The “Youth Democracy Academy” study session occurred from the 8th – 14th October 2023 at the European Youth Centre Budapest. It brought together 30 young people from 20 Council of Europe member states.
The study session aimed to equip 30 youth leaders and facilitators with knowledge and skills to implement the “Educate for Democracy“ program developed by DYPALL Network. The program consists of training modules based on non-formal education methodology that appeals to young people, enabling them to explore the concept and values of democracy innovatively, addressing it from local, national, and European perspectives.
All of the specific objectives of the study session were achieved:
- To further develop young people’s sense of critical thinking and skills for information analysis and fact-checking.
- To bring young people closer and discuss their approach to the existing challenges and threats to democracy in Europe, such as a lack of social bonds and solidarity, a generalized sense of insecurity, growing populism and misinformation, and environmental challenges.
- To empower 30 young facilitators committed to revitalizing democracy and equip them with the skills to educate other young people to rebuild trust in democracy.
During the sessions, participants deepened their facilitation skills and familiarised themselves with the tools to disseminate their acquired knowledge about democracy in their local realities. In that tumultuous time that Europe was going through, it was essential to rebuild trust in democracy by providing young people with a critical perspective on the existing democratic system in Europe and their role in it.
Moreover, the European Youth Foundation shared with participants opportunities to actively develop their local plans to instigate significant changes in their communities concerning democracy. The presentation on “Democracy Here Democracy Now,” a Council of Europe project coordinated by the Youth Department, contributed to the overall experience by offering valuable insights and inspiration.