Law, advocacy and policy, Youth participation and empowerment

Youth For You

Young people engaging positively with decision makers at regional, national and international levels

Creators

Who is behind this?

Mike Kelcey

Asociatia Aici Pentru Tine

https://asociatiaaicipentrutine.ro/

Romania

Idea

Idea pitch

People are disengaged with politics despite the influence that it has on their life
Election turn outs are low, especially in the 18-25 age group
This means that extremists get an undiluted vote and the most vulnerable lose their voice
By working with schools and the local community we will recruit an elected youth parliament to discuss local issues and represent them first at local level, then at national level and then at European level
Advocacy will become empowerment

Where will your project idea take place?

Brasov, Transylvania.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The specific societal challenge faced here is the disenfranchisement of young voters across a mixed socio economic spectrum. Transylvania is unique in its interethnic mix: Roma, Hungarian, Romanian. The different political parties have managed to split people apart. Recently the new extremist party won almost 10% in their first election
Just as previous generations have influenced this one, in turn the current generation will influence future ones. We have an opportunity to break the negative cycles of apathy and cynicism.
A small group of empowered young people can have a ripple effect on their families, friends and peers now and in the future. In 60 years a number of children will be growing up with positive stories and attitudes to political engagement.

Who are you doing it for?

Young people aged 16 to 25 from rural areas, ethnic groups and who are vulnerable but will vote (and maybe stand!) in the near future,
Statistics hide real life stories - we will work those whose stories we know: young women, Roma (especially Roma women), NEETs and people facing financial hardship. Many of whom are in touch with life at ground level but do not yet know how to bring those situations to the knowledge of politicians. Our motto is “We take them out of anonymity, and YOU make a difference by changing their life story.” In this project we will take them out of anonymity and THEY will change the story of themselves and others.
As well as the people we work with this year, we will be doing this for their children and grand children and others influenced by the ripple effect

How do you plan to get there?

Using the forming, norming, storming and performing framework:
Recruit a youth council. 12-20 young people from a range of backgrounds. Working with schools and community bodies we will talk about how they find a representative. This may lead to schools having elections and opportunities to talk about engagement.
First meetings of the youth council.
Elected members of the council work together to set it’s structure; roles, purpose, regularity.
Once the group is ready it will start to function as a representative body for the wide range or people who were involved in its appointment. They will discuss what issues they face, what they can do and plan their next steps.
Many locally politicians crave the input and authentication of their wards and will be keen to engage with this group. Preparing for a visit to the town hall and reflecting on the outcomes of that visit will be far more important for the group than the visit itself.
We will visit the national parliament in Bucharest and look at how representation works at a national level. Elected members will be keen to get involved in engagement with the next generation of voters.
A trip to Strasbourg at the invite of our MEP
A weekend of reflection and evaluation of the project
A celebration of the project and dissemination of its outcomes
Planning the next steps for themselves and recruitment of the next council

What are the expected results?

A motivated and engaged group of between 12 and 15 young people. Decreased cynicism and apathy in their families, friends and peer groups.
An increased awareness from local politicians of the issues young people face
A sustainable youth council
12 - 20 local schools teaching political engagement in a practical and meaningful way lasting longer than the once.
Sustainable and developing relationships between local young people with national and european politicians
A workable model/case study which can be replicated in other towns and cities
Good practise dissemination and celebration which will show a positive side of politics and young people to the whole area.
At least one issue inserted on the public agenda and lobbied on.
10 national legal initiatives to be analysed.

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

A group of teenagers will challenge the cynicism and apathy of previous generations.
Using social media, our website and the local papers and TV, we will ensure they get will start people thinking and talking locally.
Once in place and working effectively, this group will target the issues they and their peers feel are important and get those voices heard at local, national and european levels. This process will mean they not only get their point heard but that they learn the processes involved. Once learned, this will be disseminated formally and informally across their communities and families.
When they tell people what they HAVE done, this will be a more powerful story than what they COULD do.

Why is this idea important to you?

We have worked with young people in the area for 6 years and understand their stories.
Liviu is a trained, experienced and qualified psychologist with experience in mentoring and political engagement.
Adina set up the association and understands the local issues through her own life, her dealings with the local authority and her work with families in need.
Andreea is a local young person who, at 20, is only a few years older than our target group. She understands the issues they face growing up in the fading shadow of communism.
We work with these young people on a daily basis and want to help them (and others) to know the change they can affect when empowered. We are currently advocating for them but want to see when they become models of advocacy for their peers.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

15000 (travel and accommodation)
16000 (staff)
1000 (local meetings)
2000 (dissemination, publicity and celebration)
1000 sustainability of future years

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

What have we missed - we have thought this through and used our own experiences but know we do not have all the questions, answers or solutions - a fresh pair of eyes may help us strengthen our bid.

Team

Project Focus Group

Idea created on April 25, 2021

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