According to the Centrum Badań Opinii Społecznej study, nearly half of young people believe that they have no impact on matters concerning their immediate environment. At the same time, in our hometown Białystok we can observe high polarisation of the society, e.g., negative approach among youths to people with different outlooks. This is something that could be observed in the reaction to the Equality March in Białystok in 2019 or during nationalist marches in Hajnówka in 2020. Our experience shows that youths appreciate our educational activities and wish to engage in them to a larger extent.
For Białystok youths we will organise classes on empowerment, self-determination, prevention of discrimination and violence. We will also discuss the value of social diversity and key issues related to civic education, e.g., leadership skills or communication despite differences. Each of two groups participating in the project will plan one civic action, engaging local community in it. We will also organise study trips to both nationwide and local NGOs active in such fields as human rights, ecology, or participation to let youths learn more about civic engagement. To summarise the initiatives and verify skills, youths will organise together with their tutors a ‘Civic Trip’ during holidays – an educational camp enriched with activities invented by the participants. It will aim at promoting integration, self-sufficiency and self-confidence among youths.
Our partner is Furuset Idrettsforening of Oslo providing support for youths in danger of social exclusion. We will pay a study visit there to exchange experience and discover their methods of work with youths.