Community development, Youth participation and empowerment

European Fellowship on Civic Participation (EFCP)

Creators

Who is behind this?

Alexandra Peca

Asociatia GEYC

http://www.geyc.ro

Romania

Idea

Idea pitch

The EFCP is a 9-month learning program dedicated to youth from small communities, aiming to increase their skills and level of civic engagement through a blended approach: capacity building (training), challenge (organizing workshops in their local communities) and connection (good practices exchange). The lack of civic cohesion is a challenge that we aim to tackle through establishing a dialogue between people, civil society and local authorities, a dialogue driven by the selected fellows.

Where will your project idea take place?

Romania, all 8 development regions

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Romania is one of the countries with the lowest level of youth participation, less than 1/5 young people carrying out such activities. Almost 4/5 young people do not know any NGO active in their local area, while only 5% are members of an NGO. Most young people believe that the main measure to be taken for encouraging the participation of young people in volunteering activities would be to inform them on the possibilities of participation. (Romania National Youth Strategy 2014-2020). Therefore, the project seeks to decrease the number of inactive youngsters, giving them the opportunity to acquire skills, spread a healthy culture of civic activism and give them all the tools to ensure the creation, organization and implementation of activities managed by youth in their local communities.

Who are you doing it for?

The activities have been designed in such a way that they will reach the following target groups:
TG1: young people (14-35, as defined by the Romanian Youth Law) from rural/ small urban areas from all 8 development regions of Romania;
TG2: small grassroots NGOs working with young people from rural/small urban areas;
TG3: local authorities from rural/small urban areas;
TG4: general public.
We aim to reach 16 young people from TG1 (2 per each development region), empower and capacitate them with the right set of skills and knowledge that can then be put into practice by the implementation of 16 regional workshops reaching at least 320 people from TG4. From TG4 we aim to reach at least 8 organizations and involve the local authorities from at least 8 villages/towns/ small cities (TG3).

How do you plan to get there?

People from small and remote communities are lacking the skills and are not aware about the democratic mechanisms of representation, they feel abandoned by society and lack the power to advocate for their communities, which is why this project seeks to educate them on the importance of their civic and political engagement, with the help of several young people from the very same communities, who will act as ambassadors of change.
European Fellowship on Civic Participation (EFCP) is a 9-month long program through which 16 young people, 2 from each development area of Romania, from small communities with little access to information/opportunities, will act as activists in their local environment and will be supported in organizing local events focusing on raising awareness on civic and political issues.

Phases:

Bootcamp (CAPACITY) - residential training on: basic project management skills, communication and digital engagement, fundraising, civic engagement;

Get involved (CHALLENGE) - each fellow will organize at least 2 information sessions/workshops in their local community, bringing the idea of civic and political engagement closer to the people;

Exchange ideas (CONNECTION) - the fellows will be able to travel to Bucharest and meet with the other fellows, present their actions, give feedback and learn from each other.

What are the expected results?

The results we want to achieve are multiple:
- through the development of information workshops and peer-to-peer communication, we want to promote a greater degree of participation in local and national elections, both in terms of turn-out and political-social activism;
- we want to create strong connections between participants and our organization to establish roots in local communities and implement new projects and collaborate with local youth leaders and workers in the future;
- we want to increase the number of young people who are involved in the creation of independent projects and who participate in activities promoted by local authorities.

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

Our project will help community members to be more active because we will give them the opportunity to participate in activities and workshops organized by civically engaged young people, trained to use the right skills related to project management and to have a healthy attitude towards peer communication and use of digital tools. Through information workshops and collaboration with local authorities we will raise awareness on the importance of civic engagement, participatory democracy and exchange of good practices. All the people involved will have the opportunity to express themselves in a context of freedom, to improve their knowledge about their fundamental rights and what they can do to improve themselves and their community.

Why is this idea important to you?

GEYC’s executive team is made up of 5 people with experience in different fields: project management, communication, non-formal education, etc. For the past 11 years we have built the GEYC Community, a digital platform aimed at empowering young people and connecting them with people from all over Romania and the romanian diaspora, the group now having more than 4500 members. We have also worked closely with more than 100 schools in the country and we are leading a network of more than 150 teachers, because we strongly believe that empowering young people starts at a young age. We have created a social inclusion program, UNITED, which aims to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to acquire the skills and competences necessary for the integration in the job market.

€ 32000,-

Total budget

€ 30000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Bootcamp costs: 4,000 EUR
Workshop costs: 16 x 500 = 8000 EUR
Final meeting costs: 3,800 EUR
Project management: 9,200 EUR
Communication costs: 2000 EUR
Administrative costs: 3000 EUR

Team

GEYC

Idea created on April 7, 2021

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