The GLOW and YMLP Youth Fund by YMCA Bitola provides opportunities for GLOW and YMLP Clubs throughout the country to implement skills they’ve learned in service project design and management by writing a grant and implementing a project to improve their community. In the first ever round of grant applications, seven GLOW and YMLP clubs were awarded the grant based on their project proposals, written by youth leaders, in the areas of environment, civic engagement and the arts. These clubs completed service projects in their community with materials provided by the GLOW and YMLP Youth fund- each of the projects were completed for under 100 USD.
Bitola GLOW and YMLP held an awareness event for their community about the importance of riding bikes and other clean, environmental methods of commuting to work and to school. Their event, where guests participated in competitions, reflections, and games had over 35 participants who learned about air pollution. Iskra, the club mentor and GLOW camp Counselor in Training said “What I loved about our service project was the dedication and effort our team devoted to the subject- air pollution, especially in a time of voracious apathy. The project attracted many people to see what we have to say and affected them in a positive way, so they could help in the process of reducing air pollution in our community by cycling. With the completion of our service project, me and my club members felt extremely fulfilled and satisfied as our endeavour paid off and we saw the results we were hoping for- self-awareness and consciousness of the power for change people possess.”
GLOW Kriva Palanka gave back to the City Museum, a local community institution which the club has made their home. With the Youth Fund materials, GLOW Kriva Palanka cleaned the museum grounds, and sanded and painted the older benches all around the property. The 7 club members dedicated a total of 14 hours to this project. Kriva Palanka youth leader and GLOW camp alumni Adrijana said “What I liked the most about our service project was that we have done something good for our community and for the institution that allowed us to use its halls in order to realise our amazing meetings. The service project made us to feel motivated to make more changes in the community in order to make it better!”
Ohrid GLOW/YMLP Club held an Electronics Recycling Event at SOSU Sts, Kiril and Metodij Economics High School. With the help of the school director and staff, and a Skopje-based recycling company, NULAOTPAD DOO, the Club collected and sent 28 Computer Processing Units, 5 Printers, 2 boxes disassembled components, 178 Keyboards, 4 boxes miscellaneous cabling, 88 computer mice, 7 CPU fan units, 87 power adapters with cords, 42 CRT monitors, 1 scanner, and 10 flat screen monitors to Skopje for environmentally safe recycling. Their club leader Filip, who attended YMLP camp in 2017 said “What I liked the most about our service project was the fact that we inspired a large amount of people in our school to volunteer and help us properly get rid of (recycle) all of our broken electronic gear. After our project the members felt very accomplished, relieved and happy because we made a lot of free space now when all of the broken electronics were gone. The help from the school, the students, the recycling team from Skopje and the members made me very proud and happy.”
Struga GLOW and YMLP held a community recycling event where they taught community members about the importance of recycling through games and competitions: including a recyclable bottle slam dunk contest- where the winners won reusable water bottles they can use to decrease their dependency on plastic bottles.
Martin from Struga said “What I liked the best about the service project was the YMLP/GLOW coordination and the purpose of it- making a greener environment. After it was done, the members felt helpful and productive. They also felt proud because of the huge amounts of plastic collected.”
Tetovo GLOW and YMLP held an “Ancient Olympics” event promoting health and wellness for all children regardless of ability/disability in their community. They had fun encouraging local youth to get out and exercise through play. All money raised through their event was donated to the local center for individuals with special needs, who were also invited to participate in their event free of charge. “What I liked most about our project is the organization and the dedication our team members had during the project and the organizing. Except of the hard-work that club mentors and leaders give, we also are very thankful to our generous and active participants of GLOW club in Tetovo.
Without them our project wouldn’t even take place. And at the end, the fact that we created an event to raise awareness for children with abilities and make them our society a better place for everyone of us, no matter the appearance, race, gender etc.” said Fatlinda, one of Tetovo’s youth leaders and GLOW camp alumni “Completing our service project made me and my club members feel proud and confident and so happy for the work we did because of all the money participants had donated and such were given away with so many surprises to kids with disabilities and ending it with a meaning speech made it even more efficient and rewarding”
Vinica GLOW and YMLP held a community beautification project. They painted a long stretch of wall in their community park that was covered in graffiti. Their project got the notice of some local community members in the park who came over to see what they were doing. The Vinica club are excited that they opened up an opportunity for future service projects- they want the local high school to paint some beautiful murals on the wall they cleaned and painted for their project.
At the end we want to thank the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), our corporate partners OKTA, Tinex, SASA Mine, Alkaloid, Pekabesko, Zikol and other corporate and individual donors for providing the monetary donations to make this service projects possible.