European Youth Week 2019

ART WORKSHOP FOR YOUTH – “Democracy and I”

Dates: 2-5 May 2019 (16:30-20:30)
City: Athens, Greece
Venue: Xatzikonsta Foundation
Outcome: Painting by the children 2mX2m
Tutors: Kitty Panourgia (Introduction on Philosophy of the EYW),
Christina Simantira (Art)
Spyros Grillakis (Education Supervisor and Coordinator)



The European Youth Week (EYW) 2019 provided the opportunity to civil society actors and youth organizations to realize a series of events and youth activities to promote the principles of democracy, active youth participation and European Integration in a European-wide celebration!

Entrepreneurship and Social Economy Group (EKO) responded to this call by designing and organizing a special Art Workshop with the title “Democracy and I”, with the aim to foster social inclusion and highlight that vulnerable groups of young people constitute an integral part of a democratic society as much as any other group of citizens.

This event was implemented for four successive days from May 2 to May 5, 2019, at the  “Hatzikonsta” Foundation and mobilized interested children and teenagers living in the Institution to reflect and express their understanding on the concepts of democracy, active citizen engagement, peace and the European Idea by means of artistic improvisation and team work.

April 29 – Preparation of the workshop
For the successful implementation of the “Democracy and I” workshop the President of EKO, Ms. K. Panourgia had a preparatory meeting with the art tutor, Ms. C. Simantira, and the Education Supervisor and Coordinator of Hatzikonsta foundation, Mr. S. Grillakis. During this meeting the needs of the participants were discussed and used as guidelines to design the workshop’s activities and take care of all the details that ensured the high educative value of this event!

May 2 – Introduction to EYW philosophy and priming creativity
During the first day the young participants were introduced to the ideals of the European Union and the philosophy and aims of the biannual European Youth Week initiative, in the context of a non-formal learning workshop, during which they reflect on their ideas, feelings and experiences with regards to these concepts. Moreover, the children exchanged ideas on how to express these views on their final artwork, using symbols, colors and of course their creativity!

May 3 and 4 – Artwork and Creativity Time!
During these two days the children worked hard, but full of excitement, on creating together a large painting that gave shape and color to their ideas about the democratic and EU principles, youth participation and active citizenship!






After completing their work, on the third day, the young participants were rewarded for their diligent work with a party. All children hosted in Xatzikonsta foundation were invited in this party and had the chance to enjoy food, music and happy spirits with their peers, while they were all offered individual presents, for keeping their nice memories.

May 5 – Sharing with Peers and Closing Ceremony
During the final day of the workshop, the participating children took up the role of the tutor and described their experience to their peers, living in Hatzikonsta foundation. The young “Artists” expressed the meaning and the messages of their painting, and explained how their understanding on democracy and active participation have developed, inviting their peers to share their own views.


Thereafter, the children were handed in Certificates of Participation to commemorate this event.The president of the Foundation Ms. M. Panagiotopoulou, the Director Mr. L. Dragoumanos, as well as the pedagogues, tutors and Members of the Board of the Foundation were present in this closing ceremony.

Throughout this process the children were facilitated by:
Ms. C. Simantira (art instructor and EKO’s collaborator), who lead the creative part of the workshop and guided the young people to unfold their reflection on the canvas
Ms. K. Panourgia (EKO’s president), who introduced children to the philosophy of EYW, and the concepts of democracy and active citizenship
Mr. S. Grillakis (Education Supervisor and Coordinator in Hatzikonsta Foundation), who provided pedagogical support during the preparation and throughout the implementation of the project


EKO, in collaboration with the Institution’s responsible pedagogues, was in charge of the event’s coordination, as well as the dissemination of its results and publicity efforts. The final deliverable (canvas painting) has been offered to decorate a space of Youth and Life-Long learning Foundation (ΙΝΕΔΙΒΙΜ), and has been publicized on the websites of EKO, ΙΝΕΔΙΒΙΜ, and on social media alongside the publication of relevant press releases.