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Prosperity Initiative in Kosovo (PIKS) is implementing its flagship project Lokalizo which is a youth digital mapping project supported by UNICEF Innovations Lab Kosovo and Voices of Youth Mapping Initiative.
The Lokalizo project will gradually empower groups of young
people, to contribute and become agents of positive change in
their communities. This activism of young people will result in
amplifying their voices and in getting them to proactively engage
in the decision-making processes in their
but how did Lokalizo come about?
The idea for for this project was presented to one of the Lokalizo team-members as an opportunity for testing the Urgency Ranking component of the Voices of Youth (VOY) Maps platform back in October, 2013 where UNICEF was screening for people from all over the world to try out this innovation. Following the testing phase, the interest to provide this technology to our peers in Kosovo remained very high. Simultaneously, we heard about the a call for submitting ideas for improving communities through youth empowerment. The third edition of the Social Innovations Camp Kosovo was the place where our team developed the prototype to verify how the platform works. So, over a long weekend we developed a mock-up of the VOY Maps platform as based on the notion of the minimum viable product, showcased before judges how the platform works, proposed the benefits that this innovation has to offer and how we plan to grow this project. For a detailed description of our experience during this event check out: http://unicefstories.org/2014/04/14/reflections-on-social-innovation-camp-kosovo-3-lokalizo-net/
Following the last three months, our team in Prishtina has
invested hundreds of hours in establishing the voices of youth
mapping initiative with a strong foundation. Our team engaged in
a quest to produce everything based on quality, for this each
design used for Lokalizo engaged the work of our creative team
members which turned each production stage into art pieces in
order to make lokalizo unique and authentic and thus more
interesting for our target audience.
We have also created the website for Lokalizo, which will serve as the bridge for accessing the platform provided to us by VOY MAPS. The reason for this extra website is utilizing this junction for reaching more young people from local communities through translating the global initiative in all working languages in Kosovo. Currently we have translated the platform in Albanian, and we kindly welcome people from other communities in Kosovo to join us to translate the platform in other languages. Our project also develops the linguistic abilities of our participants by providing them the opportunity to become young reporters and sharing their testimonies in a variety of ways. In doing that they acquire skills on a number of vital areas such as: research, documentation, storytelling, advocacy, blogging, technology literate, which will come in handy for their future goals.
Last week, on Thursday, May 19th, the Lokalizo project opened its
doors to a group of incoming participants who joined the project
following our call for mapping communities in Prishtina. We have
received 37 applications while we invited approximately twenty to
the first workshop - which, for the volunteers, served as the
first occasion to get introduced with the rest of our team and to
learn the insights about Lokalizo. In the event, which was held
in the premises of the Innovations Lab Kosovo where the prototype
of Lokalizo was developed several months ago, overall 18 people
participated and jointly created a fun and productive
environment. We anticipate to organize a new round of recruiting
next month for the next cycle of mapping.
The aim of this workshop was leading a conceptual discussion about Lokalizo, youth digital mapping, what it means to live in a community, and digital reporting. The ending part served as the basis for officially welcoming the new volunteers and informing them about the upcoming activities of our project.
Here is what some of our youth coordinators had to say about the
A five month work was being shown to the first group of
volunteers for youth mappers attracted by the idea of Lokalizo.
This was one of those occasions where you see how every moment of
stress and hard work spent on something was worth it. Our team is
very enthusiastic about Lokalizo and it was rewarding to find out
that our volunteers shared the same feeling. This workshop was
only the start of a remarkable journey that aims to empower the
youth by enabling them to make their communities better. Mapping
and reporting, here we come!
Personally, I had a great experience during the workshop held on May 15th, 2014. Everything was perfectly organized, and the presentation of the project was done in an excellent way. Our team put their best efforts into making the new volunteers feel welcome and feel like they are among friends; in order to make it as easy as possible for them to ask questions and share their opinions freely. The only disadvantage of this workshop was the fact that not all of the selected volunteers, for the project Lokalizo, participated in the event.
Being a part of the first workshop as member of "Lokalizo" team, was a very special feeling for me. That is because meeting other people which believe in our idea and are ready to contribute towards trying to achieve the best out of the project, provides us as team another great push to work harder for the upcoming phases of the project.
In the meantime, our team is following the weather forecast, since bad weather has disabled us to go out and start mapping the streets of Prishtina over this weekend. Once we have the date set we will return to share with you more about our mapping plan for that day.