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Youth and Students for Peace (YSP) Albania hosted a youth peace festival and rally under the theme “Speak out youth!” Over 2,400 young people – mainly high-schoolers and university students – attended the event and approximately 500 of them came from neighboring countries or elsewhere from Europe. The event saw speakers such as the vice-mayor of Tirana, Mrs. Anisa Ruseti, and International President of YSP, Mr. Koji Matsuda.

The purpose of the event was to encourage youth to believe in their own voice, i.e. in their ability to take responsibility for their country and community through their own efforts. The reason this message is necessary is the general lack of faith among Albanian youth in their own country and their desire to leave the country instead of remaining and resolving the existing problems.

A central part of the program was a speaking contest called S!NERGY in which Albanian youth presented Peace projects they had initiated themselves. In total eight projects were presented that support different Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) including (SDG#3) good health and well-being, (SDG#4) quality education, (SDG#11) sustainable cities and communities and (SDG#13) climate action. The winning projects got a financial grant for their further development. The purpose of the speaking contest was also to inspire the participating youth to understand their own capability to serve their communities through volunteering.

The festival entertainment saw famous Albanian singers Marcela Cibukaj and Eugen Bushpepa perform in front of the excited audience. The event concluded with a one-kilometer march for peace jointly hosted by Youth and Students for Peace and Universal Peace Federation.