For many years now, individuals between 18 and 29 years old from Opolskie Voivodeship have been characterized by the lowest turnout in national and local elections. Very few youth city councils operate in this region. Our current experience in working with the youth, as well as our conversations with the young leaders show that young people often don’t know how to get involved in the first place, or what options they have. According to the research from the Marshall’s Office, the youth city councils are also suffering from the lack of mentors who could support their operations. Our survey showed that only 17% of our young respondents believe the city takes care of the issues of the youth.
We will conduct seminars for the future mentors, representatives of the organizations working with the youth, as well as individuals that are responsible for shaping the youth policy on the local and regional level. We will talk about the meaning and different dimensions of youth participation, youth policy in Poland and around the world, expanding the existing councils and ways of motivating young participants. We will also organize trainings for representatives of the local government on how to work with young people and engage them in the decision-making processes. We will host a series of trainings for all ten youth city councils from Opolskie Voivodeship on what actions they can take, how to run public consultations and collaborate with the local government and how to communicate about one’s activities with the local community.
We will organize a working visit to Iceland for 15 of our young participants. We will witness how youth councils operate there and we will garner experience in good practices for engaging the youth. Our Icelandic partner, Samfes, will talk to us about work with the youth and will help us during trainings and workshops.
The result will be crafting of the local strategies for the youth for minimum eight municipalities participating in the project.