Advocacy – sustainable road towards sustainable changes training course financed by Leargas under European Union Programme Erasmus+ took place in the Republic of Ireland on the 11th-18th of July, 2016.
Youth is very important group of society, but often vulnerable, unorganised and not consistent. This training course was design to build capacity of youth NGOs to raise awareness about important youth problems such as unemployment, ineffective communication, poor involvement in making decisions which are related to young people, lack of quality representation, also – uncertain position of youth work in several countries. We believe that transparent representation of interest is a key element of participatory democratic community. Important aspects of any development are access to communication channels and information, visibility, awareness of society, ability to represent interests of different public interest groups, to raise awareness about pressing issues, to discuss publicly and look together for solution, to access decision-making mechanisms and platforms.
Advocacy is a powerful tool which youth leaders, youth NGOs can use move effectively to promote changes in civil society. The main focus of this training course was youth participation and youth involvement in different settings were public policies are discussed and priorities are set. Also participants looked in which areas can youth participation be expanded, such as public health, school councils, youth centres and created new tools and arguments to fight issues that are important in their work.
The results we achieved:
– Youth NGOs in participating countries have skills and knowledge to actively engage in decision-making processes at national and local level;
– Increased knowledge/understanding of youth NGOs with regards to national/European laws and policies concerning youth;
– Established contacts/networks between youth NGOs at international level;
– Advocacy actions planed and implemented by youth NGOs locally;
– Increased awareness among general public on relevant youth issues, especially with regards to youth participation;
– Increased communication between public authorities and youth NGOs with regards to relevant youth policies.
Countries involved in this project were: Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, UK, Poland and Spain with youth representatives from youth councils and members of active youth NGOs on the local level. We believe participants act as a multiplier and agent of change in their communities.
Training course was based on the non-formal learning methodology, learning from hands-on experience, practising things when learning, reflecting on results and own learning, realising some advocacy campaign steps during the TC and involving via social media channels their peers and members of their organisations, planning further advocacy actions to be taken in their communities.
Project’s link to Erasmus+ aims:
Project supported learners in the acquisition of 8 key competencies and specific competencies on advocacy, democracy, participation, communication which helps to promote change in participating regions. Moreover, through personal development of participants we improve their employ-ability and ably to communicate in foreign languages, awareness and understanding of different cultures, countries and democracy practices. Participants gained opportunity for participating actively in society, through promoting changes in society through Advocacy and its tools and developed a sense of European citizenship and identity.
Some examples of Advocacy campaigns planed and implemented by participants as a result of taking part in Advocacy – sustainable road towards sustainable changes training course on our Facebook Event and Facebook Group pages
Participants about their experiences
Aistis Ramanauskas- Politikos tyrimu ir analizes institutas (Lithuania)
Yona Arike Samuel, Godfrey Otema, Kelvin Akpaloo, Claire Cahill– Eurobug (Ireland) Andrea Accison- Youth Work Europe (UK)
Marta Mansanet-EuropImpulse Training (Spain)
Michal Kochanouski, Natalia Caban- Stowarzyszenie Universum (Poland)
Ieva Kolosova- Bauskas novada pasvaldibas interesu izglitibas iestade Bauskas Bernu un jauniesu centrs (Latvia)
Giedrius Tvarijonas-Politikos tyrimu ir analizes institutas (Lithuania)
Ines Calero-EuropImpulse Training (Spain)
Berta Radvilaite- Politikos tyrimu ir analizes institutas (Lithuania)
Esther Haro-EuropImpulse Training (Spain)
Photo diary of Advocacy training course