Youth Act Centre is the newest addition to the European Youth Card Association, having been accepted as Associate Member for the territory of Albania in February 2015. Here is a short introduction to the organisation from Jonida Lamaj, Youth Act Center Director.
Could you give us a short introduction to your organisation, the team working on the development of the European Youth Card in Albania and the partners supporting you?
Youth Act Center is a non-profit organization working to empower young people to take an active role in society. Based in Tirana, Youth Act Center aims to be a bridge between Albania and the international community for the development and integration of Albanian youth in a global society.
Our team consists of seven permanent staff members and several volunteers and part-time staff. Our closest collaborator and supporter is Marin Barleti University but we also have partnership agreements with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Ministry of Culture, municipalities across the country, private and public universities and high schools, national and international organisations.
What is your vision for the European Youth Card in Albania and how does it relate to the EYCA vision of a Europe where all young people are mobile and active? Also, what do you think the card will represent for young Albanians?
Our main reason for joining EYCA was precisely the compatibility between our two organisations’ values and identity. Our vision for the European Youth Card in Albania is to empower young people and encourage them to become the leaders and engineers of the country’s development. Beyond discounts, we believe the European Youth Card can truly help Albanian young people to be more active, independent and mobile.
In terms of young people’s perception of the card, we think they will see it as a passport allowing them to be more mobile both inside and outside the country.
Even though you’re still in the early stages of the project, could you tell us when you estimate you will be able to launch the card?
Youth Act Center has started promoting the European Youth Card in Albania since February. We’ve participated in several TV and radio programmes and youth fairs. We have been announcing the arrival of the European Youth Card in Albania across our communication channels and via our partners’ channels as well.
In the first part of March we ran a national survey among young people to help us identify the most important services and products for them. By June 2015, we intend to sign all the agreements on discounts on these products and services. We believe that in July 2015 we will be able to provide the physical cards to all Albanian young people aged 16 to 26.
Another avenue we are exploring is promoting the European Youth Card to tourism institutions in our country in order to connect the card with this growing sector.
The card is a completely new and innovative concept in Albania and we are confident we can use our experience and know-how of communicating with young people to make the card a success.