Our observations indicate that very many young people from the Poddębicki district (Łódzkie province) are afraid to talk in public, especially when they have to say something more personal. They tend to treat different opinions expressed by others as a personal attack. A survey that we conducted among secondary school pupils in Poddębice indicates that as many as 85% of them believe they have no impact on their environment, while 95% evaluated their ability to express themselves as very poor. Everyone admitted they did not know the basic principles of having a constructive dialogue, yet they were willing to acquire them.
We will address the problem by running workshops for 20 Poddębicki district inhabitants aged 15-19 on self-presentation, public speeches, and best practices of communication. We will organise workshops on self-expression through art, engaging participants in artistic initiatives that will help them express their opinions about a selected topic. We will create a Youth Debate Centre at which young people will practise the art of argumentation, will work on their ability to give public speeches and communicate effectively. We will also hold at least two public debates on topics that are important to youths, so that they can train their newly acquired skills. We will also each journalist skills – preparation of radio broadcasts, asking questions and writing articles. At the Poddębice Secondary School we will set up a broadcasting centre discussing important topics. We will also have 4 study trips to the Łódzkie province to visit a radio station, a newspaper, or an artistic workshop to let young people have a closer look at the work of journalists and artists and get a chance to talk about their work and involvement in public issues.