The Youth Banks Network – Macedonia is aiming for young people to stay in the country and to have conditions for a better future! For this purpose and within the framework of the project, in the past 12 months, a lot of meetings were held, and a lot of topics were discussed.
The policy recommendations were discussed on more than 50 meetings with relevant stakeholders and disseminated in the country including relevant national and international stakeholders.
In the first 3 months of the year (October, November, December) the following meetings were organized:
- Meeting as part of the Strategic Planning processes: November 14, Mladiinfo office;
- Participation at CSO Caravan – Civic Activism for Local Development: presentation by Mladiinfo in Krivogashtani on youth information online: November 22, primary school “Mancu Matak”;
- Meeting with representatives of municipality of Gazi Baba;
- Meeting in the Agency of Youth and Sport.
More than 20 meetings, mostly with local NGOs, youth and local government representatives took part in the period January-March 2018:
- Meeting with Aleksandra Dichevska, Advisor for International Cooperation at Agency for Youth and Sport, January 9, 2018: Discussion on local youth councils and how they fit with the youth banks councils, part of the youth banks model, identifying areas for cooperation. Follow-up of the meeting and documents exchange (annual programme plan and YBNM project activities plan);
- Meeting with Lidija Dimova, Director of National Agency for European Education and Mobility, February 7, 2018: Discussion on capacity-building of youth organizations, among other, informing them on YBNM project and seeing opportunities for cooperation;
- Meeting with Mila Carovska, Minister of Labor and Social Policy, February 9, 2018: Setting pillars of cooperation, preparing an interview focused on youth employability and social entrepreneurship, introducing her to the YBNM project and youth banks model;
- Meeting with Mladen Frchkovski, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Responsible for national youth guarantee development, February 9, 2018: Discussion if and how YBNM project can fit in the youth guarantee program and how using YBNM, we can also address NEETs and include them in the system, making them more employable;
- Consultative meeting: collecting policy proposals by youth CSOs, organized by Agency for Youth and Sport and Government of RM, February 23, 2018: brief presentation of the YBNM idea to more than 20 participating youth CSOs as well as relevant stakeholders;
- Meeting with Ivana Tufegdzikj and Nola Ismajloska, MPs, March 1, 2018: Discussion on involvement of Mladiinfo in the new Law on Youth, seeing what areas are going to be regulated with the Law, introduction to youth banks and analyzing the legal environment for its implementation, in particular as the Law on Youth will regulate the work of the local youth councils;
- Meeting titled “Brain drain in Macedonia: perspective and strategies” by Youth Council of US Embassy, March 14, 2018: During the discussion, Mladiinfo in details presented the YBNM project and invited other youth CSOs to cooperate and contribute;
- Bottom-up meeting on cooperation and improvement of the quality of youth policies initiated by Mladiinfo, March 23, 2018. The meeting took place at the office of USAID’s Civic Engagement Project, encompassing 18 participants: representatives of the government, parliament, Agency for Youth and Sport, Ministry for Labor and Social Policy, Civic Engagement Project, USAID, Youth Educational Forum, Coalition SEGA, National Youth Council and Mladiinfo. At the meeting, the need for better coordination of the state programmes and priorities was discussed, together with the idea to exploit more the existing projects of the youth CSOs in order to accomplish the youth priorities on a national and local level. Ideas how YBNM project and the youth banks model as such fits within the state programmes for youth, in particular, national youth guarantee and local youth councils were exchanged.
Following meetings took part on a local level:
- Meetings with Novica Kostojchinoski, municipality of Vevchani, January 25, and February 7, 2018: project presentation and discussing cooperation with the municipality of Vevchani for implementation of the model;
- Meeting with Jasmina Popovska, Local Development Agency (LDA) – Struga, February 1, 2018: Enouragement to apply for YBNM membership, introduction to the model;
- Meetings with Goce Ljubinovski, Center for Sustainable Development of Community Debar, February 3 and February 15, 2018: investigating opportunities for cooperation for the better promotion of youth banks model;
- Meeting with Vesna Cvetanoska, Inkluzija Ohrid, February 6, 2018: an introduction to the project, idea to apply for membership;
- Meetings with Emin Rustemoski, Isior Struga, February 1, 2018, and February 12, 2018: an introduction to the project, idea to apply for membership;
- Meeting with Nikolina Velkoska Gligoroska, Concilor in municipality of Struga, March 20, 2018: presentation of the project, discussing interest and support;
- Meeting with Aleksandar Pop Ristov, local businessman and social entrepreneur in Bitola, February 7, 2018: initial interest to support introduction of such model in Bitola municipality and to contribute as business community;
- Meeting with Natasha Petrovska, Mayor of Bitola, October 10, 2017: initial interest Bitola to introduce youth banks model. Follow up meeting with Viktorija Nalevska, Economic Development Department of the municipality of Bitola, extended interest for cooperation;
- Meeting with Vladimir Jakimov, businessman and NGO activist in Bitola, January 17, 2018: cooperation for the outreach of the project;
- Meeting with Cvete Stanojoska, Municipality of Prilep, March 21, 2018: initial meeting, introduction to the project idea.
