Our work in bridging the knowledge and understanding the gap between countries of Eastern and Western Europe encouraged ThinkYoung to work in Kosovo.
The “Advocacy for Young People in Kosovo” project was motivated by a broad set of goals and thus included a multi-faceted set of activities.
Visiting a country where half of the population is under 25 years old, gave us a lot of food for thought regarding what foreign citizens can do in Kosovo to help young people there have access to better opportunities in Europe than those they have now. We wanted to explore with our own eyes what kind of needs we could address with our expertise.
Our first project, “Advocacy for Young People in Kosovo,” was motivated by the goal to raise awareness of the youth in Kosovo and their struggles to explore Europe, to study abroad and have short term internships and working experience due to visa restrictions.
The success in meeting these goals as well as the engagement of a diverse range of individuals and civil society and political actors has led us to launch the project Sustainable Kosovo in 2011.
The second edition of our Kosovo Project was guided by the idea to extend our report on young people in Kosovo beyond the capital city.
Since ThinkYoung is concerned with young people, our aim in the second project is to show young people involved in securing the sustainable development throughout Kosovo.
Topics of Sustainable Kosovo
- Development in rural areas:
After “Wanna come to Prishtina?” comes the time to focus on the life in the rural areas of Kosovo. With our first documentary, we proved that young people in the capital want to travel abroad and have visa liberalization, but what about their peers in the villages?
In our second documentary, “This summer in Kosovo”, we show what young people in rural Kosovo want for their futures, as well as what their thoughts are on the current political and economical situation of their country.
Moving away from the elite in Prishtina, a focus on the rural areas of Kosovo enables us to understand those who are in most direct need of a better future – the young people who do not live in cities, who have not been able to thoroughly develop language skills and who have not been given the opportunity to travel abroad.
What is the role of young Kosovars in the economy of their country?
Considering 50% of the population is under 25 years-old, ThinkYoung wants to investigate on the sustainability of a country with such exceptional demographics.
The questions that will be addressed regarding the economy in Kosovo will focus on two aspects: the characteristics of the business environment and the situation of young entrepreneurs.
Our goal with this topic is to make Europe aware of the potential of Kosovo, especially regarding the young working force, which would foster European interest for visa liberalization. Concerning the sustainable development of the region, dealing with young entrepreneurs serves as an inspiration for the rural areas of the country, which promotes growth, equality, and eventually sustainability.
- Political Involvement:
Sustainable development requires citizen’s involvement in politics through civil society initiatives and active citizenship.
Considering the low participation in the latest elections in Kosovo, particularly among the youngest population, political involvement is a key issue for sustainable development in the region.
What are the root causes for this alleged political apathy?
What initiatives can be undertaken in order to raise political awareness and strengthen active citizenship?
Do young people not care or is there something wrong with the system?
Our study finds out what young Kosovars feel about politics in their own country and abroad, especially in relation to the European Union.
By addressing a set of pressing topics, our aim is to not only enhance mutual understanding between the EU and Kosovo, but to emphasize the crucial role these young people have to play in the construction of their (civil) society.
- Make young Europeans aware of the situation in Kosovo:
Following ThinkYoung’s idea of bridging gaps, we believe in the need of young Europeans to be aware of their peers’ situation in Kosovo. Not only to benefit the development of Kosovo itself, but also because of the potential this country has for the rest of Europe.
- Promote Kosovo’s Sustainable Development:
The goal is to show young people’s relevance in regards to their country’s development. By proving youngster’s importance in Kosovo, we will also be proving the potential of young people in Europe.
- Lobby for visa liberalization:
Visa liberalization is a necessary tool to exploit the country’s potential. It would allow to improve education and business opportunities, therefore improving the country’s economy.
Once again, developing Kosovo is not only beneficial for its population, but for its neighbor countries, and Europe as well. We also believe visa liberalization is an issue of justice and fairness towards young Kosovars, which very much fits the values of the European Union and its defence of human rights.