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U18 im Dialog
Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 31 Jan 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Project background:Connected to the U18 election are activities to simulate the functioning of democratic institutions and the role of decision-makers. By means of these activities, young persons experience directly, how elections function. They take a deeper look at the activities of democratic institutions and the role of decision-makers. Furthermore, space and possibilities are opened for young persons to engage actively in a dialogue with decision makers and contribute to youth policy issues. For the U18 election, this means bringing together the daily lives of disadvantaged under 18-year-olds with the voting process, the evaluation of results as well as the review of the political events.Project goal:Target of U18 is to familiarize all under 18 year-olds with low opportunities as well as young new arrivals to the county of Berlin with possibilities of democratic participation and to promote the development of an understanding of democracy. With the election-program and live broadcast, far more Indirect participants are attained as direct participants.Requirements:1) The aim for the youths is to develop enthusiasm for engaging into politics, to develop youth-friendly content and formats. Multiplicators and youth workers contribute to this mediation and help to deal with the language of politicians and academics and adapt and convert this language when working with young persons.2) Another aim is to further methods, best practices, issues and positions of young persons to multiplicators such as the U18 National Network, youth associations and those interested in youth and education policies. - To further develop U18 as a low-threshold educational approach and represent U18 for those engaged in youth promotion abroad.Quantity-/Profile of the participants:The core group of U18-voters consists of 13-17 year-olds. In addition to this, many young adults between 18 and 30 years are involved in the activities, as election-helpers, moderators, editorial and technical support or are participants in the audience, in the political meetings and the discussion rounds.Activities - describe:The evaluation of the U18-election takes place as part of the national youth meeting with live reporting, which serves in particular as a low-threshold and inclusion-orientated mediation approach. Analogous to the real elections, all U18-voters and young supporters gain the attention and appreciation for their participation in the election simulation. Indirect participants follow the evaluation of the results, the award of their ballot contributions and reporting of the electoral process from their polling station as a spectator. Direct participants work on content, they contribute conceptually or technically to the election broadcast or pose the audience where they can directly encounter policy makers. In the election touchstones young persons confront the elected political representatives with their campaign promises and compare this information with the coalition negotiations. young persons point out the views and needs that are not sufficiently taken into account in current policies. Procedures Project Implementation:The implementation is coordinated by SPI Drehscheibe Kinder- und Jugendpolitik and the organizational preparations are led by the U18 coordinating body of Berlin. Experienced actors from child- and youth-welfare organizations and children- and youth-bureaus are involved in the preparation and in the implementation. Youth media partners such as Alex TV # Media Power will accompany the young participants in skills acquisition.Results:The transmission of the results as a live report as well as a contribution to the online media library are essential for the processing of the election and the work with the election results. This ensures that the U18-election is not only of local importance, but represents the interests and the opinions of many young people in Berlin.Effects - long-term benefits:Participants gain a better understanding of cross-cutting issues, experience diverse opportunities for thematic discussion, learn to develop criticism and reflection and enhance their skills long term. Furthermore, the implementation of formats and activities for election-simulations can sustainably be adapted. Youth-specific and participatory-based formats for under 18-year-olds with low opportunities and mobility can be better-targeted. Methods and best practice materials promote knowledge-sharing with multiplicators, decision-makers in the area of youth welfare and education as well as with youth promoters in partner countries on a long-term basis.
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