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Youth Empowerement | Civic Europe

Youth Empowerement

A journey of self discovery and community problem solving


Who is behind this?

Gabriela Popescu

Te Aud Romania



Idea pitch

In an area where we lack the fundamental building block of democratic governance, with an almost non-existing civil society role, we propose a development programme, that focuses on civic engagement and youth leadership. We aim to empower, and challenge 15 people aged 14-23 to serve as catalysts and conveners for an expanded and re-invigorated movement of youth civic engagement. The model proposed shall strengthen democracy&active citizenship amongst various types of citizens at a local level.

Where will your project idea take place?

The project will take place in Gura Humorului – a town in Suceava county, N-E Region of Romania.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The N-E development region has the highest poverty rate– 33,4 % in 2017. Suceava county is classified as one of the poorest in the country, with a GDP of 4.918 Eur per capita. The gap between urban and rural, high rates of poverty, high rates of school abandonment, a poor civic engagement curriculum in schools have led to a lack of participation in civic life. The major challenges faced are the conservative attitude of the community and the lack of a framework for civic engagement. Lack of education in the field leads citizens to show no respect for policies and rules – active citizenship is poorly represented. Without real models and programs to empower youth, we are facing the danger of perpetuating the cycle, instead of making a positive contribution to our community and the world.

Who are you doing it for?

The local Initiative group will be formed of 15 people aged 14 -23. They will be the ones who will have well defined responsibilities within the group and be integrated within every aspect of planning and implementing the calendar of activities. In order to impact as greater audience as we can, for every designated activity – they will be required to gather around them a community of volunteers; to add diversity to the group and include the whole range of opinions. What we aim to achieve is to set a real example within the entire community and create a sustainable organism.
The youngsters in the group, in our opinion, have the highest degree of opening to a whole range of actors: friends, brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, vulnerable groups within their schools etc.

How do you plan to get there?

Step 1 is forming the local initiative group, of 15 youngsters aged 14-23; through our own network of dedicated volunteers, partnerships and promotion of the project within the community. Step 2: Together we will create a framework, tasks, responsibilities and best practices. Step 3: Empower the local initiative group through workshops on themes such as: Research & identify community problems; Public governance, Environmental policies, Personal development, leadership, Project management, social integration, Non-discrimination. Step 4: Developing and implementing a set of activities as a solution to the community problems attached, setting up a good example within the community, attracting a various range of opinions into our community activities.

What are the expected results?

Specifically, for the project, expected results for a 12 month plan include: 10 workshops on democratic and active citizenship themes, as well as empowerment of the community; 8 community activities, inter-connected with the workshops, to set good practices within our local community. Our main objective upon completion is to strengthen civil society and active citizenship, empower whole range of opinions, including vulnerable groups, to set a real example within their community. The main gain that we are talking about here is the framework we shall be setting for the local initiative group. The way we see it is a long-standing group that will continue its operations even after the completion of the project. We could say that the project represents the pilot program for the long-term goal.

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

Youth inclusion and empowerment will educate and equip future leaders of the civil society sector. In practical terms, the proposed programme equips and empowers 15 youngsters to act as active citizenship role models within the community and form a community of volunteers alongside them. Through dedicated activities and capacity building workshops, they will act as a local initiative group; whereby they will identify community specific challenges and organise solutions; all in a well-defined framework and promoting best practices.
What we intend to do is not only offer a way to do things, but support that through facts and activities that are aimed at serving as real examples of good practices within the community we activate.

Why is this idea important to you?

I strongly believe our efforts today will help shape a society for the future. That is why I founded Te Aud Romania back in 2014, even though my previous background was financial brokerage. I believe we need to embed in ourselves two main ideas. The first one is something adopted from the UK and it says: Charity begins at home. I think we are undermining the power and the magnitude of this idea, if applied properly. And another favourite of mine is Change comes from within. We all want change, but it would be absolutely great if someone else can change first, as I believe I am comfortable the way I am. These 2 concepts, in my opinion, applied to civic engagement can work wonders.

€ 49450,-

Total budget

€ 49450,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs: 12.000
Marketing & PR: 2.900
Operational expenses: 7.900
Workshop & Activities expenses: 27.450

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

I would much appreciate if I could be advised on how well written the project is, what are its drawbacks, clarity level and areas of improvement; then an honest opinion on the model we are aiming to create; how viable it seems to an outside eye.



maria octavia

Idea created on May 22, 2020

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