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Developing Youth Inclusion: Social and political inclusion internationally, along with participation in community decision-making processes
Start date: May 7, 2015, End date: Oct 6, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

“Developing Youth Inclusion: Social and political inclusion internationally, along with participation in community decision-making processes” is a multilateral youth exchange project between five AFS chapters: the Netherlands, Latvia, Italy, Hungary and Turkey, with participants from five different countries, contrasting backgrounds, various social and political involvements. This was the first part of a Youth Exchange under the title “Developing Youth Inclusion” that is going to be held every six months in each of the participating countries over almost three years. We aimed to get a group as diverse as possible in order to represent as many different views as there can be. “Developing Youth Inclusion” gathered ten team members (consisting of eight participants and two team leaders) from five countries for ten days in Latvia. The whole team consisting of fifty people gained knowledge, skills and competences to increase capacity to operate at EU and international level. The ten days were spent in Malpils and Riga. We started the project in Malpils with icebreakers, and name games. In the first 5 days spent in Malpils, we focused on becoming one group. In the same 5 days we started the countries case studies and other projects. At the start of each case study, we would do an energizer. An energizer is used to get everyone focused and energized for the case study ahead. The last 5 days were spent Riga, where we did a City Rally. The City Rally took us to every part of Riga, where we had to find the answer to questions we were given at the beginning of the game. One of the activities during this chapter exchange was the case study that each guest country had to prepare. The goal was to create a three hour long workshop, one which would be educational and fun. All four case studies definitely reached this goal. All countries had the same tasks, only topics were different, related to the main subject of the project. Every country had to lead their own workshop (Case study). Topics of the workshop were: The Netherlands: Diplomatic immunity; Turkey: How protests unite the people - Gezi Park experience; Hungary: Refugee and migrant crisis in Hungary; Italy: Human inequality and youth power to change it. Participants of the project also visited several facilities of Republic of Latvia to broaden their knowledge of political and economic processes in Latvia. Employees of company LiveRiga greeted participants in Riga City Council and guided them through halls of the building. Youth members visited rooms where deputies gather together in Riga City Council's meetings and discuss important decision projects for capital city as well as many other questions that are connected to activities of city's work. On the 7th day of project, participants visited the Bank of Latvia where senior economist of International Relations and Communication department Antra Trenko introduced everyone with changes that have applied since Latvia became a member of the Euro zone. Youth members were highly interested in economic situation in country and bank employees opinion on questions related to finances. Later everyone attended visitors center "Money World" where they had a chance to see previous currency of Latvia (lats) as well as many other anniversary and memorial coins. In the last excursion everyone visited the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia called Saeima. Everyone saw all the gifts that Saeima had received, went to Yellow and Red Halls along with Parliament Sitting hall. The target group for the project was youth who come from different backgrounds but with the main aim to develop youth inclusion in national as well as international political and social decision-making processes.
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