“Super Youth Worker”
Ion Berindei 3, 023552 Bucharest, Romania
A practice of processes and methods
“emPOWER YOUth” is a transformative initiative aimed at fostering active participation of young people in the government process in the town of Campina, Romania, while drafting a comprehensive youth strategy to be embraced by the municipality. The project is centered around empowering the youth to become co-creators of their community’s future, instilling a sense of ownership, and strengthening democratic values. Through surveys, consultations, interviews, focus groups and collaborative workshops, all with the young people at the core, the project aspires to bridge the gap between the aspirations of the youth and the decisions taken at the municipal level. This initiative is also a case study for our organization, as we are trying to develop a model of including young people in the decision-making process that can be replicated in other communities as well.
The local issue that we addressed through this project is the lack of participation of young people to the decision-making processes in their local communities, an issue which stems from many different factors, among which being the lack of trust in local authorities and lack of communication.
The project was driven by the belief that young people hold valuable perspectives and insights that can positively shape policies and strategies that affect their lives. It followed a multi-step process that engaged both the youth and local authorities in a participatory approach:
emPOWER YOUth wishes to serve as a blueprint for involving young people in the government process and harnessing their creativity, energy, and insights to shape a more inclusive and prosperous community. Through its participatory approach and collaborative spirit, the project sets an inspiring example for other communities seeking to engage their youth population in governance and policy-making.
Besides the youth-municipality collaboration that was fostered throughout the duration of the project, empowering young individuals to actively engage in civic matters and contribute to the development of their community and promoting inclusivity in governance, this good practice has produced several tangible effects, one of them being the organization of a Youth Festival, which is going to take place between 15-17 September in Campina, Romania (Câmpina YOUthArt Festival). This is a concrete response to the need of promoting sports, creative, and cultural activities, as well as community dialogue that was identified in the research stage of the project.
The Festival will bring together a diverse range of activities, creative workshops, concerts by local bands, theater performances, film screenings, handmade crafts fair, escape room, city hunt, various board game competitions, chess, bridge, literary events, and general culture competitions.
Organisation and practice