South Serbia Youth and Entrepreneurs Recognized for Participation in YouthBuild Program

South Serbia Youth and Entrepreneurs Recognized for Participation in YouthBuild Program
U.S. Ambassador Michael D. Kirby with 2014 YouthBuild program graduates
USAID Serbia

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bujanovac – United States Ambassador Michael D. Kirby, Predrag Ranić, Head of Caritas Luxembourg Mission in Serbia, and Maja Stojanović, Executive Director at Civic Initiatives, awarded certificates to the third generation of participants in the YouthBuild program in South Serbia.  Municipal representatives also distributed letters of recognition to thirty local entrepreneurs for their participation and support. 

The YouthBuild program selected a multiethnic group of 41 young women and men from Bujanovac, Vranje, and Preševo, and provided them with five months of training to prepare them for the labor market and to study community activism, human rights, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills.  Along with these courses, participants led 13 community projects, such as refurbishing a music school, painting school classrooms, renovating a pensioners’ club, and helping with flood clean-up.

“These young people have provided us with an example that effort, work, and engagement in the local community are always noticed.  I believe that their effort and enthusiasm should be supported and rewarded, in order for them to continue to provide a positive example for all of society,’’ said Maja Stojanović of Civic Initiatives. 

“I think that I have learned a lot in these five months,'' said Gardijan Zeciri, one of the participants.  “I believe that informal education is very important, especially in search for employment.  We have done many good things together, but it represents only the beginning.''  

The YouthBuild – Educated and Active Youth program is implemented in South Serbia by Civic Initiatives, and supported by USAID within the project “Empowered Youth for Positive Changes in South Serbia and Sandžak.” Caritas Luxembourg Foundation, YouthBuild International, the City of Vranje, and municipalities of Bujanovac and Preševo also contribute to the program.