Upshift - Social Impact Workshop

UPSHIFT është një program që ndihmon adoleshentët dhe të rinjtë të bëhen inovator dhe sipërmarrës social duke iu ofruar mësim nga eksperienca për të kuptuar sfidat e komunitetit. Të rinjtë do të mësojnë të dizenjojnë dhe ndërtojnë zgjidhje në formën e produkteve apo shërbimeve dhe do të angazhohen në udhëheqjen e sipërmarrjeve që mundësojnë këto projekte.

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Social innovation and entrepreneurship at UPSHIFT Durrës turns ideas into action

Building a library, a space for talent development outside formal education, a space dedicated to students and school kids and an online presence to promote tourist attractions of Durrës were some of the projects that stood out at eleventh edition of UPSHIFT, a program of social entrepreneurship for youth and adolescent 15-24 years old.

Launched in 2014 for the first time, until December 2021 this program reached more than 2.2 million adolescents on 43 countries around the world, and it is on track to influence the lives of 15 million adolescent until 2025.

Through the eleventh editions of UPSHIFT, more than 500 adolescents from several population hubs of Albania such as Tirana, Durrës, Shkodër, Korça, Lezha, Dibra, Kukës, Kavajë and the surrounding areas have joined this initiative. More than 50 ideas turned into real projects have been financially supported until they were fully implemented.

Anchored in the success of already proven curriculum of “Human Centered Design”, UPSHIFT came to Albania two years ago thanks to a close cooperation between UNICEF and ICTSlab and the eleventh edition of this program is made possible in the frame of “Qëndro” Project financed by Italian Government and in partnership with Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of State for Youth and Children, Ministry of Finance and Economy, National Agency for Employment and Skills and Italian Embassy in Albania.

50 adolescents from Durrës Municipality, who UPSHIFT considers them as changemakers, were invited to become part of a three days of tireless efforts, from September 29 to October 1, to figure out the best possible solutions to the most troubling problems and challenges that plague the lives of their local communities.

Heavily committed to diversity and inclusion, UPSHIFT applies some of the leading approaches in youth development, social innovation and entrepreneurship to empower young people turning them into innovators and social entrepreneurs.

In order to join UPSHIFT, young people apply in groups with an idea which has the potential to become a product that can address the challenges they face in the respective local communities. Through workshops, mentoring and financing, their idea is built from “Phase Zero” up to its implementation if declared the winner.

Under the care of UPSHIFT mentors: Albion Bylykbashi, Dhurata Sheme, Flogert Muça, Keli Kërtusha, Klaudio Hyseni, Klementina Meçi, Sabi Osmani, Sonald Zenelaj, Nertila Ruçi and Xheni Maloku, youth groups that participated G4G, The Office, Fit Girls, Sunflowers, Clean Makers, Bridge Connections, Art Class, All for a Better Future, Power of Reading, and Zenkai during the first day worked on Problem Tree, address the Five “Who-s”, finished Design Challenge and then focused on Concepting and Modeling. During the first day, all their efforts were concentrated on identifying causes and consequences and reached conclusions that can lead to the much-needed solution.

On the second day, the whole work of identifying problems and concepting solutions of the day before, begins to take shape with the creation of the first prototypes from physical products to applications, and websites.

The winner’s announcement came the third day of UPSHIFT Durrës in front of special guests Mr. Roberto de Bernardi, representative of UNICEF Albania, Ms. Bora Muzhaqi, Minister of State for Children and Youth.

They followed closely the pitching of 10 participating groups in front of the jury composed of Ms. Kleina Kasanai, Director of National Agency for Youth, Ms. Etleva Gjelaj from AKPA, Ms. Esmeralda Shala, CEO of ICTSlab, Ms. Anila Golemi and Mr. Fadil Reka, specialist at Ministry of Education and Sports.

Power of Reading, Art of Class, The Office and Zenkai were announced the winners of eleventh edition of UPSHIFT.

UPSHIFT is an opportunity to support young people and teenagers, especially the most vulnerable, to become a positive force in society.

The winners of UPSHIFT Durrës

Power of Reading” Group under the mentorship of Dhurata Sheme has identified as a problem the lack of a library in the “Charles Telford Erickson” school dormitory. They want to construct one inside the dormitory building to help young people not only learn but also entertain.

Art of Class” Group under the mentorship of Xheni Maloku has identified the lack a space to develop talents outside formal education offered by schools. For this reason, they want to create art classes where students can develop their skills.

Zenkai Group” with mentor Albion Bylykbashi identified the lack of information about tourist places in the city of Durrës in digital form. Their solution is creating a website with this information accessible by tourist about every tourist attraction of the coastal city.

The idea of “The Office Group” with mentor Klaudio Hyseni is to construct a space dedicated to students where several inclusive events will take place such as: studying, projects, gatherings, doing homeworks. This space will include chairs, tables, studying lamps and shelfs.

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