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Action Heroes: The New Generation | Civic Europe
Education and research, Youth participation and empowerment

Action Heroes: The New Generation

Supporting the first steps in community participation of young people and motivating local policy makers for dialogue


Who is behind this?

András Nyirati

Emberség Erejével Alapítvány / Power of humanity foundation



Idea pitch

The new generation of action heroes will be young people from Pécs who will learn about democracy and participation through a gamified process where they work in teams and try to solve local problems. In the process they will get to know a wide range of community participation activities and other useful NGO knowledge, like communication, fundraising and community building. We help them to prepare for a public hearing at the city council about youth issues in the city.

Where will your project idea take place?

Pécs, south Hungary

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

To bring change in the above presented situation we need to involve young people to the operation of democracy. We are sure that Pécs is a good place to start a process like that because there were some good initiatives in the past (high school and university movement for free learning in 2011, #freePTE movement for university autonomy in 2021) which slowly disappeared.
We believe that the main causes of these failed processes are the lack of civic knowledge, the lack of support from the public and the ignorance of the authorities. We want to challenge these obstructive factors with the Action Heroes: The New Generation project.
In long-term the participation and rising involvement of young people in local democracy will create a stronger community and a more livable city.

Who are you doing it for?

Our main target group is young people of Pécs between 16 and 20 years, who stand around their first election. The members of these groups are high school or university students. Within this group, we will focus first on young people who are already members of an existing community, such as a vocational college, a student council or a student drama group to build up a strong inner circle. They will be our influencers to reach out for more young people.
The other main target group is the members of the city council and other local policy makers. We motivate them to start dialogue with young people of the city and they will get some good experience about the results of community participation.

How do you plan to get there?

- online needs assessment on local problems perceived by young people
- call for applications to set up mini project groups
- organize school workshops with our game ‘DEMO the citizenship simulator’ to promote the project
- reaching out for youth communities (student councils, youth clubs, art/drama groups)
- involving influencers in the promotion of the project
- choosing the teams who will participate in the process
- a teambuilding contest for the participating groups in the downtown which also promotes the project to the public
- training and mentoring process for the selected groups about participation and NGO knowledge (advocacy, community building, communication, fundraising) to help them implement their ideas
- presentation of the mini project ideas of the groups to local entrepreneurs and sponsors to raise funds for implementation.
- organizing meetings with local representatives, helping young people to involve local people in achieving their goals (petitions, demonstrations/flash mobs)
- organize a city public hearing on youth issues based on the online survey and the local projects of the teams with the involvement of the Innovation Commissioner and the Deputy Mayor
- closing ceremony, where we will award prizes to the teams (festival and interrail train tickets)
- to ensure publicity, the process will be documented in vlog and podcast by young people

What are the expected results?

The participating students will experience the power of participation and that they can make some change. They also get knew competencies which will be useful for them in the future as citizens and as employees. The local policy makers will get some good experience about dialogue which will make them more open for the involvement of citizens in local democracy. The wider public will get to know some stories where local people and politicians acted together and solved some local problems.
In long-term the participation and rising involvement of young people in local democracy with the engagement of some local decision makers will create a stronger community and a more livable city.

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

A group of young people will get a more accurate picture of how local public life works, they will gain a deeper understanding of advocacy work, the possibilities of generating resources, and thanks to this they will be able to see problems in a more open-minded way and based on their experience, they will have the tools to initiate change, dare to take action, raise their voice, and exert pressure for the values that are important to them.

Why is this idea important to you?

Our team was working on the field of youth work in the past decade and built the concept of the project on the experiences with the target group. We experienced during the implementation of human rights educational programs that young people lack the information and tools to understand and see through the political landscape and their natural reaction is closure or ignorance. Our team is:
Péter Peták, community organizer, mentor, working in the NGO field for 30 years
Vilja Arató, community builder and human rights trainer
Zoltán Mester, communication expert with special focus on social media
Both of them worked in the Growing Civic Communities capacity building project.

€ 40000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel (team and external experts) 20000 EUR
Mini project implementation 5000 EUR
Events (catering, services, room rental) 9000 EUR
Prizes 2000 EUR
Advertisement 4000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Best practices for youth participation and involvment.


Emberség Erejével

Idea created on April 26, 2021

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