Youth leadership and community initiative

Funded by: Nadace VIA

The main aim of the whole project was through the establishment of student councils in the city to raise voice of young people and so that they are more involved in the community. With student councils we wanted to make students more involved in the daily life of students in school, allow them to give ideas and suggestions to the school management and represent the voice of the student body in meetings with the management of the school. Additionally we wanted them to be more involved with the community the school is situated in as well as to organize more activities for the students themselves. In the beginning everything went well – cooperation with municipality, schools, teachers and students was on spot.
Our very first activity was holding a focus group so that we are more able to understand how the students view the idea of student council. Next we started with trainings focused on leadership, social activism and community development. The trainings finished in February 2015, and the next stage of the project was to get ready for elections. We prepared together with the participants however the country was going through protests so we saw it reasonable to push the election period for autumn instead. In autumn right when we decided to hld the elections in October-November, we had problems with directors who filed a report on us stating that we are trying to organize the students against the schools, thus we were not welcomed in the schools
any more. Since we really wanted to continue with the idea of giving voice to young people and give them an opportunity to get more active in the community, we re-thought the idea and decided to work with young people outside of schools – give them voice, to support them with their own initiatives . We provided 3 whole day trainings on the same topics we organized in the start with the high schools and we also offered the participants a chance to work on their own ideas. By the end of the training 3 ideas were voted to move forward:
1. Having interfaith iftar (Ramadan dinner) – having iftar not only with Muslims, interreligious raising awareness activity, as well as a potluck event where everyone was asked to bring something in addition to what we offered
2.Awareness raising on ecological things – introduce more ideas of recycling
3. Donation initiative – raising in kind contributions (packed food) from neighborhood and then it was distributed to families in need in the city, each participant was searching for families in need from their neighborhood, 25 people were involved – the donated food is valued for more than 500 euros and selected into 28 boxes.