What would happen if young people were to take on the role of local authorities and try to detect and solve their local community's challenges?
Take action! aims to strengthen youth work and empower young people aged 15 to 19 for active citizenship in isolated, rural areas, where such opportunities are scarce. It enhances cooperation and dialogue between young people, local authorities and other relevant stakeholders in creating a vibrant, inclusive and active community.
Opuzen (Dubrovnik-Neretva County); Pregrada (Krapina-Zagorje Cty.); Otočac (Lika-Senj Cty.), Croatia
The municipalities in the project are located in isolated, rural areas, facing depopulation and population aging. Investing in youth is of utmost importance in these areas - they present a key potential for strengthening and developing the community. Research shows the decline in youth’s socio-economic status, trust and interest in democratic processes and cooperation with local authorities, as well as a lack of involvement in the economic, political and social processes in their communities. A prevalent challenge in the municipalities is the lack of resources and opportunities for young people to actively engage in their communities according to their specific needs. There is a lack of non-formal education opportunities, especially in the field of civic education and active citizenship.
The idea is based on an active involvement of different local stakeholders (decision-makers, young people, youth workers, schools), each in their own way ensuring democracy and active citizenship take on their full forms. A network between municipalities from different political backgrounds will further strengthen democracy. Our idea revolves around empowering youth to take on an active role in their community, to develop and implement their own projects and hence, practice social and civic skills in real-life situations. Participatory mechanisms of collaboration among different stakeholders will contribute to building trust between them, as well as strengthening cross-sector collaboration. It would create a space for youth engagement to grow even beyond the scope of our project.
The target groups are young people aged 15 to 19 living in the area, local decision-makers, and youth workers. Young people will be given an opportunity to learn about local decision-making processes and the needs of their community, to develop and implement their own project ideas, to develop different competences and soft skills, and engage with their communities and peers from other municipalities in the project. Throughout the process young people will collaborate with local decision-makers and youth workers, who will be educated on topics of youth work and non-formal civic education activities and be encouraged to develop their own ideas for supporting and working with youth in the future.
The first phase will include preparatory activities (logistics, developing educational materials, training for youth workers and local authorities, workshops for young people).
The second phase will revolve around an all-day activity in which the students will be simulating the work of the city councilors in their local authorities' offices. They will be divided into smaller groups, supported by youth workers/coordinators. They will develop project proposals based on the needs they detected in the community. At the end of the day, they will present and choose the best idea. The idea will be implemented in the third phase of the project with the help of local coordinators as mentors and facilitators. The results will be shared among all the youth in the end of the whole project .
The expected results:
• Empowered local authorities and youth workers through training on non-formal education and youth work for 12 participants
• Established cooperation network between local authorities and key stakeholders in field of youth work
• Three youth projects conducted in local communities
• Project results shared among all three municipalities (final sharing activity for 24 young people)
• Empowered social and civic competences of around 120 young people.
The project will build social capital of local communities, raise the level of trust and partnership between different actors, sectors, and the whole community. The youth projects will include vulnerable/marginalized groups and other actors from the community, so the whole community will benefit from their ideas.
Delta and partners are part of Europe Goes Local, a project aimed at enhancing the quality of youth work on the municipal level. The added value of “Take Action!” will be its European dimension – sharing good practices from this project with others on the EU level through EGL. A higher level of participation and cooperation of youth and relevant stakeholders in solving community problems will build the social capital, which can be multiplied on the national and international level. Collaboration between municipalities from different political backgrounds will further strengthen democracy. Establishing communication mechanisms between young people and authorities through structured dialogue will build strong, interested citizens who can contribute to the promotion of democratic values.
Delta aims to support young people and empower them for active citizenship through non-formal education and participation in local communities. Many of our projects deal with building trust and cooperation of youth and decision-makers through structured dialogue. We are highly focused on supporting social and civic competences in areas where there is no formal or non-formal civic education. Delta and partners are a part of Europe Goes Local, whose aim is to strengthen the field of youth work through cooperation of local authorities on the municipal level with relevant stakeholders. We want to support youth participation and youth work on the local level, because we believe it is a crucial step towards a healthy and active society that nourishes democratic values.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs (3 key personnel and 3 local coordinators): 18.981,46 €
Travel, accommodation, subsistence, and hospitality costs: 17.524,50 €
Publishing costs (didactic material, publication, and E-publication): 2.213,99 €
Office expenses: 2.734,11 €
Youth project costs: 1.986,75 €
Promotional material: 794,70 €
Volunteer expenses: 198,49 €
We would like to get feedback on building the European dimension of the project, as well as any other comments and question about the outlined idea.