An overview of the first study visit of the project “Boosting Youth Participation at Local Level” (November 2017, South of Portugal)

From 13 to 18 November 2017, DYPALL Network in cooperation with Puntland Diaspora Forum and Portimão Municipality received a group of 26 representatives from organizations working with youth relevant issues and municipalities, for the study visit “Boosting Youth Participation at Local Level” (Boosting YP). These participants were from Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands and Italy, and the visit to the south of Portugal was the first implementation phase of this project.

Boosting YP was co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme via the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society, and is aiming at reinforcing existing programmes on youth participation in geographically isolated areas, sharing practices and draw civil society organizations closer to public authorities and institutions.

The project made the participants closer to the decision making processes at local and level as well as contributed to enhance their perception and engagement in representative and participatory democracy.  Another outcome was that the participants also worked together, structuring long term impact back in their own realities.

More concretely, according to the words of Ms. Violeta Ciuciuc, Project Manager at Dabuleni Municipality (Romania), expressing both her opinion, as well as Mr. Ștefan Zaria’s (Vice Mayor of the Municipality):

“It was an intense working week in which we learned about youth participation and seen a lot about how some things are done. It was interesting for me, but what was more surprising for the Vice Mayor to see was the different degrees of involving other people in policy work. He came with a change opinion about youth participation, and (not only from this point of view), how it is and can be an extraordinary thing for Dabuleni youngsters.

Hopefully, some of the ideas we had there will materialize and for the next meeting things will improve.”