Pooling youth energy for unleashing potentials of the North

Berane, Montenegro - 31 May 2014
What do young people in Montenegro dream about? What challenges do they face while achieving their aspirations? Are those aspirations achievable? These and many other issues of relevance for young people were at the centre of a first of a kind motivational event organised in Berane within the framework the initiative „Sebi želim” (I Want), which aims to support young people to achieve their aspirations, especially in the areas of entrepreneurship and activism.
The initiative is part of a joint UN programme which strives to empower young people, focusing on the underdeveloped North of Montenegro. Event organized in a high school “Panto Mališić“ gathered young people from northern municipalities Berane, Andrijevica, Plav, Gusinje and Rožaje to hear experiences from their peers who achieved their aspirations. 
"I believe that constant work on yourself is way more important than having a diploma or graduating faculty. Luck is most often result of a hard work, and one of the main preconditions for success is setting measurable goals," said Anton Jurovicki, a young web-entrepreneur and one of motivational speakers who urged participants to get engaged in  various activities around them.
Among six young people who talked about their successes was Jovana Živković who appealed to her peers not to wait for opportunities, but to create them. "Persistence is the key to fulfilment of your goals and aspirations. There is no guarantee, but when you step up and take things into your own hands, not expecting that others will achieve your goals for you, it is much more likely you will get what you want," said Jovana.
After the motivational speeches, participants had an opportunity to take part in the Youth opportunities fair in the lobby, where they had chance to link up with local and national institutions and organizations, who presented their programs and services aimed for youth employment, entrepreneurship and activism. Participants also had an opportunity to write down their aspirations and share it with others by pining them on the Aspiration Board
Having been inspired by their peers and having explored various opportunities that different stakeholders provide for young people, they wrapped up the day`s experience by the 2-hour workshop, where young people talked about their dreams and aspirations and key obstacles on the way to achieve them. Finally, at the end of the workshop, participants signed up for an educational summer camp which will be organized in August.
After Berane, motivational events will be organized in Bijelo Polje (14th June) and Pljevlja (21st June), which will be followed by the Summer Camp – Youth Aspirations Lab at the end of August. Participants of the Youth Aspirations Lab will be supported to achieve their aspirations by offeringthem skills, knowledge and information about employment, running their own business, as well as about activism and participation in decision-making. The initiative also envisages mentoring component which will help young people to realize their plans and ideas developed during the camp.
The initiative is based on results of the research which the UN System in Montenegro conducted in 2013. Research has shown that nearly half of young people in Montenegro believe that personal acquaintance is crucial for employment and that the majority of young people want to work in the public sector. The analysis also showed that a third of young people in Montenegro is thinking about starting their own business, but only 4% has taken concrete steps in this regard.
In addition to the motivational events and summer camp initiative „Sebi želim” (I Want) will gather young people on social networks - Facebook : www.facebook.com/SebiZelim , Twitter : @SebiŽelim | #SebiZelim.   
The initiative, which will be implemented in the period May - December 2014, is part of the joint UN Programme for Youth Empowerment, implemented by UN agencies *** in Montenegro in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Directorate of Youth and Sports. The initiative is also supported by number of local partners. Organization of the event for young people in Berane was supported by the Municipality of Berane, Gymnasium "Panto Mališić" and Employment bureau/Centre for career information and counseling Berane. 
*** The United Nations System in the country is comprised of five resident agencies: UN Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as seven regionally based UN organisations: UNESCO, IAEA, UNEP, UNIDO, FAO, UNECE, UN WOMEN.