Youth political participation: Level up!
Date du début: 1 févr. 2016,
Date de fin: 30 nov. 2016
CONTEXT This project is building upon another youth exchange organised by the YES Forum in July 2015 on European Citizenship. Based on the young people’s follow-up ideas it was decided that the topic of the current project should be active citizenship. This is an area which seems very distant and inaccessible to young people with fewer opportunities and there is a danger that citizenship becomes yet another area of exclusion as active citizens appear to be generally more highly educated than their peers. Hence, there is a clear need to address the issue of young people with fewer opportunities being grossly underrepresented in formal and alternative modes of political participation. Through the activities in this project we aim to enhance the young people’s knowledge and understanding of active citizenship and provide them with the skills necessary for active political participation at both EU level as well as local, regional, and national level. Furthermore the goal of the project is to enable the young participants to see both the value of engaging with the political process, as well as becoming confident to pursue opportunities for meaningful political participation. OBJECTIVES The objectives of the project are:- Enhance the knowledge and understanding of young people with fewer opportunities of active citizenship - Provide young people with fewer opportunities with the skills necessary for active political participation - Increase self-empowerment and self-esteem of young people with fewer opportunities- Enhance intercultural awareness of young people with fewer opportunities - Improve foreign language competences of young people with fewer opportunitiesNUMBER AND PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTSThere will be 36 participants, out of which 24 will be young people facing educational difficulties , economic obstacles, cultural differences (immigrant background, minorities), and/or social obstacles. The participants should preferably be at their first transnational project experience. The rest of 12 are the group leaders and interpreters. The young participants should be between 16 and 30 years old. The group of participants remains the same for both activities.DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIESThe preparatory meeting will take place in Stuttgart, Germany, on the YES Forum’s premises, 15-16/02/ 2016. During the meeting they will review the project’s schedule, activities, methods, evaluation, risks, and venues. As part of the first exchange in May, in Strasbourg, it is planned that the young people participate 2 days at the European Youth Event 2016 organised by the European Parliament. At the meeting it will also be discussed how the young people will contribute to the EYE.The first exchange in Strasbourg, 16-21/05/2016, hosted by Itinéraire Internationale, will have 6 days of activities. The theme will be empowerment and will address access to rights and the importance of political participation by young people, with a focus on EU level participation. There will be workshops on active citizenship, preparation for and participation at the EYE 2016, an event aimed at including them in the EU-level decision-making process.The second exchange, hosted by the Stiftung Evangelische Jugendhilfe St. Johannis in Bernburg, 22-26/08/ 2016, will have 5 days of activities. This exchange will be an opportunity to reflect on the experience at the EYE 2016 and build upon it, as the same young people should participate in both activities. But the focus will be on the skills and knowledge necessary for participation of young people at local, regional, and national levels.METHODOLOGY The key concept of the project is based on non-formal learning approaches encouraging the active involvement of participants, giving them space to take an active role, express themselves and share their own experience. The following methods will be used in the project: icebreaking games, team building exercises, situational games, individual and group work, interactive presentations, open discussions, field visits, practical work, outdoor activities, and common project development.IMPACT AND LONGER TERM BENEFITSEncouraging young people to become active citizens has benefits for the young people as well as the communities in which they live. Giving the participants the opportunity to debate, explore first-hand, and reflect on active citizenship, will help them realise their full potential and encourage them to play an active role in their society, while their participation in a transnational youth exchange could improve their mobility. Furthermore, becoming more self-confident and able to communicate more easily could help them in the long term to access educational and professional opportunities they did not even dare to previously consider. Encouraging young people, especially those with fewer opportunities, to become active citizens has positive impact on the community and the societies the young people live in.
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