UNICEF and Austrian Development Agency (ADA) extend the partnership to empower an additional 20,000 young people across Kosovo
Prishtina, 24th of May 2021 – Today, UNICEF Office in Kosovo and Austrian Development Agency extended the partnership in the amount of EUR 500,000 to institutionalize and consolidate innovations for youth in Kosovo.
Since 2012, Austrian Development Agency and UNICEF have partnered together in Kosovo to empower young people to be agents of social change. This long-term strategic partnership annually reached around 7,000 young people who have been equipped with 21st century skills and exposed to experiential learning opportunities. The programme has been successful in contributing to the skills building of young people in three main areas such as: social innovation and entrepreneurship, social advocacy and critical media literacy skills.
The new amended agreement foresees several interventions:
- Strengthening skills-based curriculum and provision of blended learning solutions for the upper-secondary formal education system;
- Institutionalizing local social innovation hubs;
- Digital solutions for public institutions;
- Strengthening professional readiness through internship and volunteerism of adolescent girls and boys and young men and women.
The extended proposed project will ensure that 19,735 adolescent girls and boys and young men and women are provided with quality education through blended learning solutions, skills for life, skills for decent work and access to experiential learning opportunities. In addition, 1,000 teachers will get access to the digital learning platform and trained in the delivery of 21st century skills training. This will ultimately ensure that young men and women are empowered to achieve their full potential and are ready to become social change agents/innovators/entrepreneurs.
Sandra Horina, Head of Office at Austrian Coordination Office Pristina highlighted that “ Our Future is in Our Youth – this statement is well known to all of us and has been repeated many, many times. But this statement is especially applying to Kosovo now because I believe that one of the most serious challenges this country is facing is the brain-drain, specially of young and educated people. So, support provided to the youth today is the support provided to Kosovo tomorrow. I am proud that the Austrian Government and the Austrian Development Agency remains the biggest supporter of adolescents and youth programme of UNICEF in Kosovo. And I am especially happy that with our support, young people in Kosovo are benefiting from various experiential learning opportunities and are gaining skills that are making them fully fit for the 21st century.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the education system in Kosovo and implementation of the activities by young people. UNICEF in partnership with ADA turned these challenges into opportunity by providing online tools and support to young people to bridge the digital divide and continue implementing foreseen interventions.
During the lockdown, with the generous support of ADA, young people were at the driving seat by developing and implementing projects in response to the COVDI-19 situation. 2,556 of young men and women in targeted municipalities have reported increased applicable skills, 4,409 adolescent girls and boys, and young men and women benefited directly from project whereas 14,655 indirect adolescent girls and boys and young men and women have benefited from the project (≥ 70% 15-18 years old; ≥ 62% girls and women; ≥ 20% non-majority community members).
Murat Sahin, Head of UNICEF Kosovo Office points out that “adolescents and young people (boys and girls), particularly those living with disabilities and from poorer households, rural communities and ethnic minority groups, have insufficient access to quality education, relevant youth participation platforms to amplify their voices and employment. With never ending support from Austrian Government, UNICEF will expand its outreach and empower 20,000 adolescents with opportunities for quality learning, a productive life, decent work and active citizenship, so that their life choices are expanded, transformed and translated into improved perspectives and livelihoods”.
UNICEF and ADA are committed to continue this partnership to ensure that every adolescent, youth and young person in in Kosovo benefits from programmes that supports them to navigate better their future.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.