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IRLinternational - The EU and you!
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The background of this project is that the Swedish Association of Youth Councils have worked with issues of youth influence for a long time. An integral part of this work has been to create platforms and meeting places for young people from all around Sweden. For over 10 years this has been the most popular part of our work . Our long and detailed experiences of arranging similar conferences has made us one of the best organizations in Sweden when it comes to youth issues, participation and influence in local politics. This project is an attempt to widen this work, to let more young people take part and to share our substantial knowledge and our large network. Many of our members have requested a meeting with a more international profile, and this project is a result of their wishes. The project,"IRL international - The EU and you!" aims to create possibilities for young people from different parts of Europe to meet and exchange experiences from their local democracy work. We also want to spread and generate new knowledge by touching in issues such as anti-racism and gender equality as the basis for our work on influence on local politics. The main activity in this project is an international conference that will be held in Stockholm during 3,5 days in late October 2015. At this conference, young people from different parts of Europe can meet and exchange valuable knowledge and experiences. In addition to this, the conferences aimes to increase the participants' knowledge on democratic rights, how to be an active citizen and how and why it is important to influence local politics. Discussions will be held on the topic of democratic rights and how they can be used to create a better society for all. The topics for the conference will be inclusion (here gender equality and anti-racism), democratic rights, cooperation and solidarity as well as participation in local democratic processes. In addition to the international conference to be held in Sweden another activity will be a study-visit to our partner organization in Turkey. This will enable us to get to know our partners even better, and to map out their needs and wishes before the conference. This acitvity will take place in the end of May. The aim of the project as a whole is to increase the international awareness among the participants and our members and to spread the inspiration and competence that we already have within our network. The project is about enabling networking and training on different topics by using different methods. We want to make information about how to influence local politics more avaliable to youth. By using lectures, workshops and hand-on experiments the participants will gain a deeper udnerstanding for politics and democracy, about the international element and what role the EU is playing in this. The 50 participants will be spread out amongst the partner organizations as well as from the Swedish Association of Youth Councils. We will also open up for participation from other organizations beyond this application holding that they can pay their own expenses. The participants will be between 13-126 years old and they wil come from a variety of different backgrounds. Our hope is that 2/3 of the participants will come from Sweden and 1/3 will come from other countries. Organizations in Turkey, Denmark and Spain are partners in this project. To let young people learn from each other in an informal/non-formal way is the main method of this project. We will leave a lot of space for sessions that focuses on group-dynamics and relection. We get inspration from the Youthpass certificate and we will use methods that asks participants to reflect on their own learning process, on their own and together with others. The contect of the conference will be based on the participants own knowledge and experiences. We will use "learning by doing" and let the participants set the agenda for the conference. Since the Swedish Association of Youth Councils is completely run by its members the methods and planning will derive from young people's perspective and day-to-day life. Young people will set the agenda, lead the conference and follow up the results. By young people for young people. This project will lead to the creation of changemakers who will have been trained in norm-critical thinking and carry an inclusive approach who live and work in different places in Europe. This will benefit local, regional, national as well as international youth work . It will also benefit the individual participants as it will give them new skills and increase their awareness. To create a more open and inclusive society starts with the individual and this is the reason we want to organize this conference.
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