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Promoting participation through cooperation
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project “participation through cooperation” is originated in 2013 from a youth exchange project between the Youth Councils of Seltjarnarnes (Iceland) and Lund (Sweden). The two councils formed a strong bond and a mutual desire to expand their network and get to know other youth councils because they felt they gained so much from their first meeting. The intent of this project was not to make another youth exchange, now we wanted to examine outstanding examples of youth centers and also visit an active organization in the field of youth work. Such examples were to be found in Helsinki, Finland. The councils contacted Allianssi, a national service and advocacy organization within the field of youth work that functions as the national youth council of Finland. The aim of this project was to get to know the inner workings of a powerful youth organization whose goal is to encourage active participation among youth in projects that aims to have a positive influence on society through formal or informal pathways. Another aspect of this project was to examine Youth Centers that houses great facilities for young people; whether it is to work on their private hobbies or fulfill a creative passion. In this project there were 31 participants from Iceland, Sweden and Finland, age 16-52. The group made numerous of interesting visits, the youth Councils made a formal presentation regarding its function and operation in their community. The Councils presented special projects whose goal is to encourage involvement of youth in order to improve their community. The three councils took turns in managing the project, such as organizing lunch or to lead a workshop. The outcome of this project is that all members of the youth councils gained skills and knowledge in ways to mobilize young people to participate in youth work and found new ways to influence decisions of government and legislation. The project spurred the new idea of a European Youth Council conference whose main topic would be this: “How can we encourage active participation among youth in their community?”

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