20 members of KBB of Pristina participated in the summer camp hosted by SIT and YMCA on 20 – 21 August 2019. The summer camp took place at the touristic center in Junik which is a tower that was renovated so it can be used for different group activities.
The location was chosen because it offers both a camping experience and comfort during the day. In the evening they were enjoying the beautiful nature of Junik by doing different activities and sleeping in tents that were set outside. Setting these tents was one of the first team-building activities. Participants were encouraged to set up their own tents, so they could work together.
The first day started with a discussion about gender identity held by SIT which was very interesting for the participants. They got to share their beliefs and knowledge about how gender is constructed and how we talk about our gender in the Kosovar society. Radicalism was also brought up and discussed during this activity. During the Gender-bread Person exercise, they got to explore how gender is expressed and felt by different people, this led to many different discussions throughout the day.
In the evening they had a chance to sit around the fire and reflect on how they felt during the day and how the activities affected them. Some of them mentioned that they enjoyed the Personality Test, which was one of the activities held by the YMCA, where participants could reflect on their mental health and share their concerns with their peers. They stated that it is very important for them to have space where they can talk about their mental health and its importance.
We believe that this camp created the safe space for youth to come together and discuss various topics together with people from SIT and YMCA who have experience working with youth and have knowledge about topics such as human rights, gender equality, mental health, radicalism, and leadership among others. So, youth could feel understood and supported by these professionals when sharing their own experiences.
For some of the young people, it was the first time participating in such events where both boys and girls were talking about gender equality. One of the girls stated that she decided to join this camp after she had read books about violence against women, and she thought this would be a good opportunity for her to come and discuss this topic with others, especially boys, since she thought that it is indeed very important for them to be engaged in these discussions. There are not so many spaces where both girls and boys can gather and talk about these issues while having fun and socializing with each other. Thus, KBB is a very nice place to go and discuss on these topics.
These two days have been full of activities, games, and debates. All this time young people were very active and even though most of them knew each other and were very comfortable with each other they also welcomed new members and made them feel part of the group. During this camp, they got to extend their network, create new friendships and create good memories that will make them want to be part of such activities in the future again.
Here is what some of the participants said about the camp:
“I had so much fun in these two days. The best thing was sleeping in tents and the campfire was amazing. I met people here who were so creative, open-minded and positive.” – Elona Sejdiu, 16 years old.
“What I like is that we were free to speak our thoughts on all of the subjects that were treated during the workshops. Also, the energizers were a good example of making our creative work and put in the good teamwork and making us have a better way to approach people in a friendly way.” – Shkodran Latifi, 18 years old.
“I have been a part of “KBB” for two years already. Always new experiences, smart open-minded people and a new way of living, like camping. KBBs organizations for combining it is awesome and now when it ended I feel really sad because I want to be surrounded with positive, productive, and creative smart people.” – Bleona Llugaliu, 19 years old.
“These two days in camp were so much interesting and attractive for me. This camp helped me to meet new people, get new experiences and to be in a new environment. Besides this, I liked the new methods which the organizations who work with KBB are using, they guide us in a professional way on social topics.” – Erjon Zeqaj, 16 years old.