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Youth Democracy Academy | Civic Europe
Social inclusion

Youth Democracy Academy


Who is behind this?

Carolina Loureiro

DYPALL Network


Who is joining forces?

Municipality of Portimão


Municipality of Vagos


Municipality of Câmara de Lobos


In addition, we will have Horta's municipality from Azores. The municipalities will be involved in the selection of the youth leaders and in the co-organization of the hackathons at the local level.


Idea pitch

Bringing youth at the center of the stage and breaking a top-down approach in democracy. These are the main aims of “Youth Democracy Academy”, a program that will take place in four Portuguese municipalities, training youth leaders to engage and coach their peers at the local level in order to develop ideas to mainstream the European project by organizing local hackathons. The projects will be presented in a Seminar to relevant stakeholders who will select 4 winning ideas, that will be funded.

Where will your project idea take place?

Portimão (Algarve), Vagos (North), Camara de Lobos (Madeira region), Horta (Azores region)-Portugal.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The regions chosen differ greatly from one another, but in general are seeing a depopulation of youth, which moves towards big urban areas to find better educational and professional opportunities, and an important presence of immigrant communities. For what concerns the autonomous regions of Azores and Madeira, they represent a strongly isolated areas geographically, and have very slim opportunities for youth. Algarve region is the one with the highest numbers in school dropout, and early pregnancy rates. The north is recently developing, also thanks to new hubs and projects, but the housing market is very expenses and doesn’t allow youth to reach independence. All of these issues affect the active democratic participation of youth, which is the main problem we want to tackle.

Who are you doing it for?

The main target group of the project is young people, aged 16-20 years old. The focus on the local level and the partnership with the municipalities will allow us to reach the following marginalized groups, which usually don’t have access to such opportunities: school drop-outs, second and third generation migrants, NEETs. In addition to these groups, we will involve: students’ associations, local youth councils, local youth groups. Finally, the local communities will benefit from the inclusion of all groups, as they will see a more integrated approach to the local development. The project will also involve national stakeholders, such as the National Parliament and the elected MEPs, and several local realities (organizations and youth groups), especially in the final stage of the project.

How do you plan to get there?

The project will start with a selection of youth leaders from the previously mentioned groups with the support of the partners. They will participate in a 5 day training for youth leaders where they will learn about democratic participation and non-formal education methodologies. Following this, they will go back to their local communities, and they will implement, with the support of the partners, local trainings for their peers on those same topics. The participants will then organize, always at local level, a project hackathon to improve local democratic participation and European values. The results will be showcased, after a coaching an mentoring phase supported by the youth leaders, in a national-level event, where the best projects will be awarded and funded.

What are the expected results?

Our idea will have different outputs:
- Four projects, created and developed by youth, for the mainstreaming of democratic participation and European values. These projects will be selected by a national level jury, and funded for implementation in the local realities they come from.
- Increased sense of belonging to the European project.
- Increased capacity to participate in local democratic structure and understanding of our influence on decision-making, at all levels.

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

Our idea creates a new space for participation, where youth is at the center and presents its own projects to mainstream the European project, and their role within it. This will allow youth to feel part of this project, but also part of the local community, strengthening their links and bringing their views and opinions to the public sphere. Young people will have their voice and their ideas heard, and they will have the chance to bring their views and opinions to the public sphere. These connections within youth, stakeholders, and local governance, together with the competitive and dynamic character of the project, will create the premise for a sustainable and effective participation of all groups involved in society, and the development of future innovative spaces for participation.

Why is this idea important to you?

In our work and in our personal life we believe youth to be an active actor in democracies, not a target group. For this reason, we strongly work to bring youth at the center of the stage, and reduce the gap with policy makers, creating a common understanding of the importance of participating in the political life of the local, regional, national and European communities. We want to give youth the opportunity to learn and to give ourselves, the organizations and the municipalities involved, the chance to learn from them, their creativity and their ability to innovate. Because only leaving them space, listening and supporting their ideas we can truly create a space of quality to develop democracies that reflect our common European values.

€ 58120,-

Total budget

€ 43900,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

1. Staff Costs 18 000 €
2. Travels 13 720 €
3. Meals 6 100 €
4. Accommodation 6 100 €
5. Trainers (external) 1 800 €
6. Materials activities (4 hackathons) 6 000 €
7. Prizes for contest 4 000 €
8. Jury (support) 600 €
9. Insurances (activities) 1 800 €
TOTAL 58 120 €
Civic Europe 43 900 €
Partner municipalities 9200
Portuguese Youth & Sports Institute 3500
DYPALL Network 1520
TOTAL 58 120 €

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to understand how young people have actively impacted the local communities and how they are participating in the democratic life, to have a new perspective on the topic!



Alexandre Fonseca

Veronica Vismara



Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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