Visit to the organization Ternipe from Pirot

Today, a delegation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the AKT project visited the organization Ternipe in Pirot, which deals with the placement of young Roma men and women in this city. Ternipe was supported through AKT within the framework of a grant – public advocacy at the local level with the aim of adopting the Youth Strategy in Pirota and providing funding for youth activities in the period from 2023 – 2028.

The meeting that took place in the premises of this organization was attended by: Melina Papageorgiou, first secretary and Biljana Đusić Radmilović, portfolio manager of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Snežana Mišić Mihajlović, international team leader, Marko Rakić and Maša Babić, advisors on the AKT project, Amelija Konstantinović from the City Administration in charge of gender equality and youth issues, Radmila Nešić, Žikica Asković, Silvija Nešić in front of the Ternipa organization, Irena Stojanović in front of the Zvono organization, as well as numerous young people who participated in the project activities of the supported AKT project.

The representatives of Ternipe and the city administration informed us about the formation of the Working Body within the City Assembly, which has 29 members and whose goal is to work on the Youth Strategy, which, according to their predictions, will be adopted in May of this year. It was emphasized how important it is for the Strategy to be usable, and not to remain a “dead letter on paper”, as well as that it should be an improved version of the former Strategy.

They discussed the general problems of young people who go to study and do not return, as well as the fact that the existence of a higher education institution in Pirot at the University of Nis would solve that problem to some extent. The young people from Pirot who attended this meeting particularly emphasized how much it meant to them to attend the Camp as part of this project, where they learned that “policies”, “advocacy”, “decision-making” represent changes that have an important impact on their lives. As they stated on that occasion, they got to know each other better, socialized, learned how to organize street actions and had public performance exercises.

Melina Papageorgiou, the first secretary of the SDC, asked the young people where they find motivation for volunteering, as well as whether this will be their decision in the future, to which they replied that socializing and having fun was their first motive, but that they would certainly continue volunteering and activism. Snežana Mišić Mihajlović was interested in joining them in an informal group after the camp and starting an anti-discrimination initiative, while Biljana Đusić Radmilović asked Silvija Nešić about the biggest challenges during the implementation of the project.