Nowadays, more than any other time, humanity experiences the consequences of financial globalization, one of them being youth unemployment.
The project “Youth & the City: Building our Future”, which lasted for 12 months and was funded by the YOUTH IN ACTION program sub-action 1.3, attempted to encourage youth participation in the decision- making process at local level, and to contribute to the establishment of a long- lasting communication and exchange of information between the youth and the local authorities.
Experiential learning, which applies in non- formal educational settings, was used to achieve the above-mentioned goals. One of the advantages of experiential learning is the emphasis on the individualized needs of the participants and the encouragement of sharing experiences. The project was completed through 3 phases:
30 beneficiaries from 7 countries (Italy, Turkey, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Greece) met together in Naousa for a period of 7 days (5- 11 of March 2012) to explore the basic concepts of active citizenship in the decision-making process. The beneficiaries acted as multipliers, implementing a two days seminar in their own countries.
The preparation and the implementation of the dialogue between youth and the local authorities aimed at raising issues as employability and the evaluation of the outcomes: After nine months in a two-days meeting (3 & 4 of November) with two representatives from each country (one member of NGO and one representative of local authorities) there was a discussion on the progress that has been made and suggestions for new measures came up.
Outcomes of the project
- Built their personal skills on active citizenship and they became aware of the community development in local settings, especially raising issues of youth unemployment,
- Were involved in the decision making process at local level,
- Started a long- lasting communication and exchange of information with the local authorities,
- Built networks at local, regional and European level to start dealing with the topic of employability,
- Promoted their participation in the democratic procedures within the local authority,
Each country shaped its needs and the following structures were established:
- @Greece: local youth observatory
- @Italy: Youth forum
- @Cyprus, Spain and Romania: youth councils
- @Turkey: young students from the universities raised the issue of employment to the local authorities
The overall outcome of the project was that there was a progress at all countries in the dialogue and communication between youths and the local governments in fighting unemployment.
Last but not least educational material was produced for further dissemination of the project’s outcomes.