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ProVrapim. Bashkia Kuçovë. Event Summary. 2 Km Run. Kuçovë, Albania . March 15, 2008. Le të vrapojmë!. The idea for the race came from a group of girls who wanted to “change the mentality” about youth, fitness and gender roles. .

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Event Summary

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ProVrapim

Bashkia

Kuçovë

Event Summary

2 Km Run

Kuçovë, Albania

March 15, 2008

Le të vrapojmë!


The idea for the race came from a group of girls who wanted to “change the mentality” about youth, fitness and gender roles.

Front: Drieda Zace, Juliet Kosarzycki (Peace Corps Volunteer), Anisa Hoxha. Back:Selma Rapi, Erjola Caka, Florida Xhindoli

They created a club, Air of Change, and worked on the idea in the class Empowering Young Women to Lead Change with a Peace Corps Volunteer at the Kuçovë Youth Center.


QËNDRA RINORE

KUÇOVË

Bashkia

Kuçovë

They decided to organize a 2 km community run with a goal of having at least 100 people of all ages participate.

  • They knew they had some large obstacles to overcome:

  • Typically only boys exercise and do so only through organized sports.

  • It is extremely rare to see anyone running for exercise or fun.

  • There are few opportunities for girls to participate in sports, and it would be seen as inappropriate for them to run in public for exercise.

  • It is uncommon for youth to organize a community-wide event.

  • They needed community support and funding.

They started by getting sponsors:


Youth designed the posters, t-shirts and street banner.

They promoted the event with flyers to schools, businesses and sports teams.

Poster and course map


On Saturday morning, March 15, participants registered and got their race numbers.


The sponsors gave welcoming remarks at an opening ceremony.

Akan Ajdini - ProCredit Bank Regional Manager, Burbuqe Mecaj and Andrea Rafaeli – Kuçovë Youth Center Coordinator and Administrator, Shpetim Nishani- Vice Mayor, Erjola Caka – youth organizer, Juliet Kosarzycki - Peace Corps Volunteer, Manjola Toska – ProCredit Bank Coordinator


227 participants eagerly went to the start line.


And the race began!


Community organizations partnered to ensure everyone's safety.

There was a police car escort and officers monitored the intersections and closed the roads.

The Youth Center provided water to runners. Over 20 volunteers were on the course helping.

The hospital had an ambulance onsite in case of injuries.


Awards were given to females and males in age categories: ≤14, 15- 20 and ≥ 21.


All participants received certificates.


This event was a success and had many positive outcomes for the community.

  • It demonstrated great collaboration between the Kuçovë Youth Center, Save the Children, ProCredit Bank, the Municipality of Kuçovë, the local hospital, and the road police.

  • It was a great leadership and event planning activity for the youth.

  • The community observed youth being active role models and making contributions as engaged citizens.

  • It is now part of Kuçovë’s history and can easily be repeated to be an annual event.


ProVrapim engaged a lot of people in a new, community building activity.

  • It brought together many different people from the community - children, teens, and adults.

  • 28% were female and almost 10% were 21 years old or older.

  • It got 227 people to exercise in public, hopefully starting a new trend.

  • This was a first time experience for most of the participants and a new activity for the community.

  • It was filmed and aired on local TV for an even greater impact.


This event turned youth into successful community leaders

  • I feel very useful and I learned to believe in myself, that I can do something for my community. I feel proud of myself.

  • We learned that we can do more than we think we can do.

  • I learned that there is a lot of work in a project like this and it requires a lot of responsibility - teamwork was important.


Participant Statistics


Major Challenges and Suggestions for Next Time


We couldn’t have done this without the support of our donors


We look forward to having ProVrapim become an annual event that grows every year!


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