Successfully held the international seminar ‘Youth Leadership for Advocacy’

From January 10 to 17, 2022, the Fundació Catalunya Voluntaria has hosted in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain) the international mobility activity ‘Youth Leadership for Advocacy’, the first seminar that we have hosted since the start of the pandemic, more than a year after the initial date planned.

Despite the still difficult situation due to the increase in community transmission, 18 representatives of 11 non-profit organizations (including one informal youth group) from 10 countries (Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Turkey) traveled to the capital of Garraf to be the protagonists of a learning activity based on the exchange of personal experiences and organizational practices, where the whole group was able to develop new interests, skills and competencies for social transformation.

This is the first activity coordinated by the FCV with the support of community action programs (Erasmus +) dedicated to an issue as complex as the leadership of young people in the creation and implementation of public policies, campaigns and advocacy initiatives.

The presentations, games, workshops and exercises, carried out individually, in pairs and in small groups, served to gain new perspectives on what actions and steps to take, before, during and after, to influence on matters of public interest which will have a positive impact on the local, European and global environment.

The group, made up of youth workers, collaborators, interns and volunteers in the 12 entities that are part of the activity, reflected on the skills and attitudes linked to the competence of advocating and evaluated them firsthand.

The various blocks of the activity were dedicated to, among other subjects, understanding the activity and its theme, building the group, presenting the entities, carrying out campaigns, exchanging ideas and proposals for future activities, etc.

The most outstanding activities have been the visit to Barcelona, ​​the teamwork dynamics, the reflection activities in pairs for the construction and organization of community awareness, as well as the day dedicated to the creation of 4 campaigns, where the groups decided to work to raise awareness about the difficulties that young people encounter in accessing a job in Europe, by improving the conditions and quality of internship practices and by introducing new topics and methodologies in the formal education national policies.

Once the activity is over, our perception is that we have dealt with a topic that is as relevant as it is unknown, and that it is necessary to devote much more effort to developing new training activities on a complex and critical topic, within the same youth and non-profit sector as well as, within the educational system itself, to create new knowledge and, what we consider equally relevant, to create greater citizen awareness, to form a greater number of people and entities that, beyond a project, program or activity, can change the system and propose the creation of new laws, programs and structures, or they can dedicate themselves to enforcing them.

At FCV we understand that advocacy in part of our role as youth NGOs, while participating in matters of public interest is a fundamental right that all people have, which cannot be understood or limited to the right to vote in elections.

Moreover, we are more motivated than ever to carry out new training and exchange activities on this issue, in educational centers in the province of Barcelona and in other countries.

For more information on the activity and its results, you can send an email to projectes@catalunyavoluntaria.cat