Active YOUth for Europe
Start date: Jun 1, 2016,
End date: Nov 30, 2016
The European Commission noticed in 2013 in a press release related to the youth participation in elections that: " Young people are less inclined to vote than their parents and show a growing dissatisfaction with the way politics works. Yet, young people want to participate and ask for more opportunities to have a say on politics." The youngsters consider most of the time that voting represents an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the politicians, politics and everything related to public life. And what could be the best way to show their dissatisfaction than their absence? The data on absenteeism among youth are worrying: in 2009, only 35% of the young Romanian people voted in EU elections, while the data available for the other new EU member states are even worse (Czech Republic scoring 27,5%). The data available for 2014 EU elections show the same lack of enthusiasm of the young generation when it comes to voting, the Satu Mare County scores the poorest also on presence at national election, always some percentages below the national average (around 56%).The data above clearly suggest that there is a huge distance between public life and the young generation. Although not an easy task, something needs to be done on youth involvement and mobilization, as they are the future of our communities and their absence from public life seriously damage the simple notion of democracy. They need to be encouraged to take action, they need to be ensured that they can make a contribution to the society in various domains, learn to speak loud their ideas, share their thoughts and thus become leaders in their environment and owners of their future. Our goal is to seek ways of presenting good examples of youth involvement, making it easier to motivate young people to take action and be ready to actively participate as European citizens in everyday life. In this negative context, the main theme of the youth exchange is the active involvement of young people in public life of the community, learning by doing and using formal and informal methods on how to become an active agent in the society. The main objective of the project can be expressed as being: improve the level of key competences and skills of young people in the field of youth involvement in public life, including those with fewer opportunities, as well as to promote participation in democratic life in Europe. The main activity of the project is an 8 days exchange programme organized in Satu Mare, Romania with the purpose of offering young people good examples, tools to increase the participation of young people in the democratic life in Europe, and the opportunity to reflect on best opportunities to have a say in public life. The program will include formal and non-formal learning sessions, on site visits to public authorities and NGOs, followed by debates, role plays, reflections. The detailed programme will be established in common by all parties involved and shall focus on the specific needs of each group. The formal and non-formal learning session shall benefit from the support of one lecturer with experience in the field of politics, while all involved parties are expected to make a concrete contribution to the programme. During the exchange program the young people will be encouraged to present good examples from their own community, good practices that may be feasible for implementation in the other countries. The methodology used is the "bottom-up" progress, as each participating group shall bring in their own experience, learn and at the end of the programme reflect, disseminate what has been learned among their organization's members and in their communities and adopt but at the same time adapt practices and experiences and duplicate them in their own environment.The project has at its basis the following principles: the structured dialogue, language learning, non-formal learning, volunteering, gender equality, cultural and linguistic diversity as well as fostering tolerance. The formal and non-formal activities shall all be delivered in English, offering the possibility for youngsters with less knowledge to consolidate and enhance their English. Tolerance, cultural and linguistic diversity shall be promoted during the evenings, each of the participating countries shall have an evening of their own when they present a song, a dance, a tradition, a food which is special for them. The exchange program shall pay a special attention to the involvement of young people from disadvantaged groups, mainly youngsters in rural areas which face economic, cultural or social obstacles when it comes to getting involved in public life. A special attention shall be paid also to respecting the gender equality principle. Volunteering shall be encouraged through visits at NGOs and debates.
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