Participating in society goes far beyond voting in elections, and there are many paths that can be taken and things that can be done in order to advance the improvement of society. One of these paths is that of advocacy. Advocate means influencing the creation of the changes that society requires to adapt to new situations, overcome injustices and discrimination and, ultimately, solve challenges that require taking action that cannot wait. Advocacy includes, according to one point of view, raising awareness, creating interest and publicizing issues (injustices) so that they form part of the public debate and the political agenda, making more people aware of the situation and the need to make changes or act in some direction (as, for example, in a context of systematic violation of rights and freedoms). For the FCV, advocating is, specifically, either demanding law compliance and enforcement, therefore, enjoying rights, duties or services that exist only in written in a paper (such as, for examples, the right to housing or the right of asylum) or to call attention to the need to create a new law that, since it does not exist, cannot protect a right that does not yet exist nor guarantees services that are not foreseen.
One of the virtues of associationism and the third sector in Catalonia is its long history of networking and the capacities of second and third degree structures (federations, councils) assuming and defending the interests of the sector before the public authorities (executive and lawmaker) and acting as spokespersons for their needs, proposals and demands.
At the FCV we understand this knowledge of the formal and informal processes of consultation and participation in decision-making as something that should be known by all people, in which no entity has any exclusive right to defend the interests of people and groups, but on which every individual should have the ability to influence themselves. At the FCV, as a result of first-hand knowledge of different advocacy initiatives in which we have participated, for years we are drawing attention to the need to empower all people and, as a priority, young people to carry out this task, convinced of the power of the coordinated action of a small group of people, with clear ideas and with very specific competencies, to work for changes, also to incorporate new laws that may be needed and impact entire generations.
To carrying out advocacy actions it is necessary to create the context and opportunities to do so, as well as to share the knowledge, experiences, skills and attitudes that most they can help achieve the desired transformational and change outcomes. For the FCV, young people have sufficient ideas, energy and capacities to demand compliance with laws and to promote new ones, complex processes that require being able to access information, analyze it, collect and share experiences, connect with people with similar concerns and with experts / as on various issues (whether from the country itself, across Europe and globally). It is with this objective that Inter alia network we have created the Youth Pool, a tool that must be used to help young people from all over Europe to propose, promote and lead advocacy initiatives in collaboration with other young people, with which they will have the opportunity to work together for 4 months .
Participation and access to the resources offered by the tool is completely free. The only requirement is age: from 16 to 30 years old (both included).
If you want to learn how to influence policies while influencing policies, you can access to more information about the tool at this link (pdf) https://interaliaproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Youth-Pool-presentation.pdf
You can register directly at this link: https://interaliaproject.com/participation/youth-pool-2021/ .
For any further information, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The number of places is limited, and the registration period ends on February 28.
This tool is a resource created with the support of the Erasmus + program of the European Commission by the Inter Alia network, coordinated by the Greek NGO with the same name, made up of more than 75 youth and non-profit organizations from 25 European countries, of which the FCV is member of. For more information about the network: https://interaliaproject.com
As a complement to this new tool, the FCV is preparing two training activities on this same competence: the international seminar ‘Youth Leadership for Advocacy’ and the workshops ‘How to make a campaign?’, thanks to the support of the Erasmus + program of the Commission European and the Spanish network of the Anna Lindh Foundation (European Institute of the Mediterranean), respectively.