From the 24th to 30th of May, the study session on the topic of youth participation Take your part! took place. The study session funded by the Council of Europe’s Youth Department gathered participants from nine countries and trainers from the Council of Europe’s and ESN’s pools of trainers.
Being a tourist is nice. You get to enjoy a place, its culture, its present without always very much trying to deeply understand what is the historical evolution towards what you see and without trying to influence its present. But being a student should not fall into a tourist category, even if it is just a limited amount of time that we spend in a university in another place - or in another country, as Erasmus student. The constant dimension of the Erasmus Programme is that it is addressed to young people so that they would use this amazing support to contribute to the making of Europe. It is thus important that Erasmus students, as young people caring about Europe and its values, would participate in the life of the local host communities, demonstrating involvement and civic spirit, truly learning about that place and expanding one’s cultural understanding. The initiative of the ESN to create a Toolkit demonstrating how students could get involved in local and regional life is very supportive in this sense. Get inspired and take your part!
Elizabeth Kasa, Trainer
The Erasmus Student Network strongly believes that effective youth participation is essential to a healthy society and focuses on building the capacity of its local members to take a meaningful part in democratic processes. The study session aimed at empowering the participants to recognise their right, the means, space, and opportunity for greater participation on the local, national, and regional levels. To achieve this, the study session was an opportunity to create a space for participants to gain knowledge about their rights, exchange practices, and develop materials that will allow them to further empower the young in their respective realities. The participants learned more about the connection between intercultural dialogue and youth participation, about tools that are available to them, such as the Have your say manual, shared the practices of their countries and local communities, their experience, and had the opportunity to work in smaller groups on the outputs that will be used in the future, both inside and outside of the organisation.
The study session "Take your part!" directly answered to the challenge of how to raise participation and take action as a young person, and how to be a voice of your peers within the respective institutions at the local, national, and international level.
Salome Keshelashvili, Georgia
"Take your part!" Study Session has been a challenge and blessing for the training team, as the environment had to be online and at the same time the content had to be dynamic and engaging for the participants. The outcomes and the group dynamic helped us create a weekly agenda where participants got inspired and motivated to work on the topic of youth participation in their local communities. We included activities from the "Have your Say" manual and participants worked on a toolkit that will be released to the network for further resources. All in all, it was a study session full of new ideas, networking, and new outputs to be delivered to the network.
Maria Giangkampozidou, Trainer
* The visuals were created during the event by Vanda Kovacs, graphic designer and facilitator.