Where there are sweets there is joy

Sweets are inseparable part of our life, they are present in our joyful days, celebrations, birthdays, and even during the days when we want to apologise, recover time spent apart or just make the most of a day and be happy.

Donatilda, 17-years-old, likes sweets and wishes to become a pastry chef - a choice she is making partly because she has a real 'sweet tooth' and partly because she wants to have a steady profession in the future.

However, she has one more inspiration - tourism. She is sure through choosing these professions she can share joyful moments people have. 

Donatilda takes vocational classes to build her skills with a hope to link these two together one day in her professional life. She is in her third year at the vocational high school "Hamdi Bushati" in Shkodra.

“I like the field of confectionery and tourism very much, that’s why I chose a vocational school. Furthermore, I believe the knowledge gained during the vocational training will increase my employment possibilities,” reveals the young girl about the motive she studies at this school.

Three years ago, when she heard that she could apply to study in "Hamdi Bushati" school, she didn’t hesitate to give a try. She wished to learn new and practical things. Her determination grew seeing the parents support her in fulfilling her dreams.

“We heard of the school and 'talents' that are being revealed. I was enthusiastic for my daughter because, as a parent, I think that the future is safer with a profession,” explains Mira, Donatilda’s mother, while the young girl adds: “I think tourism allows you to be in touch with different cultures and experience new emotions. You can learn traditions and customs from visitors and convey the local traditions as well”.

Donatilda is curious, she likes exploring, cooking sweets and tourism are not her only passion. She loves handicrafts, a skill she picked from her grandmother at home. She is continuously looking for new interests, she doesn't stop.

Back in December 2020, she took an initiative to join the youth group engaged in the project “Pathways to Career Development: Preparing Albanian and Montenegrin Youth for Career Opportunities in the Tourism Sector”. This project aims to equip youth with new skills, prepare them for the labour market, as well as impact the economic growth and reduce social challenges in their communities.

“I have learned about communication skills and working in a team. I have grown in ways I never thought before. Preparing for the career is not an easy process for youth, but I am already one step ahead of many of my peers,” states Donatilda. She doesn’t hesitate to suggest to her peers to widen their knowledge by participating in various trainings and activities.

One particular experience she emphasises is the training about soft skills, where students gained knowledge on communication, problem-solving, innovation, time management and many other topics.

“Soft Skills trainings are very important for students because they develop communications skills not included in the school curricula. These skills, combined with professional skills, make a young person very competitive in a job market,” tells Stejsi, Donatilda's teacher.

50 youth from the vocational high school "Hamdi Bushati" in Shkodra are involved in the project “Pathways to Career Development: Preparing Albanian and Montenegrin Youth for Career Opportunities in the Tourism Sector”. This project aims for youth in the border area between Albania and Montenegro to have access to services, market, and information, be involved in continuous learning process, and explore business ideas in the tourism sector.  

“During the time I have been part of the project, I learned about cooperation, business ideas and planning. I would like to become a pastry chef and own a small business in tourism.  I think that all the gained skills will be valuable and useful to me. It is a fantastic experience,” she concludes.

Donatilda’s eyes are full of hope. She wishes to build her future in her own country through  taking small steps toward her dreams and her future.

As each component is essential for a delicious dessert, each piece of knowledge gained during the career path adds value and brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams.

“Pathways to Career Development: Preparing Albanian and Montenegrin Youth for Career Opportunities in the Tourism Sector” is funded by the European Union through IPA II program, managed by Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare of Montenegro (CFCU) and implemented by World Vision Albania in partnership with New Horizon, Public Institution Combined Secondary School “Bratstvo Jedinstvo” in Ulcinj and “Hamdi Bushati” School in Shkodra.