Democracy and participation, Community development

Youth initiatives

Supporting grass-root youth initiatives and youth activism for community development

Creators

Who is behind this?

Tea Jarc

Sindikat študentov, dijakov in mladih brezposelnih

https://www.mladiplus.si/

Slovenia

Idea

Idea pitch

We don’t want to tell youngsters what to do, but support and empower them to be the designers and initiators. Through this project, young members from six small Slovenian towns will get the opportunity to address the local challenges they are currently facing. They will be encouraged and trained to identify pressing problems, design an initiative and implement it. With this, we will respect the bottom-up grass-roots approach. We will support them with training, mentoring and guidance.

Where will your project idea take place?

West Slovenia: Jesenice and Sežana
East Slovenia: Ptuj, Brežice, Velenje and Murska Sobota

What is the local challenge?

There is a lack of community activism of young people in smaller towns, as well as a lack of established dialogue between young people who have ideas and local structures that can support them in implementing those ideas. Many young people see those towns as “sleeping places”, where they only spend nights, while through the day, they are studying or working in other big cities. They spend their leisure time outside of their home communities and they see as their towns don’t offer them a quality place for their interests. There is a lack of opportunities to implement those ideas (lack of financial resources, limited capacities to do it by themselves), and lack of communication with other stakeholders, that's why our project wants to address those loopholes.

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

The cornerstone of the projects are young people, who are not only beneficiaries of a project, but are the initiators and designers of local activities, as well as the implementers of it and later evaluators, the ones who will asset the outcomes. The main idea is to support them in their initiatives and make there idea a reality. Our organisation is going to offer them support, expertise and a framework for their ideas to come to life, while the initiatives are going to be developed based on the needs in their community and based on the interest of activism groups in each municipality involved in a project. This will allow youngsters to practice their engagement, develop their active citizenship and participate in their communities.

Who are you doing it for?

Target group are young people who want to make a difference in their local communities. Many of them find themselves having a difficult time expressing their opinions as few local authorities show sincere interest in listening to them, let alone collaborate with them. Therefore, our goal is to train youngsters in project management, so they can develop initiative and implement them in order to respond to the identified local problems. To facilitate this, we plan on establishing a dialogue between them, their local community and other relevant organizations located there. Our beneficiaries are local communities, municipalities and organizations which operate in the before mentioned regions where our target groups are located.

How do you plan to get there?

November and December 2020
Reach out to all the youth centers, coordination, communication with them

January - February 2021
Planning promotional activities (online, physically)

February-May 2021
Training the young people: needs analysis, developing initiatives, project planning. Training on project management, youth participation and democracy, developing an initiative from idea to reality.

May-October 2021
Implementation of local initiatives- by young people, with guidance and mentorship of our organisation. Partnership with different stakeholders, organising events, visibility of initiatives.

October-November 2021
Evaluation and follow up

December 2021
Collecting feedback, monitoring project results, reporting and project conclusion

What are the expected results?

The local community will acquire important allies - engaged young members, active in different fields. They will be:
1) empowered young people with increased capacities to address challenges in their community (by first identifying them and finding appropriate solution to act on it)..

2) establishing functioning local committees which will create and maintain a dialogue with local authorities. This dialogue will contribute to the empowerment of young members of society and along with it, to the development of ideas, projects and others activities in local communities. Youth will therefore be able to create new initiatives and contribute to their local communities much more than before. The latter will be hopefully inclusive and supportive to all the young people and their endeavors.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

By participating in the project, young people will develop their initiatives and with this strengthen their dialogue with local authorities and decision makers, resulting in greater participation of young people in shaping their communities in policy decisions. Through that, we wish to show young members of society what an infallible actor they are in every society. Thus, they will carry on the awareness of how important it is to include every social group and every generation into this dialogue and decision-making process. We will encourage those most active young members into the ongoing work of our organisation to facilitate their full empowerment, a motivational and educational experience which they will surely bring back to their local community life.

What is your story?

Creating ties between young people from a rural community and empowering them is something crucial that every organization entering a local community should do. It is also a very difficult thing to generate because there is a necessity to follow a bottom-up approach. This means that the project’s managing organization has to perform a needs assessment to receive accurate information in order to empower its target group as a response to its organic will. We’ve all heard stories of failed projects due to their poor contact with local communities. Hence, understanding youth by giving them a space to express themselves is a crucial step to successfully conduct our project. And this represents the main approach we used in our work: grass-root activism, supporting young people to express and dev

€ 50,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 50,-

Total budget

Major expenses

18.000,00 € budget for implementing local youth initiatives (development of activities by each of the 6 local committees)

3.000,00 € travel and accommodation expenses

5.000,00 € promotional activities, visibility of the project- promotion at national and community level

3.000,00 € material expenses (for trainings, office supplies, website, follow-up activities)

6.000,00 € trainings for young people

15.000,00 personnel costs: coordination and project management, administration

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Most of all, we wish to receive feedback from others on the platform, if they believe it makes sense to implement such projects abroad as well. Also, we'd like to receive advice and comments about our reach-out strategy to these young members of community. Maybe, a different approach is used abroad.

Team

Mladi plus

TadejJ

Idea created on May 26, 2020

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