We will engage young people between 13 and 25 years old from Bielsko-Biała and the surrounding areas in more civic activities. Our research shows that merely 18% of young people from this region is in any way engaged in volunteering, and less than 10% is working with NGOs or youth organizations, while nine percent stated they don’t understand the question about the civic engagement. In the interviews we have conducted young people showed interest and willingness to learn more about civic engagement and attitudes, as well as the concept of self-governance. We have been working with the youth since 2014. We have been encouraging being civically active and to express their opinions on the community’s affairs of Bielsko-Biała, but the subject matter of civic engagement remains fairly vague to the majority of the young people.
We are addressing these issues by creating and publishing three issues of a magazine entitled “BBEditors” that we have been working on since 2014 with the youth. The issues will be on topics of civic engagement and all the materials will be authored by the young people. Thanks to the magazine, their work, opinions, and attitudes will be highlighted. We will run a series of civic, art and competence-building workshops that will serve strengthening of knowledge (among others, on democratic processes), civic competences, critical thinking, fact checking and conclusion drawing. We will focus on the personal development of the participants as well, their leadership skills and soft skills that are a key in shaping active civic attitudes. In accordance with the name of the project, we will focus on discovering and deepening the strong sides and the potential of the young people by providing them with mentorship and coaching. The youth will learn the skills helpful in expressing oneself and one’s opinions. The theme of the workshops will be adjusted to the interests and suggestions made by the young participants.