Ten students of “Bardhyl Pojani” high school planted the last tree in Albania that constitute the final part of “The Peace Path” physical activities. The tree was planted in Korça in the yard of the “Bardhyl Pojani” high school this past month. This activity concludes “The Peace Path” project, a regional initiative implemented amongst 5 partners in three different areas of the Western Balkan region including Albania, North Macedonia, and Kosovo*. Despite the difficulties and limitations imposed by the pandemic situation “The Peace Path” project engaged in total 30 students from “Bardhyl Pojani” high school in Korça, Albania, “Aco Ruskovski” high school in Berovo, North Macedonia, and “Odhise Paskali” high school in Peja, Kosovo*.
Divided in two main phases, “The Peace Path” initiative engaged three external experts in environmental protection field issues aiming at increasing information and capacities of students regarding climate change, protected areas, and environmental activism. The students were introduced to simple examples and actions that can be implemented in everyday life with the aim of protecting the environment and cultivating environmentally friendly habits. During the working group sessions, they had more opportunities to interact with each other, foster communication, and new friendships, and engage in practical activities leading to the development of their skills and creativity in relationship to environment and climate change.
The second phase consisted in the formation of “The Peace Path”, a symbolic trail however consisting of an actual planting of 8 trees in the three different areas of the Western Balkans mentioned above, to enhance the collaboration among their youths, increase their understanding on environmental issues and foster their connection with nature and local societies. Most of these trees were planted in the yards of the partnering high schools that implemented this project under our instruction, thus demonstrating in this way not only a symbolic solution to existing environmental challenges, but also establishing a positive example for the coming generations. The planted trees, supplemented by signboards of this initiative, will stand as a living example of a successful cooperation, community engagement and environmental activism. The footprint of this activity will certainly remain in the memories of the students and teachers involved and the history of the trees’planting will be transmitted by this generation to future ones.
A distinct added value of this initiative is the fact that it enabled exchange and engagement opportunities for young people living in rural areas, boys and girls alike, coming from families with fewer possibilities to participate in projects of this kind. We strongly believe that all human beings are equal and, as such, we aim to create equal opportunities for all.
A recent interview regarding this project was also conducted by RTSH and can be watched on YouTube.
“The Peace Path” is a project financed by the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) and implemented by the M & M Ivanaj Foundation Institut in Tirana in partnership with “BardhylPojani” school in Pojan, Korçë Albania, “Aco Ruskovski” school in Berovo, North Macedonia, “Let’s do it Peja’ organization and “OdhisePaskali” school in Peja, Kosovo (*).
(*) This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.