DYPALL’s Study Visit to Denmark: Youth Participation in Rural Areas

The study visit to Egedal was organized by DYPALL Network in partnership with Ung Egedal (Municipality of Egedal). This visit was the first implementation phase of the project “Youth Participation in Rural Areas” (YP Rural) that has the main goal of understanding the specific challenges to youth participation in rural and geographically remote areas, and exchange practices of involving youth in their communities.

The visit took place from the 9th to 12th October 2017 and brought to Egedal 18 participants from Latvia, Macedonia, Italy and Portugal. Those were intense working days where the realities of the participating countries were shared, as well as got in touch with a programme called Musikstarter, that aims to support local musicians. This programme is composed of music camps, where apart from a fee to cover some logistical costs, the youngsters can develop and practice their skills with participating artists. It was developed in cooperation between youth schools, venues, music schools and primary schools.

The visit also allowed the participants to directly speak with young people that lead their own projects not only related with music, but also with advocacy messages to prevent bullying.  In order to provide a framework for these good examples, there was also a detailed presentation on the youth policy of Egedal, and the processes used to involve this demographic in its elaboration. This presentation better inspired and allowed the participants to undertake a mapping exercise of the needs and challenges of youth participation in decision making in rural areas, in their own contexts.

There was also the opportunity to visit one of the 10 youth houses of Egedal, specifically focused on creative activities. Specifically on the topic of ensuring the participation of rural youth in decision-making processes at the local level, there was the opportunity to learn more about the role of equipped and capacitated youth houses in Denmark, which since the 1940s have had the history of assisting youth in the development of skills, and lately have been foster youth driven projects and assists in the development of their skills. These are solid examples of community involvement and participation, as well as structures that help preventing social and economic exclusion, and problems that come from and because of it.

This was the first of 4 study visits that DYPALL is organizing, which allows getting to know youth work realities directly on the field. Stay tuned for the next one! In the meantime, you can find some pictures of this enriching activity below.