Youth summer camp

Plav, Montenegro - 24-26 August 2014
More than 50 young people from nine municipalities in the North of Montenegro participated in the educational camp, organized at the shore of Lake Plav, within the campaign "I Wish for Myself:". Campaign is part of the Joint UN Programme for Youth Empowerment, focusing on the North of Montenegro.

Three-day camp aimed at supporting young people to fulfill their personal aspirations in the areas of entrepreneurship, employment and activism, was organized by the UN System in Montenegro and the Directorate for Youth and Sports of Montenegro, with the support of the Ministry of Education, Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Igor Lukšić and municipalities Berane and Pljevlja.

Through interactive work with the trainers, policy makers and successful peers, young people from the North have been working on identifying their personal goals, and also on developing plans to achieve them. The program of the camp was implemented through a series of workshops, inspirational and motivational speeches and special sessions on the topics of entrepreneurship and activism. 

One of the participants, 26 years old Milica Radojević from Berane, has been planning to establish non-governmental organization for years. At the camp, she received a strong impulse for the implementation of her plan. "The knowledge and skills that I have gained here were exactly what I was lacking to implement my plan," she said.

In the workshops and specialized training modules young people learned how to recognize their own capacities, how to design short-term and long-term plans, and how to define their own goals.

"Honestly, the camp was mildly shocking experience for me. I realized that I only have had short-term goals so far, but also that I do not have a clear vision. I could never imagine that some of my key attitudes could be changed in such a short period of time," said Katarina Svrkota, eighteen years old programmer from Pljevlja.

Her peer, Stojan Tomić from Nikšić emphasized the importance of strategic planning of self-development. "It was extremely useful to work with trainers on defining our goals. Primarily the short-term ones, and then to build-up the long term goals,"- said Tomic.

"One of the most important things that we achieved here at the camp was self-understanding, through interactive work with the peers," - said the sixteen years old Ivana Zorić. "I have learned how important is to ‘knock on my door’ first and to recognize my own capacities and shortcomings, and then to continue achieving my goals," she said.
During the three-day work with young people from the North, a business coach Srđan Vukčević has recognized clear potentials among the participants of camp. "Great potential of these young people is their desire to learn, their great ambition and capacity to already achieve some of their goals and that is exactly what we are doing here at the camp. At this point, most of them need mentoring support. They need contacts and connection with people who already have their own businesses or are involved in social activism," said Vukčević, while his colleague, trainer Ajša Hadžibegović noticed that camp participants have a very responsible attitude towards their future. "What they need now the most are opportunities to gain concrete experience," said Hadžibegović.

Guests at the camp were the Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Igor Lukšić, UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro Rastislav Vrbensky and UNICEF Representative in Montenegro, Benjamin Perks, who shared their experiences in achieving personal aspirations and pointed out to some of the key prerequisites for the development of young people in the modern era. 

"You are the generation that will shape the modern Montenegro. The obligation of all of us is to create a system in which people will be more interested in making decisions. You have to be ready to make decisions. Do not let anyone decide on your behalf because, ultimately, the responsibility for that decision will be yours," said Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Igor Lukšić, who pointed out the importance of the camp and also the campaign "I Wish for Myself:". He also announced continuation of the support to the Youth Empowerment Programme.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro Rastislav Vrbensky pointed to several important prerequisites for personal growth and success of young people today, including education, languages, pragmatism and personal interests. "It is important to clearly identify what you are good at. Also, it is very important to believe in what you do," said Vrbensky.

Highlighting some of the key principles for achieving success, UNICEF Representative in Montenegro, Benjamin Perks inspired participants at the camp by sharing the testimony of his life journey. "Success is not a the goal you have achieved. The road to success and efforts made ​​to reach a goal is much more important than the goal itself," said Perks, noting that lifelong learning is an imperative for achieving success in today's world.

Prior to educational summer camp for youth, series of motivational events were organised at North of Montenegro within the “I Wish for Myself:” campaign, gathering more than 250 young people to help them recognise ways and mechanisms to use existing opportunities and to create new ones, so they could fulfill their aspirations. Participants in the motivational events in Berane (May 31), Bijelo Polje (June 14) and Pljevlja (June 21) listened personal experiences of their peers who have managed to achieve their aspirations. In addition, they had the opportunity to connect with local and national institutions and organizations as well as to learn more about programs and services which support youth employment, entrepreneurship and activism.

Besides summer camp and motivational events, the campaign ‘’I Wish for Myself:’’ gathers young people in the on-line arena – at the official website of the campaign and on campaign’s social media platforms: Facebook:, Twitter: @SebiŽelim | #SebiZelim.