Our OriginAL Story
As a pilot year, we intend to bring at least 40 young Albanians from across the world to Albania and Kosova for two weeks in 2022, aiming to increase this number to hundreds, then thousands, of Albanian youth from around the world in the coming years. This has been a collaborative effort that began with an online fundraiser that has already raised roughly 70% of the funds needed to cover the program’s expenses. The call for applications for the Diaspora Youth is open from early to the early May 2022. The trip is going to happen in August.
Our OriginAL Goals
OriginAL will provide heritage and cultural immersion trips to Albanian homelands for our Diaspora Youth who want to strengthen their personal connection to the countries, people, and heritage. They will learn about their Albanian roots—culture, traditions and history—and learn about the modern realities of our countries in the 21 century.
A Cutting Edge – OriginAL aims for Diaspora youth to experience the realities in their countries of origin, and find a community that is vibrant and spans many countries. Albania and Kosova may be the ancestors’ land, but they are also the cutting edge of ideas, technology, inventions.
A Lifetime Experience – Beyond the cultural and heritage dimension, OriginAL aims to be a life-changing experience. We aim to achieve this through the facilitation of the creation of new friendships and professional relationships between diaspora youth and their peers in their homeland countries. OriginAL will be the birthplace of global, everlasting, and permanent friendships and professional collaboration.
OriginAL will strengthen the sense of ethnic identity in young Diaspora Albanians and to establish long-term bonds, especially between them and their youth peers in their homeland countries. We will work on facilitating the connection between OriginAL participants and relevant activities happening in Albania and Kosova during the time of the program. Our initial focus will be the following subjects:
- Entrepreneurship and Information Technology;
- Environment and Natural Resources;
- Arts and Culture.
A Strong and OriginAL Community
OriginAL will change the way that Albanian Diaspora Youth perceive their homeland countries by promoting its people and wonders in the most realistic way. We believe that one of the main obstacles in our path to development is the lack of direct communication and contact between each other. Therefore, by bringing the Diaspora Youth closer to their origins, OriginAL hopes to motivate them to continue to explore their Albanian identity and support for the homelands, as well as maintain long-lasting connections with the Albanians they meet on their trip. OriginAL will encourage participants to take active roles in their communities and to participate in follow-up activities worldwide.