Y-MOVE – YOUTH VOICES MATTER!
Y-MOVE – Youth Voices Matter, Transnational Meeting, 8 – 12 November 2021
Y-MOVE – (Youth Voice Matters) project united 45 participants from Greece, Italy and Spain. The project was coordinated by EKO and implemented in Athens, Greece, with the aim to raise awareness, strengthen active citizenship attitudes and reinforce youth participation & engagement in social, civic, & political life.
Entrepreneurs and Social Economy Group (EKO)
Las Niñas del Tul
Italian Institute for the Future
The following key themes were explored by the young participants and experts during the project:
- Youth employment/unemployment & quality;
- Education, training and quality learning;
- Climate change and Environment;
- Media literacy&reliable information;
- The EU political world;
- Active citizens’ soft skills.
Preparatory work by the participants was based on one hand, on the “Youth Goals outcomes of the Structured Dialogue with Youth 2017-2018”, and on the other, on the national results (for Greece, Italy and Spain) from the Eurobarometer’s “Survey of young people aged 15-30” (March 2019) that assessed youth’s opinions on future EU priorities.
The specific objectives of the project were to:
- Increase the participants’ knowledge of Youth policies and the Structured Dialogue;
- Promote youth engagement in social, civic, and political life;
- Strengthen and boost youth participation and representation in civil society;
- Connect youth with EU representatives;
- Increase active and informed participation in the democratic decision-making process;
- Equip youth with the necessary tools to face and respond to the major challenges of the European Union, such as sustainable social and environmental development, and youth unemployment, Improve their interpersonal, strategic, and critical skills;
- Strengthen young peoples’ citizenship competencies and sense of belonging to the society and the European Union;
- Promote active citizenship between young people and encourage them to be more engaged in decision making
A) Preparatory Activities: Online Consultations
The partners launched an online consultation through which young people’s opinions in the participating countries about 3 of the key themes of the project (youth unemployment, education & training, climate change) were collected.
Each partner publicized the consultation questionnaire within their network and throughout their national community, collecting answers from 50-75 young people in their country. Then, together with their group of participants, each partner processed these data in order to present the country’s situation during the transnational meeting. These results were used during the project as background material, and as a starting point for the round-table discussions and the policy recommendations booklet.
B) Transnational Meeting in Athens, Greece: Main Mobility
During the first day of the project, various interactive activities enabled participants to get to know each other and discuss their concerns regarding 3 of the main topics of the project: youth unemployment, education, and climate change. In a second step, each one of the participants was randomly allocated to one of the three topics through a lottery. Following a speed dating activity, to brainstorm about their personal view on some of the key aspects of each topic, the afternoon session was devoted to presenting online consultation results of each country. Where about 200 young people coming from Spain, Italy and Greece were asked their opinion on issues and policies regarding the focus topics. This helped participants to understand more general young people’s opinions on them. The results for all the countries were similar: general discontent of the respondents towards existing policies tackling each of the three topics.
On Day two, participants attended 3 seminars presented by EKO`s invited experts on a. Active Citizens’ Soft Skills, b. Media Literacy and c. EU Political Life, followed by the intercultural night event.
Active Citizens’ Soft Skills
The first seminar was presented by the regional councillor Aggeliki Leventi and aimed at motivating participants to act as co-shapers of their present and future through active citizenship. Aggeliki inspired them through personal stories about her ongoing experience fighting for communal rights.
The second seminar was presented by EKO’s project manager Elisavet Vasileiou and Sara Bruccoleri and provided important insights on topics such as misinformation, disinformation and media manipulation. Participants were encouraged to react to news ( fake or real) through non-formal learning processes such as dancing and reflection on the emotional manipulation techniques used in fake news.
EU Political World
The third seminar was moderated by the young expert on European political economy Stelios Arvanitidis who presented the participants with some basic concepts of the EU and ways various European institutions work together. A very interesting debate on the double majority in the democracy of the EU and the veto issue was the final outcome of the seminar.
During the intercultural night each country group presented their typical national dishes, games, music and dances. The participants enjoyed playing games, eating and dancing together all night long and experienced strong bonding intercultural vibes.
Day three encouraged participants to express their opinions and discuss ways of best tackling the problems they face such as youth unemployment, insufficiencies in their education and training, and climate change. Through the method “Youth Voice”, three working groups were assigned a specific topic of interest, on the basis of the lottery results of the 1st day and produced 3 three different papers symbolizing youth unemployment, education & training and climate change. Moreover, the round table discussions which were facilitated by experts led the participants to reflect on causes, effects and solutions for these problems. They were asked to come up with 3 main policy recommendations on these specific topics which would be the content of a booklet to present and discuss during the conference with an EU parliament representative of Greece. Mid-term evaluation completed the day’s agenda.
Day four was dedicated to the dissemination of local activities in Athens city centre addressed to local people. Six different groups presented ideas on how to raise awareness about Y-MOVE and proposed specific implementation methods on the following :
- Silent Performance
- Banners with call-to-action phrases (and free hugs)
- Thermometer Quiz – where people could assess their feeling on the key issues
- Personal interview with people on the topics
Creation of a QR Code including a motivating video, a short description of the project and a survey to involve passers-by youth
EU Parliament Conference
In the afternoon a 2 hour conference with the EU Parliament representative, Charis Koudouros took place; participants presented their ideas and received professional feedback and further insights on the way young people can get involved in the policy making process.
During the final day of the project, participants implemented the local action’s ideas at Monastiraki and Syntagma square in Athens and engaged in dialogues and discussions with local people. Even a journalist of the famous French newspaper Le Monde interacted with the participants and offered to publish an article on their performance. Later on, Youthpasses were handed out to the participants, while a final evaluation followed and a farewell party completed the project.