We want to address the issue of young voices being often dismissed and ignored in public debates, as well as the issue of social polarization among the youth and between the youth and adults when it comes to socially important issues such as climate change, mental illness, or rights of the minorities. We know from experience that many young people feel they are misunderstood by adults, patronized, and controlled due to the lack of trust. On the other hand, research from EUkids Online showed that young activists are often victims of hate speech from their peers with different views.
Our project aims to create a pilot communication and participation school that will recruit individuals who have already shown interest in civic engagement. We will organize three conventions during which we will discuss: diagnosing and defining the needs of the youth, communication technics according to Nonviolent Communication principals, storytelling, public speaking, writing skills, and crafting media messaging. Young participants will identify issues that are important to them and plan a publication in a format of their choice: a media campaign, educational or press materials, a local meeting, or a debate. After completing their task, we will promote their work. We will publish the documentation of their work, the best tools and methods, as well as practices for engaging the youth in public affairs. We will organize two promotional events and will promote their accomplishments in the media.