YOU.ALBANIA AND THE ITALIAN NCS
“You.Albania” is a project run under the Italian National Civil Service Program. Originally conceived as a non-violent defense body for the Italian homeland, this program has later evolved into a chance for thousands of young adults, to get involved for a one-year period in countless projects and activities dealing with solidarity and public services, being nested in the staff of hundreds of NGOs, CSOs and public authorities.
Within this program, the projects abroad are managed by restricted number of Italian NGOs. They offer a unique opportunity of personal enrichment and exchange to both, the young adults who take part in the projects, and the hosting communities.
I volontari del SCN durante la formazione presso gli uffici del GUS Italia a Roma
By enabling mutual knowledge, as well as a sound experience of the humanitarian and development work, these projects foster the growth of solidarity, as well as a ever-lasting feeling of the great value of cultural diversity.
The final goal of You.Albania is to promote active citizenship, and a new model of society, based on a positive interaction among different cultures.
The volunteers, Italians and Albanians, are now fully enrolled as GUS Albania staff, engaged in the daily work of the local team, and tutored by the acting director of the NGO. They contribute to increase social and civic participation, and to encourage the active participation of Albanian youth in the formulation of new policies for youth empowerment, based on success models such as of the National Civil Service and the EC Erasmus + Program. They have voluntarily chosen to be part of this ‘army of peace’, have chosen a year of human and professional growth and a journey to discover the most important aspects of our country and our society.
Aged between 26 and 29 years old and raised at the time of the Millenial Generation, the 4 volunteers represent a combination of experiences, identities and abilities very different from each other: Chiara, a graduate in school and community psychology, lives in Perugia and has Slovak by mother;
Boiken, graduated in Political Science and International Relations, was born in Valona but has lived more time in Tuscany between Pisa and Florence than in his native country;
at the same latitude as Valona, just moving a few kilometers further west is the city of Lecce, where Marco lives, also graduating in Political Science and convinced, by his own admission, that in Albania will not find something very different from that that he is used to calling ‘home’;
And the protagonist will be the ancient relationship between these two countries, Italy and Albania. Currently they work with young people in Tirana trying to foster a democratic interaction between different cultures, the construction of new forms of youth participation, and new models of active citizenship, also through innovative paths of non-formal education to interculture.
The activities include meetings with youth and school communities, campaigns to promote volunteering, networking among local organizations, promotion and organization of training paths and intercultural paths and workshops in schools, monitoring of human rights legal framework, youth social inclusion, juvenile justice, child protection and access to the legal system.
Furthermore, the volunteers are trained and required to conduct research and monitoring activities. They therefore find and connect fresh data, research and reports, aiming at fueling the debate on the issues mentioned above (e.g., the judiciary reform), as well as the full involvement of youth in the social and political life in Albania.