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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Winning projects in Upshift Shkodra, tackling environmental, social and cultural issues

Beginning with the first edition in 2020 in Albania, social entrepreneurship program Upshift has continuously incentivized young people aged 15-24 years old to identify issues in the communities where they live.

During the last weekend of March, Upshift returned to Shkodra with its 9-th edition to identify new changemakers.

Developed by UNICEF with Design Thinking methodology, an ideology and a process at the same time to tackle complex issues with a human centered approach, Upshift has been successfully implemented in 38 countries around the world.

Upshift served more than 2.2 million teenagers around the world and its curriculum is built through a combination of workshops, mentorship and seed-funding to help young people identify and address challenges in the respective communities.

The second edition of Upshift in the city of Shkodra comes almost a year from the first implementation of this program in this region called the Northern Edition and brough together young people from Shkodra, Lezha, Kukës, Mat and the North Albania.

For 3 days, March 25-26-27, Upshift educated, mentored and supported 10 teams and 45 young people to develop their idea into a real project designed to tackle the challenges they had identified.

Hosted at “Atelie” Social Center spaces, administered by Shkodra Municipality, during nine editions Upshift has served hundreds of teenagers with Design Thinking methodology and around 45 projects have been financed by this project.

The event was attended by the representative of UNICEF Albania, Mr. Roberto de Bernardi, representative of the British Foreign Office Harriet Morgan, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship Protection Mrs. Edona Bilali, Minister of State for Youth and Children Mrs. Bora Muzhaqi and the co-founder of ICTSmedia and ICTSlab Mr. Kushtrim Shala.

You are a source of inspiration and hope for this country. People often say that young people represent the present and the future of their country,” said Mr. Roberto di Bernardi during the announcement of the winners.

In addition to announcing the winners, Upshift Shkodra was the moment of a surprise unveiled by Mr. Kushtrim Shala.

As confirmed by the Minister of State for Entrepreneurship Protection, Mrs. Edona Bilali, Upshift projects coming from schools can apply to receive grants from 10 to 50 thousand euros, further develop their idea and become real entrepreneurs.

The first day of Upshift began with problem analysis and understanding. Young people during the three phases of the first module worked with the problem tree and 5 Whys, target groups and stakeholders. On the second phase of the first day, they moved to design challenge and then concepting and modeling.

The second day was a shift from theory to practice as their efforts were concentrated on prototype creation and testing during the first phase. The second phase marked the end of two-day work with budget planning and preparing the pitch. Mrs. Edona Bilali visited Upshift on the second day encouraging teenagers to apply for grants for the implementation and further development of their idea.

The third and final day was all about pitching in front of the jury consisting of Mrs. Mirlinda Bushati from UNICEF, Mrs. Esmeralda Shala, Director of ICTSlab, Mrs. Fregis Sala, Adviser to the Minister of State for Youth and Children and Mrs. Erjola Foto, Program Manager Modern Slavery Fund at British Embassy.

The true value of Upshift comes from the fact that teenagers will not only grow professionally but also humanely,” said Mrs. Bora Muzhaqi.

She revealed that the integration of UPSHIFT in the extracurricular program was being discussed together with UNICEF so that every young person in every gymnasium in Albania can become part of Upshift.

Eco Warriors, Nightflix, I-Plant, Arkeo-Junior and Evit were announced winners of the 9-th edition of Upshift. A sixth team, Latte Team will get consulting support.

The youth of Upshift Shkodra started the journey of this edition with Phase 0 held four days before the start of the workshop with the support of mentors Andrea Shtjefni, Anila Golemi, Brunilda Hasanpapaj, Eltion Kuptrija, Gent Guni, Hasna Tafilica, Lorela Karabushi, Spartak Sokoli, Silvana Bushi and Rea Pajo.

The announced winning projects will be funded in the amount of up to 1,000 euros for their implementation.

Upshift Shkodra was organized by UNICEF and ICTSlab with the support of the Ministry of Education and Sports, the British Embassy in Albania, United Nations in Albania within the campaign “Transforming the national response to human trafficking in and from Albania.”

The Winners of Upshift Shkodra

Eco Warriors

The group “Eco warriors” from the city of Vau-Dejes, created by Jordan Nikaj, Emanuel Kukaj and Xhoel Nikaj, has identified a very worrying problem raised by local residents, which is the high level of pollution. From various health problems to hindering the development of local tourism, the problem of pollution in the city of Vau-Deja has become a concern for businesses, the agricultural sector and everyday life. “Eco warriors” has thought that beyond the high level of pollution, there is also a high lack of awareness. For this, in addition to placing waste bins, in some of the most polluted areas such as the lake area, to launch an awareness campaign including volunteer groups, schools, representatives of religious clergy, businesses and residents to clean the city of Vau-Dejës.

Arkeo-Junior

The group “Arkeo-junior” from Shkodra created by Sonila, Genti, Friselda, Andi and Amelja. We have many Archaeological Sites in our area, but they have been neglected and are being forgotten. Some reasons are: lack of information on those places, lack of funds or excessive departure of people. And some of the consequences are: lack of tourists, pollution of the country, etc. After talking to our History teacher we decided to take care of only two of them as we could not take care of them all. We have decided to take care of the castles of Ganjolla and Gajtan as they are closer to our village, and we have the opportunity to leave and visit more often. First visit them to see what tools we need to clean it. After visiting it we will take the right tools and clean it from pollution and thorns that have surrounded it, after that we will put up signs and paths to show you the way to get to the castle, then, the next step will be to place the bins and after that we will talk to the municipality so that at least once every few months they have the opportunity to clean the bins. The next step will be to set up benches and tables to offer visitors the opportunity to have a picnic. And the last step is to make it as populated as possible, so we will organize as many events as possible where some schools can participate and a competition will be organized between schools to promote them, we will also throw pictures of castles on social media and we will build guides.

Latte Team

Latte Team from Shkodra created by Hygerta, Artemisa and Alba has noticed that a problem in society especially during the Covid-19 pandemic is the increase of people with diabetes pathology. They thought this problem could be addressed by creating a web app designed to help the Diabetic community live a healthier and happier life. The Latte Team wants to use their reach to raise public awareness about diabetes and promote positive change in society. The Latte Team aims to do this together with individuals and organizations that are just as passionate as the Latte Team to win over DIABETES.

The Nightflix

The group “The nightflix” created by Jursi, Ezdra and Irges has noticed that in Shkodra there is a lack of screenings and promotion of Albanian films. They thought they could solve it as a problem if they themselves would use a space where they promote and nurture Albanian culture. This activity will take place at the Art House helping to improve the cinematic culture.

I-Plant

The group “i-Plant” from Shkodra created by Juledi, Elmeri and Juledi has noticed that in the city of Shkodra there is a lack of recreational spaces and in rural areas cutting down trees has become a serious problem. To raise even more awareness of residents in nature protection but also for planting trees thought to create the application “i-Plant.” This application will enable young people but not only, to contribute to the planting of personalized trees as well as be encouraged through the points that the application gives them the moment they plant or donate a seedling. The aim of the group is to spread this application throughout the territory of Albania.

EVIT

The group “i-Plant” from Shkodra created by Juledi, Elmeri and Juledi has noticed that in the city of Shkodra there is a lack of recreational spaces and in rural areas cutting down trees has become a serious problem. To raise even more awareness of residents in nature protection but also for planting trees thought to create the application “i-Plant.” This application will enable young people but not only, to contribute to the planting of personalized trees as well as be encouraged through the points that the application gives them the moment they plant or donate a seedling. The aim of the group is to spread this application throughout the territory of Albania.

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