2nd Call for WBAA Projects 2021 – These are the selected projects

2nd Call for WBAA Projects 2021 – These are the selected projects


The projects of the 2nd Call for WBAA Projects in 2021 were already approved in September and now that the first projects are gaining momentum, we would like to present the 7 projects to you. The implementation phase for the following projects runs until February 2022:


BioINForming – Pilot
Project coordinator: Katarina Elez

Bioinformatics is a constantly developing field where computational methods are applied to biological and clinical data. The aim of the project ‘BioINForming – Pilot’ is to introduce young students to bioinformatics, its related career paths and EU mobility opportunities.

We will first survey high school students in Montenegro to collect information about their background knowledge and their interest in bioinformatics. We will use the collected information to organize a customized one-week training school tailored to meet students’ expectations. The training school will cover basic concepts in bioinformatics by integrating both theory and practice. The participants will have the opportunity to work together and apply their newly acquired theoretical knowledge to solve engaging real-world problems. With this pilot project, we hope to build a solid basis for the training school in bioinformatics to become a regular yearly event.

We would like to achieve the following:
1. Give free access to a one-week training school in bioinformatics to deserving high school students;
2. Contribute to the promotion of natural sciences and IT in Montenegro;
3. Provide advice on academic development and EU mobility schemes;
4. Create a framework for future training schools and longer-term mentoring opportunities.


Extracting Green-COVID effects for generating clean technologies and successful youth transition awareness for the climate change and sustainable development of the Western Balkan countries
Project coordinator: Kiril Jordanov

The main purpose of the project will be to gather 70 youths, students, researchers, scientists, experts, and professors where they can discuss and propose new methods for environmental protection and sustainability. During the 3 days events representative professors and experts will train and motivationally will educate students and youth from 5 Western Balkan countries.

Training sessions and practice workshops will be organized titled as “ONE for ALL, all for the green environment”. The main purpose of the conference meeting will be to generate a sustainable tool for distributing the GREEN ideas for ZERO pollution. Moreover, this project will contribute to upgrading the existing study programs in the area of Environment and introducing new multidisciplinary study programs for Environmental protection and climate change at the Universities of Western Balkan countries.

Outcomes will be: a book of the abstract, a handbook, audio-visual and textual content, Powerpoint presentations, training materials, research materials and research conclusions.


Soft and hard skills for jobs of the future
Project coordinator: Vesna Travica

On behalf of the Western Balkan Alumni Association, 15 webinars will be organized on soft and hard skills for jobs of the future in the period from October 2021 to February 2022. The general objective is to increase youth employment in Serbia and the Western Balkan region.

According to the latest research of relevant economic portals, soft skills will be in high demand for many occupations because these skills enable young people to adapt quickly and easily to rapid changes in the working environment as well as the labour market.
The main objective of this project is to give opportunity to WBAA members and alumni from 6 WBAA countries to acquire some of many soft skills: emotional intelligence, self-confidence, stress management, interpersonal and communication skills, presentation skills, constructive conflict resolution and assertive communication, efficient learning, critical thinking, creative skills, etc., which are already, and will be more and more important at work in the future.

Trainings in hard skills: project management, digital marketing and public relations in organizations (PR) will enable our members to write project proposals of high-quality in the future and provide their good internet promotions and good relationships with organizational environment. These hard skills are already and will be in demand on the labour market. Two trainings in how to find an online job and in article writing will prepare alumni to adapt themselves to the digital area.

With this project, through activities such as interactive lectures, discussions, workshops, practical exercises and brainstorming, we hope that participants will develop these skills which will help them to find an adequate job and how to write good project proposals.

Economic empowerment for women in green startups in the rural area of Albania

Project coordinator: Vjoela Allkanjari

The objective of the project is to increase the entrepreneurial skillset among owners of new or existing little businesses, who want to expand their business, to increase their potential competitiveness in the local market. Goals of the project are to teach 30 young women who are interested in creating a start-up and to have at least three new start-ups created at the end of the project. In addition we want to reach about 100 young women in an event to create more awareness on the positive impact of business development and gender equality.

These goals will be reached through:
a) A 7 day training to 30 potential new women entrepreneurs.
b) Four months of mentoring to the 30 participants after the training.
c) Two different days of events for 100 people on the role of women in rural economy and gender issues.

The project measures are:
1. Scoping and exploration (Looking for participants, Recruiting and identification of 30 potential young women entrepreneurs). To find participants FGIA will use: Promotion on Facebook page, Leaflets, bags with logo WBAA & T-shirts (FGIA has gathered already 1000 e-mail addresses from people interested in its activities), Stakeholders that has worked with FGIA in past projects (University for Social Affairs & Agricultural University, Unit Administration of Manze, Durres).
2. Training (starting with the screening of needs of the participants, selection of experts, preparation of the training, the training itself, evaluation of the training).
Topics that will be covered in the training:
a) how to create a business plan
b) how to manage a financial plan
c) tolls for new entrepreneurs
d) leadership and teamwork
e) how to create a network.
3. Mentoring (Define mentors and assign them to a group of youth & women, mentoring sessions and tandem coaching from experienced entrepreneurs from different areas with similar potential, evaluation of the mentoring, monitoring of three best ideas in the development of their business and also support for further development in contact with the local institutions and different donators.)
4. Dissemination and exploitation (A two day event with experts of rural economy, gender equity & entrepreneurship & exchange visit, social media & PR activities.)


