A new Erasmus+ project uniting organizations from Skopje, Barcelona, Bucharest, Århus, and Nicosia has recently been approved. To start implementing this idea, a six days kick-off event was held in Skopje. Here is an insight into the early stages of this cross-border working group committed to empowering youth in the long run.
Partners from five European countries tackling Youth, minorities, intercultural learning and counter-discrimination united in the firm commitment of providing a roadmap for youth activism across Europe. The organizations involved in the project European Youth at the Frontlines of Active Citizenship:
A Roadmap towards a collective “South-North-EastWest” Momentum are the following:
• Volunteers Centre Skopje
• EUCMC for Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue Århus
• Citizens in Power (CIP), Cyprus
• Asociación Mundus – Un Mundos A Tus Pies
• Young Europe Society (YES), Romania
Impulsed by Volunteers Centre Skopje, this initiative project has been tailormade to take part in the process of empowering European youth, and eventually succeed. This innovative program provides a platform to provide young people from areas with fewer opportunities with a possibility to explore innovative ways for active citizen participation in the democratic processes in our European societies. A selected network of youth multipliers will be trained, mentored and receive financial support for grassroots youth-led outreach initiatives, with the objective to directly support our societies’ aspirations to achieve social and economic prosperity.
The young multipliers will be challenged to identify ways to influence policies and participate in the democratic processes of their communities. Their task will be to come up with an initiative tackling a selected cause, with the goal of creating a ripple effect across local communities located at the NorthSouth and West-East axes of Europe that will impact our societies as a force for good.
The project participants can select a specific cause from one of these five Core Areas:
1) Education and lifelong learning
2) Social and Community Issues
3) Environment and Sustainability
4) Culture and Heritage
5) Health and Wellbeing
Selected young people will then be granted 1000€ to initiate a change at the local level and thus improve their societies.
The purpose of this one-year project is to manage the present and create the future by building bright minds thinking critically, with the belief that society can be a better place through enhancing the lives of youth. Young people setting their own narrative is definitely a top priority. This commitment is the cornerstone of this initiative uniting partners from all parts of Europe to work together. All five countries where participating organizations are active have experienced youth empowerment movements in the last years, in a wide diversity of ways.
In the aftermath of the project proposal approved by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), part of the European Commission, two representatives from each partner structure traveled to Skopje to meet their counterparts face to face. First, they presented their organizations, their fields of expertise, and its latest updates. Then a wide proportion of this kick-off meeting was dedicated to brainstorming and eventually agreeing upon the implementation timeline of the project.
Each of these six fruitful days started with an inspirational motivation quote as an energizer. The sessions were divided into getting acquainted with one another, having thorough thinking of how the various steps of the project will be taking place on the ground in each of the five countries. Furthermore, several workshops were facilitated, for instance, to try to get an insight into the perspective of the various involved society actors. Last but not least, team building activities were stimulative ways to strive together to succeed as a team in taking up little challenges.
Stay posted! More is to come very soon right here:
Jules Striffler (text and pictures)