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Youth and democracy: Achieving higher employability through democratic participation
Date du début: 17 juin 2014, Date de fin: 16 nov. 2014 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

In Kolding Youth School and in Denmark in general working with youngsters and participation is an important item on the agenda and by now we have a lot of experience in the area. We have learned that participating in a demo-cratic organization, institution or another grouping, where you are able to have your opinion heard and argue for it and work on different given tasks, strengthen and develop young people’s skills. It does not matter, if what youngsters decide is to participate in is a political youth party, the school council or the board of the small local soccer club. No matter what they en-gage in they will gain from it. As Europe is today getting an education does not mean, that you have a golden ticket to get a job. There is no guarantee and the competition is get-ting harder. This is actually the main reason, we chose to work with this area in our organization and also for our Summer Camp, which is a recurring ac-tivity every second year with different themes. To motivate more youngsters to participate we hear the youngsters in our organization say, that it is crucial to create an awareness amongst youngsters of what they gain from participating and what they can participate in and where – but it has to come from other youngsters, not the adult youth workers. To sum up we will be working on answering the following question: How do we create awareness amongst youngsters of the possibilities and gains of participation in a democratic organization, institution or grouping, so we can use it as a tool to achieve higher youth employability? To answer this question, keeping in mind, that we need to have “youngsters speak to youngsters”, the idea was to bring together youngsters from organ-izations, who at some level have worked with participation, but in different ways, and then having them come up with a product, which we can use to reach other youngsters in their community and hopefully further than that. The partners where selected according to requests prepared by youngsters and youth workers of our organization working on the project, which they considered to be necessary to reach the aim of the project. They came up with four criteria being partners from organizations who 1) have experience with and an interest in the theme of theproject 2) are reliable 3) are engaged to the project through out the whole process. The last thing required and probably the most important thing was 4) diversity, differences and similarities among the participants. Using our network and Salto we have selected five partner organisations who live up to the request for partners and they all have great knowledge in the field of youth work, are experienced The methods to be used during the exchange will be related to non-formal learning and taken from the areas of personal development such as ice-breakers, name games, team building activities, presentations, etc. The project activities will also include lectures, roleplaying and debating. The activities selected for the project are aimed at encouraging young participants to share their individual perceptions of the basic principles of the subject as well as to present the common perception existing in their countries, and to reflect and work out common position on the topic of the group participating at the exchange in the form of creative presentation. These activities will require from the participants using not only their knowledge but also skills as well as it will promote developing of their new skills. The project has been developed and launched as a response to the interest of young people of out target group. Young people are extensively involved in the project at all its stages (development, implementation, post-project activities). The young people will be a focus group during evaluation activities and planning of further dissemination of the project’s results, and will be encouraged to offer certain methods and forms of activities they may implement locally as a continuation of this project and that may be used in the similar projects in future. The young participants are expected to take active part in all activities offered under the project and share their experience, skills, knowledge and emotions with the rest of the participants, thus creating a circle of support to one another. We hope to have more youngsters participate in democratic organisations, institutions and groupings and having them achieve a higher employability through participating getting a lot of new skills and knowledge in the future. Also having youth workers, organisations, institutions and so on understand the importance of having youngsters participate to motivate them to do more to find the youngsters for their councils and boards. Creating more visibility in general will have more people working on the subject. Just trying to motivate the youngsters can not stand alone if there is no one motivated to recieve them. Also we are hoping to get the subject on the political agenda.



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