Last week, my friend Jessie and I attended an “Activate” event hosted by UNICEF Innovations Lab Kosovo. Here is a description from their Facebook page: “Activate is UNICEF Innovations Lab Kosovo’s annual event, held with the aim to promote the innovative technologies and initiatives developed by the Lab and highlight the work of young social innovators involved in the Lab’s programs. Guests will be able to meet Youth Leaders and discover their vision and their work within their communities.”
After listening to several speeches given by representatives of UNICEF and ING bank (their partner in this program), event participates were encouraged to visit tables set up by different youth organizations to learn more about their projects.
I was impressed not only by the commitment of the young people I met, but also by their innovative ideas. There were a variety of different types of organizations representing different cities in Kosovo.
Made with Love is a volunteer organization that works with a domestic violence shelter. Women who live in the shelter make baked goods, and volunteers help sell and distribute them.
AstroFER is a youth astronomy club that aims to teach and generate interest in astronomy in their city.
Shnet is an organization that aims to educate youth on sexual health and wellness.
Inc Light works with disabled children, teaching them out to make candles and assisting them in selling their work. I bought this cute little bear candle:
My friend and I spoke to a number of other youth volunteers, including a group of students who are trying to raise funds to open a youth center in their village, and a group of female chemistry majors in college who are developing a project to remove heavy metals from drinking water.
I sound like someone’s old granny when I say this, but it was inspiring to meet so many smart young people contributing to their communities. 🙂