Carrickfergus YMCA Visits Kosovo

June 2023

Creating brighter futures for communities through Inspiring collaboration.

During the month of June, the Carrick YMCA Outreach team had the opportunity to visit YMCA Kosovo in Prishtina, Gjakova and Peja where they had the opportunity to see the local YMCA camp, office and explore the YMCA shops. During their visit they engaged in meaningful conversations, exchanged ideas and discussed future projects and current programmes.  The team was one of the first international visitors to Camp Pjetershan, a work in progress, it highlighted the dedication of the members of YMCA Kosovo required to get a project from concept, up out of the ground, organising everything from building works, water supply, showers, beds, bedding. With so much more still to do and the final push for funding to complete it resonated with how staff and volunteers across the YMCA go above and beyond to make creative youth spaces across the world. 

The international delegation helped the National Secretary Dorina to present GOLD peer leaders their certificates and pin badges, (John, we need pin badges for across the Irish movement, just saying) and it was lovely to meet such a lovely group of young people. The experience strengthened the partnership between the two organisations and reinforced their shared goals of empowering young people and making a positive impact on society. 

There was lots of opportunity to reflect on the impact of conflict in Ireland and Kosovo. Listening to personal stories and visiting memorials of the Kosovo conflict really demonstrated to the group how we can become desensitised to our own experiences of conflict in Northern Ireland and how we as a movement should be striving towards peace.  

The collaboration between the two movements was inspiring and highlighted the dedication and passion of both teams in creating a brighter future for their communities.