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Youth campaign “I Wish for Myself:”

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VIDEO: The campaign "I Wish for Myself:" within the Joint UN Youth Empowerment Programme, Montenegro - 2014


What do the young people in Montenegro want? What are their aspirations? Which challenges do they face? What are their chances at the rapidly changing labour market of modern era? 

Without assuming answers, the United Nations agencies conducted a comprehensive research on youth in Montenegro within the framework of the joint UN Programme on Youth Empowerment in the areas of employment and participation, focusing on the North of the country.
The research showed that more than 43% of youth in Montenegro believes that personal connections and friendships are crucial for employment. The Survey also showed that young people in Montenegro are not satisfied with the support they receive from institutions and are insufficiently informed about the existing employment programs. One third of young people are considering starting their own business, but only 4% of those are taking concrete steps. However, 90% of young people want their voice to be heard, to participate in decision-making and in improving the environment they live in!
Motivational event in Berane, within the initiative "I Want For Myself:"  |  Photo: Luka Bošković
The United Nations System in the country together with the Ministry of Education and Directorate for Youth and Sports launched the initiative „Sebi želim” meaning “I Want for Myself:” aimed at gathering young people from the North to help them recognize their potentials and to learn about ways for achieving their own aspirations.

The energy of young people from the North poured in three cities - Berane, Bijelo Polje and Pljevlja. Motivational events in these cities gathered young people from nine northern municipalities in which young, proactive people talked about their own experiences and successes in order to encourage their peers to develop their potentials so they could achieve their own aspirations and create opportunities for themselves.

Listening to inspiring experiences of peers who have achieved their aspirations, young people from the North learnt about the opportunities for achieving their own goals.

"Today, people convinced me that I can be better," said young football player Emin Kasumović from Bijelo Polje, who attended the motivational event in Pljevlja.  Ivana Smolović, a 17 years old from a small town of Žabljak at the North of Montenegro found the motivational event very encouraging. “Hearing experiences from our peers coming from similar environments, learning how they are overcoming obstacles we all face, that is so useful for us, young people,” said Ivana.

In addition to motivational speeches of young people who have achieved success, participants had the opportunity to connect with local and national institutions and organizations and to learn more about programs and services for supporting employment, entrepreneurship and activism of young people. Young people have also had the opportunity to write down their own goals and aspirations and pin it to the “Aspiration Board”. Also, they were offered signing up for a summer camp which will be organized at the end of the summer. Motivational events also included workshops for youth which focused on exploring their aspirations and ways of achieving them.

“Through the initiative Sebi zelim (“I Want for Myself:”) we wanted to support young people to think a little different from the usual, expected way of thinking about their future,” emphasized Jelena Miljanić, Coordinator of the UN Youth Empowerment Programme, adding that “this was an opportunity to really hear what young people have to say, see what they really want for themselves and how we can help them to realize it.”

A series of motivational events was followed by a summer camp which gathered more than 50 young people from nine northern municipalities at the shore of Plav Lake to learn about fulfilling their life aspirations in the areas of entrepreneurship, employment and activism and skills needed.

The tree-day educational camp, organised in cooperation with the Directorate for Youth and Sports, was also supported by the Ministry of Education, Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Igor Lukšić and municipalities Berane and Pljevlja.

Through an interactive work with the trainers, policy makers and successful peers, young people from the North worked on identifying their personal goals and on developing plans to achieve them. A series of workshops, inspirational and motivational speeches and specially tailored sessions on the topics of entrepreneurship and activism boosted their potentials and opened some new horizons.

In the workshops and specialized training modules young people learned how to recognize their own capacities, how to design short-term and long-term plans, and how to define their own goals. 

"Honestly, the camp was mildly shocking experience for me. I realized that I only have had short-term goals so far, but also that I do not have a clear vision. I could never imagine that some of my key attitudes could be changed in such a short period of time," said Katarina Svrkota, eighteen years old programmer from Pljevlja.

Her peer, Stojan Tomić from Nikšić emphasized the importance of strategic planning of self-development. "It was extremely useful to work with trainers on defining our goals. Primarily the short-term ones, and then to build-up the long term goals," said Tomic.
During the three-day work with young people from the North, a business coach Srđan Vukčević has recognized clear potentials among the participants of camp. "Great potential of these young people is their desire to learn, their great ambition and capacity to already achieve some of their goals and that is exactly what we are doing here at the camp. At this point, most of them need mentoring support. They need contacts and connection with people who already have their own businesses or are involved in social activism," said Vukčević, while his colleague, trainer Ajša Hadžibegović noticed that camp participants have a very responsible attitude towards their future. "What they need now the most are opportunities to gain concrete experience," said Hadžibegović.
Guests at the camp were the Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Igor Lukšić, UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro Rastislav Vrbensky and UNICEF Representative in Montenegro, Benjamin Perks, who shared their experiences in achieving personal aspirations and pointed out to some of the key prerequisites for the development of young people in the modern era.
Motivational event in Bijelo Polje, within the initiative "I Want For Myself:"
Photo: Miloš Vujović
Youth Summer Camp | Photo: Miloš Vujović
Besides summer camp and motivational events, the campaign ‘’I Wish for Myself:’’ gathers young people in the on-line arena – at the official website of the campaign and on campaign’s social media platforms:
Campaign ‘’I Wish for Myself:’’, implemented in the period from May-December 2014, is a part of the Joint UN Programme for Youth Empowerment, implemented by resident UN agencies*** in Montenegro in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Directorate of Youth and sport. Local partners - municipalities Berane, Pljevlja, Bijelo Polje, Institute for Employment - Centers for Professional Informing and Counseling (CIPS), and NGO ‘’Da zaživi selo’’, are also supporting the implementation of this campaign.
*** UN System in Montenegro is composed of five resident UN agencies: UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), International Organisation for Migration(IOM), World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as ten regionally based UN agencies : UNESCO, IAEA, ILO, UNEP, UNIDO, FAO, UNECE, UN WOMEN, UNCTAD and UNODC.