a factor that encourages youth engagement to reflect upon the issues of daily life in creative forms, culture plays an essential role in sustainable socio-economic development for future generations.
Tirana has made significant progress in this regard, but there is still much work to be done to further maximize the potential of culture and art as a factor for the development of youth and their engagement in the life not only of the capital but of the whole country.
Young people are full of dreams and passions but they also have the energy and capacity to activate and transform into the engine that drives cultural and social change on a large scale.
This programme aims to encourage young people to explore the ways in which culture and art can be put to the benefit of their daily lives, turning it into a powerful tool for positive long-term change.
The programme is presented as a space that welcomes project ideas that envisage the construction of an itinerary of artistic and educational activities, festivals and exchange projects which promote intercultural aspects through the exploration of different traditions and values in Albania, the region and Europe, emphasising European values and introducing various skills through which young people can influence the development of a society’s culture.
Youth Develops Capacity
Investing in the education of young people and increasing their capacity is a necessary factor for youth development. This means creating opportunities and equipping youth with the right tools and ways to become the driving engine of development at the individual and community levels.
The active involvement of young people in planning, decision-making and efforts to enhance local well-being are the foundations of social progress. Therefore, this programme aims to help young people on their journey to personal achievement through capacity building.
Through combining a range of creatively designed activities, addressing the skills needed for different walks of life, where young people will not only be trained but will be active protagonists in capacity building activities, the programme will support young people in developing their technical and soft skills, emotional intelligence and personality.
The project ideas envisaged to be developed within this programme aim to improve the quality of youth work as well as to increase synergy with education systems and job providers. Young people will be able to receive guidance on the proper use of available resources, express their entrepreneurial ideas and be informed on how to adapt to the challenges and dynamics of work and daily life.
Their creativity, talents and entrepreneurial spirit will be promoted through this programme so that their true potential is highlighted and they can gain confidence in their choices for personal and professional development.
Young people are the generation most affected by local and global developments. They are facing unemployment and professional insecurity, political instability, economic recession and most importantly, climate change.
All these problems are making young people insecure about their stability and well-being in the future, especially in Albania. Therefore, it is crucial for young people to be part of decisions that directly affect their lives, bringing better, more democratic and sustainable results.
We are witnessing that many young people in Europe are participating in decision-making by demonstrating their skills for advocacy, effective communication and negotiation. Special attention is paid to their commitment to challenge injustices and to be anti-conformists. Many young people, with their unique perspectives, have begun to shape youth councils, communities and the environment around them, influencing policymakers, professionals and the media.
The purpose of this programme is to increase the perception and confidence of young people in their potential as agents of change, encouraging their higher involvement in decision-making processes, at the central and local levels.
This programme focuses on the promotion of project ideas related to youth participation in local government through activities that strengthen the development of volunteerism and activism, organizing debates and advocacy groups, as well as capacity building sessions with a focus on amplifying youth voices, etc.
The concept of diversity underpins the foundations of European heritage and identity, including acceptance and respect for multiculturalism. We all want to see an active and prosperous Albania, where people of all ages, genders, abilities, religions, sexual orientations, ethnic, national, cultural and social backgrounds coexist with dignity and peace within the European family.
The richness of the Albanian society lies in its will to embrace cultural diversity and religious harmony, which is also noticed by the number of different communities and minorities present in our country.
Encouraging intercultural dialogue helps societies in understanding and accepting each other through fostering tolerance, embracing and promoting the characteristics of each individual.
The purpose of this programme is not only to educate young people in having a more positive outlook on a society with diverse characteristics, but to turn them into the main promoters of multiculturalism and tolerance. By encouraging the younger generation to be barrier-free, free from prejudice, and fostering a climate where equality and mutual respect are vital, we aim to create a cooperative and benevolent community whose intellectual strength stems from synergy of the diversity of the people who make it up.
This programme aims to raise the multicultural awareness of youth through a series of diverse and comprehensive project ideas. Young people from different communities will have the opportunity to represent the voice of diverse groups and backgrounds in promoting mutual understanding for a more peaceful and prosperous Albanian society within the European Union.
Youth are Europeans
The project of membership in the European Union (EU) is the only successful way for solid sustainable and democratic development in Albania.
Albanian youth, which makes up half of the country’s population, is the most pro-European segment of our society. However, despite pro-European sentiments, the phenomenon of young people leaving the country and ‘brain drain’ has become a real concern for the country’s future. More than ever it is important to bring Europe to young people and help them understand that they are already part of it. Albanian youth should be made aware that Europe is at home.
Tirana, being the capital of Albania and the city with the largest number of young people nationally, is a driving force for the whole country and as such has a key role in empowering its youth towards better strategies and policymaking.
These are the reasons why the focus of our programme is to encourage a sense of belonging in the EU family by implementing diverse project ideas and activities such as the ‘European Parliament Model’, exchange activities with colleagues and peers from Europe and the Western Balkans, as well as cultural and artistic projects promoting the European values.
The purpose of these activities is to raise awareness of the common European identity by promoting democratic values and the importance of working together for the future of the European family.
Youth and Eco-Health
People’s health is highly correlated with the health of the environment around them. Issues like climate change and pandemics are increasingly turning into alarming bells.
Young people make up a large part of the world’s population and the generation that will have to live longer with the consequences of current environmental decisions. It is very essential for Albania to start its transition towards a greener economy and way of life. Therefore, youth should play an important role in leading the country’s population towards environmentally friendly and sustainable changes in their behaviour and habits.
The Eco-Health programme promotes a healthy lifestyle among young people and aims to raise their awareness of the essential importance of a healthy ecosystem for all beings and organisms found in nature. Humans are an important part of this ecosystem, but at the same time its greatest danger.
Through this programme, non-formal educational practices such as inclusive and voluntary participation in joint tree-planting initiatives will be used; educational activities among peers which address mental and physical health; promote an active and nature-based lifestyle, including healthy eating and self-care practices. Moreover, innovative workshops will also be organized in order to raise awareness on health and environmental issues at the local and global levels, where young people will offer their ideas and solutions to address common environmental challenges.
These activities will encourage young people to become active leaders and agents of change for a healthier, more developed and sustainable society.
For young people, public spaces are a necessary part of their development. They facilitate social interaction and cultural ties helping to create a sense of belonging to public property, identity and belonging to community.
Youth are among the groups of the most active users of public spaces and it is important that cities include the perspectives of young people in creating these spaces.
Starting with schools, libraries, squares, parks and other urban recreation centers, all of these spaces become focal points for youth development. The more creative, accessible and well-designed these spaces are for young people, the higher the impact on their social and cultural life.
This programme aims to promote the implementation of project ideas that provide additional physical space and youth-friendly infrastructures to young people in the city, which are autonomous, open, safe and accessible to all. Some of these spaces aim to provide professional support for the development and provision of opportunities for youth participation in decision-making and urban life.
The ultimate goal of this programme is for young people to become co-designers of Tirana’s urban spaces as well as to enable them to identify the ways through which their community can shape these spaces to offer better social and cultural engagement.