National Youth Work Conference

On December 19, 2023 in Skopje the largest national conference on youth work in our country was held. In front of over 100 attendees, the event was opened by Andrej Naumovski, President of the Union for Youth Work, Naumche Mojsovski, Director of the Youth and Sports Agency, Gjorgi Tasev, Associate of the Prime Minister for youth and youth policies, and Jovica Mitevski, representative of The National Agency for European Education Programs and Mobility.

At the conference, certificates were ceremoniously awarded to 13 people who passed the training and acquired the title of youth worker. Among them was Natasha Darkov, part of the YMCA Bitola team.

The topics “Youth centers as a necessary service for young people” and “Youth worker as a profession” were discussed in two panels.

The representatives of the state authorities and mayors announced continuous support for the validation processes and the full establishment of youth work as a profession and an incentive for the process of establishing youth centers throughout the country.

The representatives of the youth sector including the Union for Youth Work, youth centers and youth workers emphasized that youth workers and youth centers are key to implementing quality youth work. Their recognition and support will also mean the creation of an environment to support the growth and development of young people. They also spoke about the importance of youth worker training and the youth worker profession for the proper development of young people.

The representatives of other institutions supporters of the development of youth work in the country stated their support as well. Faculty of philosophy stated the support they provide through the second-degree studies in youth work that are the first postgraduate studies in youth work in the region for which are provided scholarships as well. GIZ emphasized the importance of cooperation and targeted action of foreign donors following youth work providers at the local and national level.

The involvement of YMCA as an organization in these processes is at a high level.

Jovce Krstevski, a certified youth worker, is part of the staff of the youth center in Bitola, he is a member of the base of quality evaluators of youth centers established at the Agency for Youth and Sports and was one of the panelists at this event. In addition to that, at the event Natasha Darkov, after a whole year of exceptional engagement with groups of young people, completed an intensive certification course for youth work, and received the formal title of “youth worker” from the Агенција за млади и спорт / Agency of youth and sport и Сојуз за младинска работа/Union for Youth Work. This year, Jovce Krsteski went through a process of training and practice for the application of the methodology for career counseling and guidance of young people ProfillPASS, which was developed by the German Institute for Adult Education – the Leibniz Center for Lifelong Learning Deutsches Institut für Erwachsenenbildung.