Among the meetings conducted in the period from April – June are the following ones:
- A meeting with several City Council representatives from Struga, 3 April 2018: the purpose of the meeting was to provide more in-depth presentation of the project as well as to discuss some details of the benefits YBNM will bring for the youth on local level. Regular meetings are to be established;
- A meeting with Valentina Pereska, member of the city council in Struga, 12 April 2018: discussion on concrete support in the advocacy processes for the establishment of youth banks fund in Struga;
- Meetings with Sonja Stojkoska, secretary at the Municipality of Struga, 5 June and 26 June 2018. While the first meeting was focused on the presentation of the project and impressions from the study visit, the next one was dedicated to discuss further the possibilities for cooperation, eventual content of the Memorandum of Understanding to be signed with the municipality, etc. Support for establishing the model is expressed and concrete steps are discussed;
- A meeting with Slavica Jovceska, responsible for the municipal sector for local development in Struga took place on 28 June 2018. Discussion on how to connect youth banks to the local development strategic documents and how to secure advocacy and lobbying for the model in the frames of the municipality;
- Initial interest and support are secured in the municipality of Ohrid, where our new member organization Inkluzija is very active: a meeting took place on 19 June 2018, with Konstantin Gjeorgieski, deputy-mayor of Ohrid. The deputy-mayor expressed interest about the model and promised support to our YBNM member to introduce the model in its municipality;
- Meetings with relevant stakeholders also took place in Skopje region, where Mladiinfo, Volunteer Center Skopje, Youth Can and Interkultura are based. Mladiinfo was in regular communication with the municipality of Gazi Baba, whose representatives also attended the study visit. The first meeting took place with Emilija Gjurchinoska – Matevska, Chief of the Support Department of Gazi Baba municipality, on May 08 2018. Later during the same day, we also had a meeting with the Mayor of Gazi Baba municipality to whom we presented the model in details as well as we discussed the municipality to nominate representatives for the study visit. On May 10 2018, we had another meeting with the Mayor to share the expectations from the study visit and to define the representatives, as well as to see what the benefits would be of the municipality and the local youth from this model. A follow-up meeting took place in July;
- A meeting was also held with the mayor of Butel municipality, on 27 June 2018, where our new member Interkultura presented the model to the mayor and its impressions from the study trip. A follow-up of the meeting is being expected these days;
- A meeting took place with Sotir Gabeloski – coordinator of youth and PR in the municipality of Krusevo, on 18 June 2018. Sotir Gabeloski who was participant on the Study Visit in B&H submitted a narrative report to the coordinator of the partner organization YAK and elaborated more about the study visit and gave detailed input and transferred the knowledge and experience gained during the SV. Furthermore, on the meeting Sotir announced that he had a preliminary meeting with the mayor from the Municipality of Krusevo and he presented the idea of Youth Banks to the mayor and he was very enthusiastic with the idea to establish and develop youth bank in a small town such as Krusevo and this can contribute to prevent the youth migration and to open opportunities for the young people. The most impactful results from the meeting was the scheduled meeting between YAK with the mayor of Krusevo and presentation of the idea in front of the councilors of the municipality. Likewise was settled an info day in Krusevo in the period of July and August in order to introduce the idea to the community including all relevant stakeholders;
- Some less formal meetings took part with municipality representatives in Prilep and Bitola, where our project partners are located;
- Meetings with the municipality of Gostivar and Zelino were also conducted and contacts are established by our YBNM members from Polog region.
The meetings that took place from July – September are:
- 1 August 2018: Meeting by Volunteer Center Skopje with the Mayor of Kisela Voda, Filip Temelkovski, initial interest for cooperation. Idea to present the project in front of the local businesses in Kisela Voda and to sign Memorandum for Cooperation;
- 6 September 2018 – Meeting between Rubincho Shefteroski, mayor of the municipality of Krivogashtani, and Youth Council Prilep, introduction to the model, initial interest for cooperation. Follow up meeting held;
- 10 September 2018 – Meeting with Gjoko Mileski from Community Center of the Municipality of Struga, presenting the project and asking for directions where the project would help in the strategies in the Municipality of Struga;
- 13 September 2018 – Meeting between the Mayor of municipality Struga Ramiz Merko and Poraka Nova, introducing and presenting the project and the model of the youth banks. With the mayor, Poraka Nova discussed the goals and benefits of youth banks for young people, including the acquisition of skills for employment and life skills, and how much the project would help in the Municipality of Struga for achieving the set goals. Mayor of Struga, Ramiz Merko showed interest and openness for cooperation. The mayor believes that the model of Youth Banks brings positive benefits for the youth and the community and that the implementation of this project would bring positive results in the municipality he manages;
- Regular meetings in the municipality of Struga, with Slavica Jovcheska – Local Development Sector of the Municipality of Struga09.2018 – 26.09.2018. Since Ms. Jovcheska has worked a lot for youth projects, especially in the Municipality of Struga, Poraka Nova has been well aware of the whole situation how to create better conditions for implementing youth banks model in the Municipality;
- 24 September 2018 – Meeting between Mladiinfo, Inkluzija Ohrid, Konstantin Georgieski – deputy mayor of Ohrid and Riste Buloski – councilor and municipality committee for youth and sport. An initiative to form local council of youth that will work on implementing the youth banks model was discussed;
- 28 September 2018 – Meeting with Sonja Stojkoska, secretary in the municipality of Struga, defined next steps of action. We will analyze how youth banks model will fit best in the Local Strategy for Youth;
- Additionally, meetings took place with the municipality of Veles and of Kochani organized by YouthCan, although they are not located in the regions the project is focused. The project idea was briefly presented as a possibility for sustainable cooperation.