Creating resilient communities through multi-stakeholder approach “School as Community Center”

Through the support of the US Embassy in Albania, IDM has successfully implemented the multi-stakeholder approach “School as Community Centre” at the local level for the last five years.

So far, 16 high schools and 14 municipalities in Albania have participated in this approach, enabling interactive cooperation among local institutions (School-Municipality-State Police) and as well as with youth and the community in efforts to build sustainable and resilient communities against violent extremism.

The National Conference on Promoting “School as Community Center” as a multi- stakeholder approach for resilient communities organized on 5 April 2022 recognized the current cooperation with all actors empowering youth activism in local level.

Youth were a special part of the conference, bringing their experiences and perception on the “School Community Center” model through the implementation of local initiatives and networking activities.

In a conversation with youth, Ambassador Yuri Kim, brought the message “ART” – Ambition, Respect, Team Work, and encouraged them to believe and respect in their skills, to be themselves and work as part of a team and community.

Moreover, representatives from key local institutions, including schools, discussed the results and impact of this model on local communities. It should be noted that this experience has enabled schools to become stronger promoters of social development and democratic values.

IDM has taken the first steps in extending across the country and high schools the experience of implementing a multi-stakeholder approach, through 9 regional meetings with 140 high schools from all 61 municipalities in the country. Furthermore, other high schools in Peqin, Vora, Shijak, and Bilisht have also joined local youth activities and projects based on this model.

In addition to raising the awareness of young people on concerning social problems in their communities, through trainings the model has enabled youth to strengthen their skills in coding and media literacy, youth participation in decision-making processes, volunteering activities and civic engagement in their local community.

Special support was provided for setting up multifunctional classrooms in each school, enabling them to be fully equipped with computers, printers / video projectors, and books for the library. The school spaces are used as an open venue not only for students and school staff, but also for parents and the community.

Additionally, the “School Community Center” approach was launched in six new municipalities and high schools of the country – Vau i Dejes, Peshkopi, Pogradec, Roskovec, Gjirokaster, Shkoze, Tirane.

Through this multi- stakeholder approach, we stand united and committed towards a more sustainable and hopeful future for our youth.