I had an amazing opportunity to be apart of Gender in
youth work: PERSPECTIVES, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES” training course and seminar in Albania, organized by Act for Society. Being actively involved in lots of workshops, roleplays, lectures and activities, I increased knowledge and skills in terms of exploring what are really the concepts like gender, politics of gender, gender mainstreaming, ethics related issues etc. I definitely improved understanding of gender equality and gender mainstreaming at European and Serbian level and learned about the tools for action in local level of gender equality/inequality and its implementation. After all analysis and exchanging experiences with all participants I could finally go back to Serbia and start raising awareness about the complexity of gender equality in societies.
First step was to communicate to my environment about my experience in Albania and knowledge I got about the gender issues. I shared my new attitudes and opinions with family, friends, organization and classmates, having strong arguments about what I really stand for. With some of them I was developing ideas about future steps in that road. What is happening from then until now is that organization where I am volunteering put a gender issue on a discussion and work plate, and we did some concrete steps in raising awareness about the issue and influencing our network and community.
The organization that I am talking about is World Youth Wave (Serbian:“Svetski omladinski talas”), a youth organization, founded in 2005 by a group of students and young professionals in Serbia. The idea behind the foundation was to give a chance to young people to represent their ideas, beliefs and convictions, and also to connect students on a global level, through different cultural and educational projects. Sounds perfect for developing what I have just learned this summer. Our main project, ISWiB (International Student Week in Belgrade) is a meeting platform for young people with different cultural backgrounds. It is a place where young people get to know each other, establish new friendships and discuss various topics, from different points of view.
Our goal is to establish international cooperation and contacts by creating a healthy working environment and enabling stronger bonds among domestic and foreign students. By promoting the idea of the “citizen of Europe” and “citizen of the World”, we insist on embracing intercultural and European values and bringing them to a global level of mutual respect and understanding.
As theme for this year’s festival is „Youth strikes back“ the idea is to have a workshop that is focused on gender issues not only in Serbia, but also in each country that participants are coming from. On these meeting we are just brainstorming about how the workshop will look like, what to emphasize from the subject, who is gonna be the moderator etc.
At the end, I am very happy to encourage thirty people in my organization to think about the gender issues, and came up with some great ideas how we can influence our society threw ISWiB project and other smaller organizational projects. I hope, and I know, that in the following days, weeks and years, our work will influenced a tons of people worldwide, encouraging them to do some concrete steps and influenced their society to understand, see and help the whole „gender issue“ situation nowadays.
Participant from Belgrade, Serbia