The purpose of the You.Change.Com project is to recruit young people with fewer opportunities to act as ‘change makers’ (Community Angels) in their communities to conceive and carry out local strategies for socio-economic development, utilising disused spaces (land recycling).
The project’s specific objectives are to: 1) reduce disenfranchisement of youth by instigating a sentiment of social responsibility; 2) improve self-esteem and confidence of young people by (re)introducing them in their local communities; 3) tackle social exclusion through the active involvement and motivation of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds; 4) transfer know-how from successful youth civic participation models in local development; 5) engage local stakeholders, private actors, training providers, and CSOs in joint planning for socio-economic growth and stability; 6) promote multi-level and multi-stakeholder collaborative approaches to address socio-economic issues; 7) designate bottom-up solutions to establish the link between youth civic participation, youth capacity building and local sustainable development; and 8) bridge the gap between the world of formal qualifications, basic/key skills and social entrepreneurship.
The implementation of the project unfolds in two phases, the preparatory phase and the implementation phase, where the Preparatory Phase entails the conduct of research on the needs of the community, identification of disused/discontinued spaces and drafting needs assessment reports and recommendations papers; and the Implementation Phase entails: a) elaboration of the training curriculum and its components, recruitment of participants, delivery of training, and b) presentation and selection of ideas for actions, development of local action plan mobilizing community assets/resources, c) implemention of activities included in the community action plan by the Community Angels with ongoing mentoring and guidance of partners, d) monitoring and reporting of activities. Dissemination and project management and coordination activities are foreseen as horizontal to the project’s implementation.
The envisaged results of You.Change.Com are: 1) improved access, mobilisation and civic participation of young people to offer solutions encountered in their local communities; 2) enhanced capacities and knowledge of young participants in local development strategies, social responsibility principles, strategic planning, social entrepreneurship and in cross-cutting themes; 3) improved cooperation between NGOs and local authorities for mutually elaborating and implementing local development strategies; 4) enhanced capacity of partner organisations to promote participation opportunities for youth in general and disadvantaged youth in particular; 5) boosted quality of life and well-being of communities; 6) increased awareness and enhanced capacity for policy formulation, establishing incentives/schemes among local/regional/national and European authorities and decision-makers to promote youth participation; 7) boosted public awareness on local development issues and re-evaluation of youth participation.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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