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I am a student at the "Sami Frashëri '' Gymnasium, studying Social Sciences. I participated in a lot of trainings and activities as a volunteer, where I had the opportunity to meet many peers, adults, and gain new knowledge. My involvement in activities of different organizations has made me understand very well the concept of active citizenship and the importance of citizen participation in governance and processes which aim the improvement of our communities. Therefore, a big part of my interest to participate in the project “Lokalizo” has to do with the knowledge and experience that I have accumulated on this field, while I am motivated to turn yet another time my activism into practice and contribute to doing social good.
I was thrilled to receive the news that I was to become one of the first youth mappers of Lokalizo in Prishtina, while from there I started counting the days before activities with the team would begin.
The day arrived, and there is this saying in my country which goes “you can tell that it will be a good day in the early morning” and indeed we had great weather that day. Up to that point, or before starting the activity with the team, I was curious for understanding better how to work with the online platform, the mobile application, and the kite and balloon. I was constantly imagining myself and my teammates roaming around parts of our city equipped with smartphones, or flying the kite in the sky. On the day we got together, It was as I thought before, my imagination became reality.
It was a hot day as if it was summer, we were lucky that the weather was good for us to go out mapping, but the lack of wind made it more difficult for us to fly the kite in the sky. The activity happened at the “Mati” neighbourhood. It was the optimal place to do a test to start our mapping campaign and gain practical experience for using the kite, while we also tested the voices of youth mobile application for reporting issues directly to the online platform.
The mobile application is the most functional tool which the Lokalizo team uses to report problems. The app is very user-friendly and it does not require great time to learn how to use it.
I consider the knowledge on how to use this application as very valuable as it will directly empower us to advocate for change. We learned that it is important to create powerful reports which can convince other people into action. For creating a report, first one needs to do a photo that captures the attention of people, classify the problem into the right category through selecting keywords, thinking about a creative title and a description that is to the point and presents the reality surrounding the problem completely. The process of reporting is so important because we are able to show our creativity and challenge our thinking so that we can find the solution to the problems we find in the neighborhoods in Prishtina. It is indeed a great tool that not only our group but soon all the young people in Kosovo to make use of in the future for addressing problems in their communities.
The experience with the kite was equally interesting because we learned directly how it creates community awareness about our activism. It was beautiful to see the kite in the sky. It seemed like a big bird or a small aeroplane, and not only are we doing something valuable for our city but it turned out that one can have great fun while doing something valuable for ones community. We enjoyed it a lot.
As our activity went underway, in the horizon we were seeing and hearing children that were observing our work. Seeing random people and children showing interest about our work and what we want to accomplish was a really good sign and a motivator for the upcoming activities.
Overall my experience on this day was great because I liked how the entire team was organised, and everybody was doing something in order to make the most out of our work in that neighbourhood.
For us this experience means a lot, because we are trying to increase the awareness of people for the environment where they live. This experience is a good chance for us, to show our creativity, and through our motivation to be the ones who drive through positive change, and while doing that we want to tell the world that the youth have the potential to create a better life in our communities. Our work will ultimately improve the living conditions in our communities, and to lead our lives with great consideration to sustainable development.