Press conference regarding the call Proposal for financing of Youth projects for Zaječar County was held on Monday, May 20th 2013 at ZA Media Center in Zaječar.
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National Conference about Youth at risk
On Tuesday, 13th of Decembre, in hotel „Zira”, Timok Youth Center has organised the National konference about Youth at risc. National Conference was designed for the representatives of civil society organizations and institutions that works with marginalized and vulnerable groups of young people from all parts of Serbia, Local Youth Offices Coordinators, members of Youth councils and other work groups at municipal governments that deal with young people, as well as all other stakeholders that directly or indirectly deal with Youth at Risk issues.
At the National Conference, representatives of Work Groups presented the specificsof their local communities, the risks that young people are dealing with, possibilities for resolution of their problems, as well as the potential application of this program in other communities. National Conference contributed to the presentment of achieved results both on local and national levels and merging those results into one.
Speakers at the conference wereGoran Radisavljevic, Executive director of Timok Youth Center, Zorica Labudovic, Head of Department for Cooperation with Youthat the Ministry of Youth and sport, Jelena Zajeganovic Jakovljevic from UNICEF, Jakob Bec – Main secretary at National Youth Council of Slovenia, Vukasin Grozdanovic from Serbian youth Umbrella Organisation and JAZAS youth from Novi Sad, Sever Dzigurski from NAPOR (National Association of Youth Workers), Ivan Jelić from Fond b92 and Jelena Ristic Beronja from Young Researchers of Serbia.
“Ministry of Youth and Sport funded 16 projects of Local Youth Offices which as a subject had Youth at risc.The amount of project was 5 million dinars, whereas120 million dinars wasallocated tu fund 124projects of associationof citizens,who were dealing with the same subject. Researchshowsthatriskybehaviourexistamongyouth, suchas druguse, promiscuity, bullying. Alsoitisveryimportantto perceive risks andtake actions in order to reduce these risky behaviors. Ministry of Youthand Sport insists on this by promoting healthy lifestyles, sports and informal forms of education“, saidZorica Labudovic, Head of Department for Cooperation with Youthat the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
Goran Radisavljevic,Executive director of Timok Youth Centerpointed out that young people who are at the edge of society are being rejected and not recognised as young people. „Through our work we come into contact with marginalized groups and noted that there is a hole in the system.LocalYouthOfficeswere formed but we didn’t have full support of certainlocal governments when we wanted to apply with the project of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases in female sex workers orinjecting drug users of psychoactive substances. These people are not recognized as young people and as part of society“, said Goran Radisavljevic.
Jelena Zajeganovic Jakovljevic from UNICEFappealed to all organizations to connect with all sectors that can contribute to the involvement of young people at risk and to try to use the resources that exist in the local community. She said: „Only through good intersectoral cooperation is possible to progress on this issue“. She emphasised that the risks often overlap (those in the health risk, are often exposed to social and economic risk) and it is therefore necessary to strengthen the capacity of the education system to recognize youth at risk and participation in certain programs that are conducted at local level.
Vukašin Grozdanovic from Serbian youth Umbrella Organisation and JAZAS youth from Novi Sad, called on all institutions that work with marginalized and vulnerable youth groups, civil society organizations, coordinators of youth offices and youth members of the Youth councils on mutual cooperation in order to create a platform upon which will be able to work for young people, especially youth at risk."Through the Youth Councils at risk we will have a better chance to respond to the needs of young people. We must set up a system that will bring long-term results and we have to move in the same direction, not parallel, if we want the results of our work to be visible“, he said on that occasion.
At the conference, Jakob Bec – Main secretary at National Youth Council of Sloveniapresented examples of good practice functioning of youth centers and youth councils.Slovenia has 38 youth centers that are taking care of multicultural education and understanding, counseling and encouraging young people to develop their social skills and to experience personal growth, having different kind of projects. Youth centers have preventive, service, informative, educational and development function. He said that young people need organised activities and directions. That is achieved through neighborhood centres which have organised and easy to use free time activities for young people from 12 to 18 years in order to creatively and wisely use their free time.
Jelena Ristic Beronjafrom Young Researchers of Serbia, talked about Voluntary Social Serviceand pointed out that volunteering promotes inclusion, particularly of marginalized groups.
Sever Džigurski from National Association of Youth Workersbelieves that it is highly emportant to have more long-term development programs and also emphasizes importance of networking and pointsout the lack of research: „We are missing the data and research so that we could be sure that our work is successful“. Sever Džigurski also emphasizes thatin addition to a fairly developed civil society and the large number of organizations and a growing number of youth work and projects, young people at risk often remain unbudgeted or ignored.
Problems and issues identified and reviewed at national conferences shall be presented, compared and jointly addressed on the Balkans conference by participants from Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia.
After project realization period TOC expects establishment of good communication with local and republic government, citizens and CSO’s as and implementation of program of identifying and reduction of risks among young people in the greater number of communities and institutional care about youth at risk.
Project „Youth at risk“ is led by TYC with partners from the region who deals with youth, particurarly with youth at risk (Partnership in health - Bosnia and Herzegovina; CAZAS - Montenegro; National Youth Council of Slovenia- Slovenia). The project is funded by European Union and financial suported by Ministry of Youth and Sport and Fond for an open society, Serbia.
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Timok Youth Center marked the beginning of the implementation of project entitled “Youth Career Development, Employment, Entrepreneurship Networking and Transfer” in April 2013.