Start date: May 1, 2015,
End date: Apr 30, 2017
VVJ vzw (Vereniging van Vlaamse Jeugddiensten – association of municipal youth services) sets up the project: ‘Youth participation 2.0’. This project invites young people and local policy makers to think about and develop a new and innovative model of youth participation model for the local policy level. VVJ vzw will set up three experiments with existing local youth councils. Within these experiments, the local youth councils will be coached in developing a new model for youth participation. They will all start with a clean sheet. For each model it is essential that there will be enough support within the local government and with the young people themselves.
During the coaching process, the members of the existing youth council will think about their priorities en what strategy they will develop to reach their goals. In order to develop a strategy the participants in the coaching process, will have to learn to know the needs and wishes of the children and the young people in the local community.
The members of the local youth council will share and discuss theirs opinions and views on local youth policy and local policy participation. Also, they will discuss the relation of the new participation model with the local policy and political structure. The members of the local youth council play a crucial role in the entire process and they will define the direction of the process and eventually which model of youth participation will be developed and implemented. During the process the participating young people can develop and improve several skills, such as: evaluating, negotiating, working independently, cooperating, taking responsibility… About 30-40 young people will be involved in the experimental processes.
Not only the three youth councils in the experiments will be a part of the project. VVJ vzw will develop a website which every local youth council can visit in order to improve or the change the structure or organisation of their council. This website will provide all sorts of tools which the youth councils can use. This website will be a part of a broader campaign to make local youth councils better known. Because lots of grownups and young people are not quite familiar with the concept.
At the end of the experiments, VVJ vzw will organize a youth conference for local youth councils and local policy makers. The youth councils which participated in the experiments and others can exchange experiences and inspire each other. The goal of this conference is to set up a broader dialogue between young people and policy makers about a child and youth friendly local policy. Every Flemish or Brussels local youth council can participate in the conference. About 50-100 young people will attend the conference.
The experiments with the three local youth councils will last about a year. Afterward VVJ vzw would like to use the gained experience to set up new experiments.
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