The One World Youth Project program, an education program for schools developed by international education non-profit organization One World Youth Project (OWYP) and housed in the University of Prishtina (UP), has seen significant success in Prishtina and Gjakova.
OWYP partners with universities and trains university students to lead a global competence curriculum in local secondary schools, and then connect their classrooms with classrooms abroad. Through OWYP, UP students have opened up the world to teenage students at Yll Morina and Elena Gjika Schools in Prishtina and Gjakova, students who have likely faced barriers to travel internationally.
“I can only say that this was one of the greatest experiences that I have had,” says Jonila Fetiu, UP project ambassador that volunteers for OWYP in Prishtina and Gjakova. “Connecting these kids with a whole different culture is very beneficial for them. They don’t only expand their knowledge, but they realize how kids from other backgrounds face the same issues that we study in our lesson plans.”
Through the program, secondary school students in Prishtina and Gjakova have met students in Washington D.C., U.S.A. via social media, asking them questions about their lives and expanding their understanding of a different culture. These opportunities have encouraged Kosovar students to think critically about their own culture and the shared community challenges that are also faced by their classroom peers.
It is OWYP’s third year working with UP and UP students, and the program’s impact on Kosovar education has only strengthened, as expressed by the program’s volunteers.
“We have high expectations for ourselves, because we are expanding our group, we are including more volunteers, more Project Ambassadors,” says Lum Hoxha, UP student and OWYP Fellow. “We are trying to expand this program in other cities in Kosovo.”
Fetiu remarks that the program has inspired global knowledge and personal growth in not only the secondary school participants, but for the UP student volunteers as well. Commenting on the connection with her university student peers in Washington D.C., U.S.A., “Even though we are far from each other, we have the same thoughts, the same objectives that connect us together as a project and as a youth group,” says Fetiu.
Between 2009 and 2011, OWYP partnered with Georgetown University in Washington D.C., U.S.A., and the University of Prishtina in Prishtina, Kosovo, building lasting leadership among university students and enhancing youth education in each respective community. Starting this month, OWYP will launch its global education program at five additional universities around the world, located in U.S.A., Kosovo, Guyana, Pakistan, and Turkey.
The vision of One World Youth Project is a just world built through the actions of generations of discerning, empathetic and empowered global citizens. OWYP partners with universities and university students to build mutual respect and understanding among youth through a unique structure that trains university students to facilitate a global competence curriculum in local secondary schools.
To visit OWYP’s website, go to www.oneworldyouthproject.org