Social inclusion, Youth participation and empowerment

VOKS - Votes count!

Increasing democratic and political consciousness and participation of the youth by education, training and digital tools

Creators

Who is behind this?

Zsolt Nagy

Republikon Foundation

http://republikon.hu

Hungary

Idea

Idea pitch

Political activity is painfully low among young Hungarians, barely only radical movements and solutions can gain popularity among them. This situation, letting populist delegates dominate the elections - which could undermine the democracy and the democratic values. In order to change this situation, we believe we have to focus on the first voters’ mobilization and dedication to democracy, and to reach them we have to use innovative approaches and digital tools of the 21th century.

Where will your project idea take place?

Hungary (Budapest, Miskolc, Ballasagyarmat), Románia (Nagykároly), Szlovákia (Kassa),Szerbia (Zente)

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Our latest researches show that young people in Hungary do not want to involve in politics, not even participate in the national elections. Youth thinks that politics is empty, divisive, and aggressive. In Hungary, political apathy is especially problematic in society due to historical peculiarities. The first voters need to be made aware of comprehensive legal-political terms and concepts in the field of democracy, agency, representation, the structure, and activity of the state organizations. The voting systems bear a resemblance and are also unique historically, culturally, and regionally. The conceptual system of the voting, the electoral geography, and mathematics, the campaign financing, the inner operational structure of the parties remain hidden from the voters.

Who are you doing it for?

Our primary targets in this program are the young first voters who will be able to vote in 2022. In this group is especially important to be involved in political life, because if people become involved in politics at a young age, they will be much more active citizens later on. We selected the schools in such a way that we can establish direct contact with as many young Hungarians living in various life situations as possible. It is especially important to address our message to the youth who live in small settlements and those who live across the country, not just those who live in larger towns and cities.

How do you plan to get there?

In the beginning of the program, we set up an educational curriculum In the project Republikon wishes to extend and use the experiences of our unique model in order to have a greater and longtime impact on the attitudes of voters, especially to those who will vote in 2022 for the first time. The education is complex and interdisciplinary. The methodology is based on the non-formal education which lets students learn about democratic principles and values in a very practical, personal and entertaining way.
After the theoretic work, we would take interactive workshops for 600 students in 9 schools in Hungarian secondary schools in Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and Romania. We want to take this program directly to the children; therefore, we hire instructors who will master our curriculum and take lectures in the schools.
Based on our researches and our experiences in the workshops, we will set up and publish (online and printed) a guideline which could help to other organizations, teachers and parents in the education of the next generations. This publication will be available to everyone who want to organize such a program in the future.
At the end of the program we will organize an online press conference where we introduce our program and our results with our publication as well. With this, we want to promote the project and show as many people and organizations as possible.

What are the expected results?

At the end of the program, we hope that we could convince and encourage young students to participate in the national elections in 2022. The main goal is to reach the youth and encourage them to think of democracy as a platform where everyone needs to actively be a part of it and debate about its goals. We want to help young people to be able to articulate and share their views in society.
Besides, we want to help the teachers, NGOs, and parents to help the youth. Nowadays the older generations have serious problems reaching young people and help them to navigate within the democratic framework and the fake news.
We also want to create a publication, which could help to understand and use our methodology in the future. In this paper, we show our methods and our results as well

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

Our project’s main goal to deepen the first voters' knowledge of the elections, thus helping them to participate in the elections in 2022. We want to show them how to use their constitutional rights, therefore they could be involved in Hungarian public life.
With our interactive workshops, we also want to improve the students’ debate skills: we want to help them to be able to express their points of view and argue with others to defend their worldview as well.
We would also want to create a publication about our method, and results, with which NGOs and teachers could help other first voters as well. We encourage other NGOs to use our methods and help first voters locally because NGOs who have local embeddedness could work with local students easier

Why is this idea important to you?

Our organization has more than 10 years of experience in political education inside or outside the classrooms. We managed several workshop series to depend on the political knowledge of the youth.
Gábor Horn, the Chairman of the Foundation has more than 30 years of experience in education. He was a key figure in the regime change in 1989 as part of the teachers union.
Zsolt Nagy, the project manager of Republikon has been teaching political basics to high school children since 2015 in several NGOs in Hungary and aboard. He has an MsC. in political science.
Péter Szlovik, political scientist and communication expert. He has been teaching political basics since 2014. He has an own association, and organize several Erasmus+ programs to artist and university students from the CEE

€ 34850,-

Total budget

€ 34850,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Fee / month for election and legal expert 3500
Methodological background of the trainings 3000
Training days (1 day trainings with 2 trainer fees / training 4800
Training for training days / person (including trainers, local teachers, volunteers) 7200
Travel costs 1350
Project and event organization / month 3500
Writing and publishing publications 5000
Press conference on the results of the program 1500
Communication campaign 3500
Collect studies and analyze project results 1500

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

It would be great if we get some feedback to our core topics and the timetable as well. We are also curious if someone see a potential, how we could customize it to other countries.

Team

Republikon

Idea created on April 26, 2021

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