Peace through Democracy
The project “Peace through Democracy” was based on the need for active citizens that participate in local, national and European politics and civil society, and adopt and defend the democratic values of Europe such as multiculturalism and inclusion. It considered youth work and non-formal education as effective and crucial for the fulfilment of this need. Therefore, it provided youth workers and young activists with a better understanding of the concept of democracy and promoted the debate and actions about democracy, social cohesion at national and European levels, and the efficiency of youth work and non-formal education in achieving this aim.
The project used non-formal education and social media as two key tools to achieve its aim. It included one main activity: A training course that brought together 32 youth workers and young activists with varying levels of experience from 8 participating countries and 9 youth organisations. The main activity took place in Istanbul, Turkey between 16 and 24 December 2017 (including the travel days). The training course was led by an international team of 4 trainers/facilitators. Non-formal methods and a participatory learning approach was used to provide an interactive learning environment. The participants are expected, and have the motivation to, to act as multipliers of the learning outcomes in their future activities.
In this regard, the project provided the participating youth workers and young activists with a better understanding of the concept of democracy and thereby enabled them to disseminate this understanding in their future activities.
In order to achieve this general aim, the project followed the following specific objectives:
– To create an educational atmosphere in which the participants will go deep into the concept of democracy, experience, discuss and discover various aspects of democracy, and understand the link between democracy and peace (social cohesion);
– To discover and demonstrate the relevance of youth work and non-formal education for the promotion and implementation of democracy and democratic values;
– To equip the participants with sufficient competences and understanding to adopt a democratic approach and use relevant tools and methods in their future work in order to create a multiplier effect;
– To encourage creative thinking and debate among youth workers and young activists about European democracy by using social media and interacting with local people;
– To encourage and support the creation of new projects related to the topic at European level;
– To further develop the European Cooperative Youth Network (ECYON) through stronger international communication and cooperation, and thereby to contribute to the formation of a “European public sphere” beyond national and cultural borders.
The training course was supported by subsidiary activities: An online international photo competition with the theme of “Peace through Democracy” (through which 5 participants were selected), creation of a video including interviews with young people in the participating countries, and a one-day workshop open to public participation in Istanbul. In general, the subsidiary activities aimed to create and disseminate project outputs at local and European levels and to create a larger impact.
The project produced the following results: increased awareness about and better understanding of the concept of democracy in the field of youth work; more common use of non-formal methods for the promotion of democracy; more creative thinking and debate among youth workers and young activists about European democracy; creation of similar projects and partnerships at European level, and a consequent contribution to the formation of a “European public sphere”.
Armenian Progressive Youth (Armenia)
Association Focus-European Center for Development (Bulgaria)
Udruga “Impress” Daruvar (Croatia)
Alternative Education Academy (Georgia)
Youthfully Yours (Greece)
Entrepreneurship & Social Economy Group (Greece)
Young Effect Association (Italy)