Archive of European Projects

All in – design your future through social commitment
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project "All In - ddesign your future through social commitment" was jointly implemented by the Iris Group (Georgia), Balkans, lets get up! (Serbia), and the START Foundation gGmbH (Germany), in a quest to reinforce the importance of civic engagement as an important medium for non-formal education of disadvantage young people. In so doing, the project aimed to improve the public perception and political framework for the civic engagement of youth in general and more importantly the perception and frameworks in the respective partner regions of the project. The core of the project was a structured dialogue between the participating young people and (political) decision-makers from all three partner countries. On the one hand, and by means of dialogue and the accompanying reflection, the participating youth acquired a growth in competence and gain in self-efficacy as well as an enhancement of their language skills. In return, the decision-makers also gained an insight into the motivation of disadvantaged youth for civic engagement as well as ideas about the concrete support-system needed from decision makers to foster the civic engagement of young people. Thus, beyond the development of new areas of learning in the field of non-formal education, the project also contributes to the social and professional integration of disadvantaged youth and more generally to the social inclusion in Europe. By joining forces with two partners from associated countries of the EU, the project also contributed in transporting instruments such as the structured dialogue to countries outside the EU in a quest to promote it as an example of a successful structure for the promotion of youth participation. The participating group for the project were 45 socially disadvantage young people ( students , trainees, students , job seekers ) between the ages of 18 and 29 years from Georgia , the entire Balkan region and Germany. Despite their social disadvantage, the young people displayed a high level of motivation for civic engagement and as such are capable of acting as peer ?advocates? or ?multipliers? of the unique opportunities provided by civic engagement. The core of the project was a 7-day open-space-based Youth Forum in Berlin, during which the 45 participants from the three partner countries engaged amongst each other, with local, national and European Union policy-makers as well as with representatives of organizations from the civil society that are active in the field of civic engagement. In preparation to the Youth Forum, each of the partner organizations organized a one-day national preparatory meeting with their ca. 15 participants. These meetings were aimed at preparing the participants as well as giving them the opportunity to actively contribute their ideas and methodological expectations to the preparation and design of the youth forum. In order to implement the measures necessary for a successful implementation of the youth forum, the regular email communication of all partners was complemented by monthly Skype conferences, as well as an in-person preparatory meeting during which a common time-table and work plan was generated. This procedure not only fostered the good working relation between all partners but also guaranteed the equal involvement of all partners. Amongst others, the final results of the project included a civic engagement campaign, a handout with recommendations for the recruitment and monitoring of committed youth by civil society actors, as well as an open letter with a catalog of measures on issues considered inportant by the participants. Among the letters were letters to the European Parliament on the issue of Immigration, Environmental protection as well as on the issue of cyber security. These results were presented to decision makers present during the youth forum and can serve as basis for discussion on the different political levels. Thus, Design your future! impacts directly through the participating youth, the dialogue partners and organizations involved, as well as the resulting new national and transnational networks and structures that can be used for future activities by all participants. In the long run, the project also contributes in promoting civic engagement amongst (disadvantaged) youth. More importantly, beyond Germany, the project will raise the awareness and promote youth engagement in regions of Europe where it currently plays a marginal role. In so doing, it not only raises the public awareness with regard to the importance of civic engagement but can also aid in the development of support structures needed to further foster youth engagement in these regions.
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