ALBANIA/NORTH MACEDONIA – Supported by RYCO and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund through the second RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals, the Association for support of families, individuals and groups HAPPY LIFE in North Macedonia, in partnership with Golden Hand NGO in North Macedonia and with Shoqata Unë Gruaja in Albania, implemented the project “Craft as intercultural tool to integrate youth with special needs in the society”.
The project, which took place from July 2019 to November 2020, helped youth develop their skills on knitting and traditional crafts. 52 young people from Albania and North Macedonia attended creative workshops and training, with an emphasis on social inclusion, self-employment and social entrepreneurship. Moreover, youth strengthened their capacities on knitting as an intercultural tool and craft.
“Through this project, young people acquired knowledge and skills for knitting, which will give them the opportunity for self-employment in the future,” Project Coordinator Ms Kristina Ristovska said.
During the training held, young people learned also about shaping new opportunities and preserving traditional and cultural heritage in their communities.
The main activities that were held throughout the project consisted of the training on knitting, an international camp and workshops where young participants practiced the newly gained skills, as well as an awareness raising campaign on the importance of social entrepreneurship, youth empowerment, and the inclusion and participation of youth with disabilities in the society.
At the end of the project, the organizers developed a Manual for Knitting and Social Entrepreneurship which intends to provide interested and motivated youth with knowledge on hand knitting techniques. The manual aims to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of young people in implementing unique and creative initiatives that can strengthen youth cooperation, especially with those coming from vulnerable groups.