Mobile American Corner is a special initiative to showcase American Corners as part of the Embassy’s year-long strategy to celebrate 100 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and Albania. This initiative envisions pop-up “Traveling Corners” aiming to bring American culture to youth in remote and underserved areas around Albania. “Mobile American Corner” is a Branded Bus/vehicle carrying resources and branded materials necessary to create pop-up exhibits while traveling around Albania (North, South, and East). Mobile American Corner Branded Bus offered a series of activities (educational, tech games, American movies and music, civic engagement workshops, and guest speakers about American values and history) which merged with local events and celebrations (fairs, concerts etc.).
This project was conducted during the first weeks of June. Youth Digital Network was established with contacts from all the youth participants in all the cities to ensure sustainable outreach with ongoing opportunities and resources to underserved cities and areas around Albania. New Vision was responsible for the logistic aspects of the events, managing the activities and coordinating with the local institutions and small business.
The first city was Lezha which brought colorful tents with USA related games, tech games, history and information about USA education opportunities.
Lezha was followed by Koplik which had the honor of welcoming Mrs. Yuri Kim, United States Ambassador to Albania. Mrs. Kim joined the celebration, encouraging youth from Koplik to join the Mobile Corner’s effort to get a firsthand impression of all of the Embassy’s programs and opportunities. Ambassador Kim admired the work of local artisans, and watched a traditional dance performance from Malesia e Madhe.
Peshkopia was the next city, which had a great turnout, there was a great participation by youth of the city. The children also saw a movie and were engaged in different tech games.
Berat was our next adventure which also followed with a variety of tech games, music and educational activities. Members of the U.S Special Forces Advisory Brigade made a special appearance and spoke with visitors who were interested in learning more about their military experience and service.
The next stop, Pogradec had a special addition which was Korca city. In Pogradec we celebrated near the lake and had a great time with the locals. Our time in Korca was short but great. It had music, games and much valuable information for the youth to engage in Embassy’ programs.
Permet was supposed to beour last stop but due to the amount of therequests Gjirokastra city was also added to our list. Both of the cities gave us a warm welcome and had great participation. In Permet we were able to organize a basketball match with the Permet basketball team and players from Tirana. In Gjirokaster there were folkloric groups that performed and small businesses joined our tents.
We believe this tour was a great success and an unforgettable experience for every volunteer and participants that made it possible. We gained so much knowledge about group work and the Embassy youth network is expanding day by day.