EU-Funded QR PRACTICE SKILL BASE Project Launches in Bitola

In a groundbreaking initiative under the European Union’s Mechanism for Civil Resilience, the QR Society, an Association for the Affirmation of Digital Culture, has unveiled the QR PRACTICE SKILL BASE project. Supported by the European Union and executed in collaboration with the esteemed CPM consortium from Estonia, this project is set to transform the landscape of vocational education in Bitola.

Connecting Students and Businesses

The core mission of the QR PRACTICE SKILL BASE project is to foster robust communication between the local business sector and students enrolled in secondary vocational schools in Bitola. These students are being trained in professions identified as deficient by both the Employment Agency and the Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Taki Daskalo Secondary School Takes the Lead

As the project’s flagship institution, Taki Daskalo Secondary School in Bitola will enroll a cohort of 300 students. These students will undergo comprehensive training in essential soft skills, an invaluable asset when embarking on the journey of job hunting. Their skills and pertinent information will be meticulously documented on a dedicated Internet Platform, streamlining connections to 50 private sector companies actively seeking interns. This innovative approach ensures swift, hassle-free connections through QR codes, bridging the gap between education and industry.

Strong Collaborative Efforts

To ensure the project’s resounding success, the QR SOCIETY Association has already sealed Memorandums of Cooperation with the Bitola Regional Chamber of Commerce, representing employers, and SOU Taki Daskalo Bitola. Both entities have exhibited unwavering commitment to actively facilitate and support the project’s realization. The ultimate aim is to significantly reduce the disparity between the labor supply and demand in the Bitola region.

This transformative initiative promises to empower the youth of Bitola with essential skills and forge meaningful partnerships between educational institutions and the business community. Stay tuned for updates as the QR PRACTICE SKILL BASE project reshapes the future of vocational education in Bitola.

QR Society Takes Part in the SMART Balkans Project Conference

Dear Friends and Supporters of QR Society,

We are thrilled to share with you the exciting news about our recent participation in the first Regional Conference of the SMART Balkans Project – Civil Society for a Connected Western Balkans. This was an unforgettable event that brought together some of the brightest minds from the Western Balkans, with the aim of fostering collaboration and cooperation among civil society organizations in the region.

As representatives of QR Society, we took an active part in the discussions of all the panels and had the opportunity to share our own proposals and ideas. One of the key proposals that we presented was the need for religious literacy. We believe that this would serve as a means of avoiding the exploitation of religious confessions for political purposes and as a tool for promoting mutual understanding and future cooperation between members of different religious communities. Our proposal received a positive reception from the other attendees and we are thrilled to see the potential for cooperation and active involvement of religion in the civil sector.

Throughout the conference, we were amazed by the abundance of useful information presented by the panelists and the data from regional research. The complete openness to asking questions without censorship created a truly enriching experience, as attendees were able to engage in meaningful discussions, share their own experiences and knowledge, and connect with others in the region.

In conclusion, our participation in the first Regional Conference of the SMART Balkans Project was an extremely useful experience. The wealth of information and opportunities for engagement and exchange made this conference an important event for the Western Balkans civil society. We are already looking forward to future opportunities to participate in similar events and to continue to play an active role in driving positive change in the region.

Thank you for your continued support of QR Society.

The QR Society Team

The Center for Civil Society Promotion (CPCD), in cooperation with partner organizations from North Macedonia – Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) and Albania – Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM), with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway, in the amount of 17 ,4 million EUR, successfully realized on December 20 and 21, 2022, at Hotel Cue in Podgorica, the first regional conference of the project SMART Balkans – Civil society for a connected Western Balkans.

The conference brought together more than 100 participants from 6 countries of the region, and 22 people from the civil sector, religious communities, media, academia, and researchers of social processes spoke on three panels.

The conference “Elephants in the Civic Space” aimed to open a dialogue on two essential topics: “The role of religion and religious leaders in socio-political movements and decision-making processes in the Western Balkans region” and “Practices and lessons learned on workforce management and human resources in the civil sector.” These challenges are the untapped potential for socio-political changes.

“Transparency, professional approach, integrity, and local ownership are values that every organization should have to be relevant and have a good image in their communities. Regional cooperation is important, especially as it brings people together and leads to a more consolidated, prosperous, stable, and secure region.” Nela Jović, Senior Program Advisor, Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Belgrade.

Aida Daguda, the directress of the Center for Civil Society Promotion, said that the topics of the conference were illustrated with elephants, which speaks about the size of the problem.

“In light of the general challenges faced by the Western Balkans countries, such as low economic development, slow transition, and problems with the rule of law, it is necessary to point out the contribution of religion and civil society in all these issues. Religion is vital in forming culture, self-awareness, and national identity in the Western Balkans. Therefore it is essential to discuss its influence on all the areas above. A particular problem within civil society is human resources and the outflow of labor. The problem is more common and visible than in other regions because civil society organizations are non-profit and operate for a higher mission. We open this topic because it is the responsibility of all of us in the civil sector to ensure the well-being of all citizens,“ said Aida Daguda.

The SMART Balkan project contributes to strengthening participatory democracies and Euro-Atlantic integration in the countries of the Western Balkans. This project is implemented in six countries; we want to enhance the role of civil society organizations globally.

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