Public Speaking Training – yes we need it!
Project coordinator: Milan Stojanovic

WBAA Public Speaking Training offers a reliable model for preparing and delivering effective speech and presentations. Being a good speaker is often critical for leadership positions in the world of business, activism, local community groups as well as in other occasions when we are challenged to speak in front of groups of people.

WBAA members are expected to be called to share their thoughts publicly. Quite often it makes people feel stressed and insecure. Sometimes they don’t know what to talk about, or speak long without making a point, or simply be confusing to listen to. This training is designed to help you to be confident, create a right message and reach the target audience. Participants will learn how to organize talks clearly, deliver them confidently, reduce fear of public speaking and perform speeches with dynamic movement and gestures.

The training sessions are designed to include interactive lectures, workshops and teamwork. Participants will be divided into smaller groups in which they will work on various group tasks. The types of speeches and rethorical techniques that we will practiced will include the elevator pitch, interviews, presentations, different debating methods, and how to frame and reframe effectively to achieve your goals. In this three day training every participant will have to leave their comfort zone and engage in interactive participation. Also, bringing together 20 WBAA members from all over the region and from different WBAA teams will provide a strong basis for further WBAA development, use of WBAA resources and strengthening ties within our network.


Build Strong Relationships Regionally – Virtual Toolbox for Making Virtual Conferencing and Meetings More Powerful and Interactive.
Project coordinator: Milan Milenković

Video conferencing can be exhausting, even for highly engaged participants during an in-person session. The online WBAA training “Build Strong Relationships Regionally – Virtual Toolbox for Making Virtual Conferencing and Meetings More Powerful and Interactive” has the aim to provide adequate skillsets and modern tools for young people from the Western Balkan countries (Bosnia & Herzegowina, Montenegro and Serbia) on how virtual events can be a blast.

It also will ensure their successful guidance of the transition from “normal” to “new normal” and “post-new normal” in the fields of labor market, formal and non-formal areas. The lectures and workshops together with adequate supporting materials will showcase to the WBAA participants how to create highly interactive, dynamic, well organized and well attended online events. And additionally last but not least, how to overcome shyness and speak better at online meetings.

This educational project will be organized through online lectures, trainings with interactive workshops and Q&A sessions. it will be conducted by highly skilled professional trainers with proven experience in EU educational projects, online education, project management and corporate communication: Marija Stevuljević, M. A. and Ivana Jovanović, PhD candidate.

All participants will experience group work for implementation and practical presentation of key learnings. They will be provided with an e-brochure with the key points from lectures and workshops as well as a use-case based open point list for participants’ future events & projects. All these outcomes should help participants to build and realize their future projects.

After each module, participants will receive an evaluation form to measure success. Some of the topics will be how to have participants/students engaged, especially in Q & A sessions, what to do in small groups, how to use e-games, mind maps, quizzes, and how to improve speaking and presentational skills. #NewNormal is here – are you ready to adapt?


Modernization in higher education institutions in Western Balkan in terms of digitalization
Project coordinator: Aleksandar Davkov

COVID-19 has pushed the world into digitalization. Universities were urged to speed up the transfer of their work to online and blended learning and teaching. According to the European University Association, the use of digital learning and teaching was already growing gradually in European higher education, then COVID-19 made it mandatory almost overnight.

So the process of digitalization suddenly became an essential need for the implementation of teaching in higher education. For proper and constant education of students, it is necessary to find all appropriate ways of digital transfer of information and knowledge. It is necessary to work and reason on digital tools that will be useful and accepted by students based on their needs. The digital approaches also require overall coordination in terms of policies (for example, on data protection, ethics, and assessment) and a significant investment.

Additionally, the project will work on new methods and tools that can be used in higher education. In the process of education, professors and students are accustomed to one type of communication and find it difficult to get out of their comfort zone and change their habits. Habits often close the door to new, more innovative and effective ways and methods. All these challenges raise many questions and motivate us to think a step ahead. What is the future of education? What tools should we use to interest the participants to try and think of new ways of digitalization of the educational processes?
Тhe project will establish a platform for sharing and obtaining new knowledge, experience, and best practices for the digitalization of higher education. The project will finish with a guideline that will serve as a motivation and practical guidance for the Universities to think and implement digitalization as a long-term strategic approach and to seize the most out of it.

Stay tuned for any news and updates regarding these projects on our website and social media channels!

Germany, Cologne
19 November 2021

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