The importance of RYCO: Youth as Change Agents

Edin Koljenović is the Local Branch Officer for Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) in Podgorica, Montenegro. In this interview, Mr. Koljenović talks about the importance of the establishment of RYCO as a sustainable platform to support the youth in the region. Through this platform, the youth have the opportunity to see beyond the past and jointly create a sound relationship for a more stable and prosperous future for all. 

Mr. Koljenović states that programs such as RYCO are giving the youth of the Balkans providing opportunity to feel the change, through meeting other youth from neighboring countries and learning about places which they did not want or could not go before. Because of these exchange programs youth are able to base their opinions on their personal experiences rather than the experience of their parents and this is a great change. Until now, youth of the region were focused on vising places abroad like Germany, France however, now if they are part of the exchange programs they have the opportunity to visit Tirana or Belgrade that are becoming their desired destinations to visit. 

Moreover, Mr. Koljenović emphasizes that RYCO should not be a grant-making organization rather it should be a GAME CHANGER in the region. It is a platform that is here to stay because it brought a new energy and positive impulse to the region, working with the topics that deal with the youth. 

Indeed, he concludes that there is no alternative for the future of the region besides working together. Western Balkan region without cooperation simply does not have a future. Mr. Klojenović states that we need to work together, live together, cooperate, be open, accept our differences and see that as a strength of the region to move forward. As soon as we realize this, we will be able to grow, have an economic standard and really enjoy living in the Western Balkans. 

Watch the video interview with Edin Koljenovic