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Next Generation - we make dialogue happen
Start date: Feb 1, 2015, End date: Jan 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The association of self-organized youth centres in the Saarland (juz-united) is the federation of all youth centres and clubs that are self-organized in Saar region of Germany. Currently, more than 100 self-governed youth centres in the Saarland are members of juz-united and roughly 2000 young people are engaged as volunteers in the youth clubs. When considering the current social changes, we have observed that two main processes have a considerable impact on activities of self-led youth clubs, challenging the young people who are involved in the self-government of their youth centre: Firstly, the demographic change that provides empty budgets to municipalities, which is why policymakers are focusing more and more on the needs of the elderly; and secondly, the social divide between a class of earners and a class dependent on the social welfare system. The young people involved in their youth club self-government are therefore face with two main questions: In the face of budgetary problems, how would it be possible to organize activities in their municipalities and speak out to local policymakers about their needs? How could they motivate the next generation of young people, who are mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds, to take responsibility for the youth clubs and get involved? Both are central questions that are taken from the EU youth strategy for self-governed youth centres. In order to find answers to these questions, we will select 30 young people between the ages of 15 and 25 from 5 self-organized youth centres with different family and educational backgrounds. With the objective of supporting the development of a youth policy strategy in each of the 5 youth centres, the young people will attend several seminars, workshops and committee meetings. In the course of the project we will organize one workshop to explain the structures and functioning of local policy, and this workshop will lead into a variety of meetings with the purpose of developing youth policy and one meeting about local municipal politics. Furthermore, we will organize one network meeting among all participating youth centres. The active participation of the young people will be necessary for all activities and the success of the projects will depend on their commitment and dedication. The results of the project will be the strategies developed and the self-evaluations of the participants – as well as the willingness of local policymakers to implement a lasting form of participation by young people in local policy. The outcome of the proceedings will be available for use as an example for youth policies in other self-governed youth centres within our association. The main political subjects that will be discussed during the project can be spread among other youth policymakers and be a model available for youth lobbying.
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