Since May 2018, when the Government of the Republic of Serbia declared OPENS (European Youth Capital Novi Sad) the project of the national importance, from the pioneer of the youth policy, Novi Sad has potentially become the city of the sustainable system. Namely, in 2019, OPENS was holding the title of European Youth Capital and included young people of Serbia and the entire Europe, through numerous free programs, educational and international events. The entire program is designed through seven pillars which strive towards the creation of space where, since 2018 until today, the energy of young people is celebrated and their creativity is improved.
Foto: Marija Erdelji
When the retrospection of events is made, OPENS leaves behind more than 100 activities (113 activities in particular). From the opening ceremony of the year of the capital and the free concert for 6000 young people, through OPENS On the Road which gave 6 murals, visited cities in the region and present the camper in front of 3000 young people, 3×3 Challenger at the city centre for 16 teams from 10 countries of the world and one of the greatest FIBA events, Young People Great Deeds multimedia quiz in which almost 6 thousand young people participated, OPENS Youth Fair, OPENS day@EXIT and OPENS play@EXIT with more than 40 bands from 15 cities and three states, OPENS Colour Festival on the International Youth Day, OPENS Social Lab with more than 200 participants from the entire world. These are only some of the events which included 159,256 young people.
The vision of OPENS is for young people to remain active citizens even after the European title and for them to use the opportunities and create contents they want in Novi Sad – in their city which has organised system of youth policy, implemented in accordance with the legal and strategic frameworks of our country.
The volunteering spirit has raised civilizations. Apart from that, public institutions, organisations and associations face the large problem of recruiting and motivating young people to volunteer within their activities and programs. On the other hand, there are a large number of young people who want to make their time and skills available, but have difficulties in finding the adequate volunteering positions.
The importance of volunteering is proved by the particular implementation of the project of Novi Sad Volunteering Service (NVS), which has been created as the product of the mutual strengths of “European Youth Capital – OPENS” and “Novi Sad 2012 – European Capital of Culture” Foundation. Within the previous work, more than thousand volunteers from Novi Sad Volunteering Service have participated in more than 100 activities, where they spend nine thousand working hours, giving their contribution to the community, where the main purpose of NVS is the creation of the model for the sustainability of such service, which will be available to all citizens of Novi Sad a platform.
– We have the base, a group of OPENS volunteers. Within the base, there is the possibility for different positions and there is the possibility to volunteer at different events. All those who decide to devote several hours a week or month can choose to volunteer on educational, entertaining or creative programs. Apart from having the possibility to volunteer, they can, as all other young people, use our contents; more precisely, they have the opportunity to see what it looks like to organise and create an event, what it is like to be “behind the scenes”. Jelena Karać, Youth Activity Coordinator Assistant
During the last three years, OPENS has established the cooperation with numerous institutions, organisations and associations, through mutual work as well as its support. Today, this togetherness appears to be the retrospective product of everything mentioned, where in the new situation of the pandemics of COVID-19, OPENS has, as the Federation of Associations, along with its partners, organised volunteering actions at the territory of Novi Sad. More than 250 volunteers of youth organisations, Novi Sad Volunteering Service, Youth Policy Institute, Novi Sad Youth Forum, Kolping, Students’ Parliament of the University of Novi Sad, Čepom do osmeha, “YOUTH Fest” Civil Association, Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre as well as European Youth Centre of Vojvodina responded to the invitation in order to support the action. By volunteering programs we can contribute to the better functioning and sustainability of the community and personal growth and development.
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