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Recapping the Regional U.S. Embassy Youth Councils Workshop

The sun shone over Hotel Continental in Skopje as more than 60 members from Youth Council of the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Macedonia and U.S. Embassy Youth Council Albania embarked on a three-day-long journey. The goals? Learning, meeting new people, and changing their communities one idea at a time.
The Regional U.S. Embassy Youth Councils Workshop lasted from October 26-28, 2018. It united two teams of very talented, enthusiastic, and creative young people from Macedonia and Albania, willing to collaborate together and drive positive change. Under the watchful eye of the organizers and facilitators, they got a chance to develop their skills and learn more about leadership, management, advocacy, mentorship, program evaluation, and social entrepreneurship. It was through the guest speakers’ inspiring success stories that the members of the two councils got motivated to do something meaningful for their society and start projects together. Connected to this, they addressed the most common issues youths face nowadays and discussed possible solutions in teams.
During one of the sessions, the participants were visited by the United States Ambassador to Macedonia H. E. Jess Baily, who spoke about youth participation in policy-making and shared his personal experiences before the crowd. The visit concluded with a fruitful discussion, which provided answers to the questions that interested the members of both councils the most.
Another important objective of the workshop was showing the best ways to get the message across to more young people and engage them in different types of activities. Sessions about youth in media and social media presence were designed for this purpose. This was where the participants got introduced to some of the most successful youth movements and their actual effects on people’s lives as well as tips and tricks to get noticed on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. To get to know each other better, they presented themselves in a video made as an Instagram story. The activity awakened their creative spirit, showing how well they can communicate a message with their peers.
Finally, let’s not forget all the fun, laughs, networking, bonding, and of course, the epic energizers. Starting from line dancing and morning massages to yoga sessions and games, there was something to keep everyone relaxed and inspired.
Relationships that’ll last for a lifetime were forged in the course of these three amazing days. One of the participants in the workshop said, “The thing that really stood out for me was the new partnership between the Youth Councils. I’m so excited to see the projects and ideas we discussed here come to life.”
We couldn’t agree more. Until next time!

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