Social inclusion, Youth participation and empowerment

DIGITAL CITIZENS’ LAB

An initiative fostering disadvantaged students in Hungary to take ownership of their digital lives and set the example of responsible digital citizens shaping their own as well as our future

Creators

Who is behind this?

Péter Hann

Ezer Gyerek Egyesület

http://ezergyerek.hu

Hungary

Who is joining forces?

Erőforrás Alapítvány, United Way Magyarország

http://www.unitedway.hu

Hungary


Idea

Idea pitch

All students need digital citizenship skills to participate fully in their communities and make smart choices online and in life, but some of them need extra help. DIGITAL CITIZENS’ LAB is created for secondary school students’ living in deprived communities who need extra help to take ownership of their digital lives. It creates opportunities for learning, teamworking and participating in dialogues. This is the place where responsible digital citizens are born.

Where will your project idea take place?

settlements in Hungary: Balassagyarmat, Tokaj, Demecser, Csepel/Budapest

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Our project facilitates the civil participation of young people from Hungary by involving them in digital activities. The challenge here is to give a boost of civil engagement, which can have a positive effect in their adult lives and for their whole community, as young age is important from the aspect of political socialization. Especially after the COVID lockdowns the social capital of young people can significantly decrease. Our project wishes to inter interconnect to two: developing civic skills with the help of digital literacy. Also, the praxis, experience and open attitude they will acquire during the project will be an important asset in their lives. This can inspire them for civil activism and they will also be able to facilitate the social activism of their peers and communities.

Who are you doing it for?

The core target group is youth aged 15-18 years, living in disadvantaged communities exposed to the temptation of fake news. In the four settlements the number of the target groups differs according to the population of the municipality. During the project however we wish to include 15 to 20 young people from each municipality. We wish to recruit the members of the target group with the help of the teachers of the partner schools. The idea here is to involve those young people, who are in need of external facilitation and digital skills development, but also who are interested in the project and have the motivation to work together with us during the project. The members of the primary target group will realize their own project.

How do you plan to get there?

In Sept-Nov 2021 we’ll conduct a survey in each settlement. Based on the survey’s results the design, implementation of the project can be adjusted. The survey will be based on interviews with teachers, students, child protection agencies.
Feb-March ‘22 2 days training including a two hours workshop will be held for the participants at 4 locations
We will hold meetings with the students weekly in April-May ‘22. At these consultations 4 members of the students’ own project team will discuss their own initiative with the project partners
May ‘22 workshops with local students and stakeholders will be organized. The aim of the workshops is to engage in dialogue, strengthen active citizenship
July ‘22 representatives of the local students’ projects will have a meeting in Budapest. They’ll visit tech, news and municipal agencies, to gain experiences
July ‘22 the case studies of the students’ projects will be documented as best practices
July ‘22 a meeting with the project partners, stakeholders and the students the feedback, sustainability and the continuation of the project will be discussed
On the basis of the survey and the rich experiences of the project partners an education material will be developed in July ‘22. The booklet will be freely accessible
Aug ‘22 we will finish the financial and substantial reporting of the project based mostly on the reflective meeting

What are the expected results?

The project will have a direct effect on 80 students and their teachers from 4 schools and it will also indirectly improve the attitude, learning opportunities and future careers of hundreds of disadvantaged children. The included students will gain a broader perspective and will learn about the skills which are required for political participation and make local politics accountable. For the sake of increasing social capital, participation in politics and intercultural dialogue, the students and teachers included in this program may improve the efficiency of the local educational facilities and communities by implementing their newly acquired skills. The methods may help these institutions in creating more vivid cooperation with local families and with the local youth, cultural NGOs.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Our project facilitates active citizenship in two dimensions. First, by motivating the participating young people and developing their skills for digital participation they will be individually empowered. They will acquire the knowledge to become active citizens, social entrepreneurs. They can also motivate their peers and communities by demonstrating them the importance and positive outcome of participation. Secondly, by involving local civil society organizations and the local government into the project, we can promote the openness of these institutions and emphasize the relevance of citizens’ involvement into the local decision making process.

Why is this idea important to you?

The staff of Ezer Gyerek has expertise in election mathematics, training, political participation, qualitative and quantitative methods, and extensive experience in project management. Ezer Gyerek has also conducted and contributed to several projects supported by the Europe for Citizens program of the European Union in cooperation with municipalities and civil organizations from disadvantaged regions to promote active citizenship and to develop local communities. Furthermore, we are devoted towards a participative democracy and cooperated in several projects with civil society organizations and local governments of the selected municipalities. Hence our team is engaged and familiar with the field.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Education materials development and customization: 3150EUR
Community dialogues, trainings and workshops: 9700EUR
Student support, stipend: 1370EUR
Travel and accommodation (trainers, facilitators) : 1850EUR
Case study development and best practice sharing : 2060EUR
Dissemination and communication: 4000 EUR
Professional leadership, project management : 11150EUR
Overhead costs : 1720EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are particularly interested in other teams’ experience with motivating underprivileged young people. While those young people are in need of empowerment and active political participation, because of their lower social and cultural capital, it is harder to approach them and make them active.

Team

1000Gyerek

UWH

Idea created on April 26, 2021

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