Democracy and participation, Civic education

Loud voices for strong democracy

Engaging young people to make their voices heard in the fight for gender equality

Creators

Who is behind this?

Andreea Rusu

FILIA Center

http://www.centrulfilia.ro

Romania

Idea

Idea pitch

Now,more than ever,civil society must put their efforts into protecting and promoting the democratic and European values.The project is offering young people from underserved regions access to knowledge in human rights, gender equality and empowerment towards civic participation.It will offer them the practical tools to make their voices heard.They will share this information creating a snowball effect and bringing a significant change towards strengthening democracy in their local communities

Where will your project idea take place?

Cities Pitesti, Ploiesti, Buzau, Fetesti in Muntenia Region, Romania

What is the local challenge?

The engagement of Romanian young people in voluntary human rights activities is one of the lowest in the European Union(Eurobarometer, 2017). The general rate of volunteering in NGOs in Muntenia region is the lowest in Romania 5%. The current lack of civic engagement of young people is a consequence of the accentuation of inequality and hate amongst Romanian citizens. In the current context, gender inequality and violation of human rights represent an increasing problem (ONU, EIGE, 2020) and vulnerable groups face greater challenges in making their voice heard creating a stringent societal need to develop a safe environment where young people can practice critical thinking, solidarity and democratic values, finding a voice of their own as an alternative to public speech dominated.

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

The project is offering young people from underserved regions access to knowledge in human rights and empowerment towards civic participation. These are not a part of the ordinary curriculum. The training curriculum will be focused on democratic and european values such as equality and on tools to increase civic participation and promote active citizenship.
In order to create a snowball effect, the participants will put to use the competencies developed in the trainings and will design and implement a campaign at a local level, using the information received during the training. During this, they will address specific issues in their community, creating a grassroots movement to promote democratic value at local level.

Who are you doing it for?

We will select 4 youngsters from Valea Seaca who are more engaged in group activities and have a greater knowledge about the domain of human rights and are eager to develop their facilitators skills. Thus, they have a wide view regarding gender and ethinc discrimination and gender violence and their level of understanding of these issues will allow them to support training sessions with the highschoolers.
We will raise awareness of 160 vulnerable teenagers from 8 poorly ranked highschools in Pitesti, Ploiesti, Buzau and Fetesti (2 highschools/city) regarding human rights. 34 out of 160 youngsters will benefit from training regarding human rights and civil implication.120 marginalized youngsters who will participate at the workshops organized by these 34 young people.

How do you plan to get there?

We’ll organize 3 workshops/Highschool(democracy&human rights&european values;gender equality;gender violence) with 20 participants/highschools(HS).The 20 participants will form 5 groups and enter a competition on our Facebook page to win a participation in the training on human rights, discrimination and activism.They will subscribe in the competition thematic visual materials.In each HS, a group will win.Part of the training will be held by 4 youngsters from Valea Seaca who have experience in activism and will participate before at a ToT session.After the training,each group will be coordinated by one youngster from VS to help organize a thematic workshop with 15 particip each.In the end, we’ll organize a debriefing meeting with each group in order to share their experience

What are the expected results?

By doing workshops and trainings regarding discrimination and the importance of civic implication the participants will open their perspective about social injustice and what they can do for combating this phenomenon. Thus, internalizing these information they will pass them among their friends, family and community as a whole and they will even have the power and knowledge to sanction discriminatory behaviour and be more involved in the community. A form of success we consider to be even the simple fact that some of the participants will start reflecting critically about the issues we will discuss during the events.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Even before the COVID-19 crisis democratic values were being challenged across Europe and the level of inequalities was on rising trend. The right wing extremist became more active and visible in the society. Meanwhile, the involvement of young people in human rights organization decreased. Moreover, youngsters belonging to vulnerable groups find it more difficult to make their voices heard and to bring their problems on the public agenda. Also, across Europe a new tendency of euroscepticism and right wing support among young people was observed. Through its activities and methodology the project aims to contribute to the knowledge of human rights and democratic among youngsters and to develop their sense of belonging to the European Community.

What is your story?

We strongly believe in the power of networking and peer training.Through this project we want to continue our work to empower youngsters in local communities to speak up and make their voices heard. We believe that a fundamental value of democracy is gender equality and seek to inform and empower a new generation to consider it when addressing issues in their community.We will provide a better understanding of the phenomenon of gender violence, as democracy is incompatible with it.From our experience in working with youngsters (rural and urban) we saw how much change a project like this can bring to a community through the snowball effect- youngsters from rural area (Valea Seaca) will teach and empower other youngsters, that in return they will teach and empower other youngsters.

€ 44650,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 44650,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Personnel: 22.800 EUR
Travel and accommodation costs: 1.850 EUR
Trainings costs: 15.000 EUR
Workshops and office supplies: 2.500 EUR
Indirect costs: 2.500 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would appreciate exchanging experience on how to keep the beneficiaries involved and make the project sustainable on the long-term and extend its impact.

Team

AndreeaRusu

andradaelenac

Idea created on May 26, 2020

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