“Go Locally – Lead Globally” was a Youth Exchange implemented by EN.O Greece in Katerini, from the 13th to the 19th of September within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme.
By implementing this project we wanted to increase the sense of citizenship and participation in the social and political life of 31 participants coming from 5 different countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Serbia, and Turkiye) and help them through non-formal education tools and methods to learn, understand, and experience what it means to feel like a European Citizen, an active citizen, and what youth can do and/ or have the right to do for contributing to society and becoming change makers.
The objectives of the project were:
– to increase the sense of citizenship in general and European citizenship in particular through approaching and exploring those meanings and their dimensions and the ways they are used
-to encourage the active participation of young people in socio-political and democratic life, at local, national, and European levels in order to strengthen young people’s voice in Europe
-to explore issues about voting in elections and civic participation, promote the right to take part in the government and free elections, and be able to recognize and appreciate the reasons for using our vote in elections and value the personal contribution of every citizen in a democracy
-to develop, practice, and evaluate tools that aim at enhancing young people’s feeling of belonging and to discuss what role they can play in Europe (including the one in their organizations)
– to empower and promote mutual understanding, solidarity, intercultural learning, and intercultural dialogue between young people coming from different cultural backgrounds, and to provide them the opportunity to develop similar initiatives to be implemented in their countries
-to understand the importance of social welfare to community life and promote the values of teamwork, solidarity, and responsibility in the community
-to empower citizenship education,
European citizenship, and active participation of young people -to promote Erasmus+ Programme and Youthpass as recognition tools for non-formal and informal learning
During the Youth Exchange, we participated in the “Connected We Stand” Volunteerism festival which took place in Thessaloniki on the 16th of September and we had the opportunity:
– to present our project and its results
– to interact with the local community of Thessaloniki and increase the impact of the project
– to become the project ambassadors
– to promote the project as a good practice example of inclusiveness and active youth participation
– to promote the Erasmus+ programme and the Youthpass certificate
– to promote non-formal education tools and methods by demonstrating and implementing a workshop based on
non-formal education (the Youthpass Islands)
Moreover, throughout our Youth Exchange, our participants created and conducted an online survey focusing on the “Voting Behaviour of Youth”. According to the results we got, out of 195 young people that participated in our online survey, 28,2% are not interested in the EU elections and 29,7% believe that EU elections do not concern them; those 2 data give us 57,9% of youngsters who actually do not consider EU elections and EU citizenship as something related to them! At the same time, 74,9% of youngsters, stated that they get informed about political news from social media and the internet and 85,1% believe that political parties do not adequately represent the interests of young people! Those results had a huge impact on our participants who expressed their interest and will to dive more into the topic and have the chance to meet again together and work on the promotion of raising awareness regarding the importance of youth participation at the EU level and acknowledgment of EU rights among youngsters.
We would like to thank all our partners and especially our amazing participants for this unique experience!!!