After a longstanding experience in youth sector, trying to empower, train young people, provide them skills and knowledge to actively participate in society we concluded that the best thing to do that is to be more present on the local / regional level. In order to fulfill our aims regarding active youth participation,social inclusion, volunteering, empowerment of youth we need to have better communication and better connection with our member organizations on the local level. If we want to better control processes of youth participation and make long-standing influence on European youth we must make our trainings and seminars more sustainable and we will do that with Minority Messengers project. The main idea of the Minority Messengers project is to be present and to have an active role at the local level.
At the Kick-Off event in Trin, Switzerland and Easter Seminar in Opole, Poland we trained the messengers, provided them basic knowledge and skills about minorities and cultures they are going to visit and made set of toolboxes, they will use in different occasions on their trips.
During the period from May till the October they will visit Minority Organizations with the knowledge of youth participation, social inclusion, active democratic citizenship, preservation of minority languages and cultures and skills of motivation of young people, public speaking, debating, conflict resolution. They will visit not only minorities but together representatives of minorities, majority, marginalized and vulnerable social groups, Roma, young refugees and they will try to start a public dialogue. They will spread the message of diversity, spread the word about the minorities and issues of young people who belong to minority, create understanding between different social groups and help building peaceful societies. In the regions they go they will be like a candles or light towers of diversity, understanding, volunteering and active youth participation. To fulfill that we will closely cooperate with our member organizations, local authorities and other youth organizations. We trained 50 Minority Messengers and we intent to send them on 100 visits till October 2018.
Minority Messengers will also make the work of YEN more sustainable because we will directly have feedback of the impact of our work and our seminars and trainings on local level, so we can make changes and adapt. Minority Messengers will also collect data on important topics for minority youth and youth in general: minority rights, social inclusion, language and education, youth participation, active citizenship. When they come back we will at the Youth Leader Seminar collect all data, filter and analyse it and start with the creation of the database of minority and youth issues in Europe. That will be only a start (pilot phase) and we want to make it a long-term project. During the Youth Leader Seminar we will also evaluate the visits and try to adapt to the situation on local level, adapt toolboxes and to prepare for the next visits.
As overall result we want to produce the database of minority and youth issues in Europe and sum up collected information in the document – State of play of minorities in Europe. Throughout our future activities database will be constantly fed and State of play of minorities in Europe updated and changed.
Here you can find forms and documents made at the Kick-off event in Trin, Switzerland and during YEN Board meetings in order to help Minority Messengers to make financial plans and prepare the visits. Toolkits will help Minority Messengers to present YEN and minority landscape and run workshops on non-formal education, minority languages, intercultural learning, youth participation and social inclusion. Questionnaires and evaluation forms are made to help Minority Messengers Steering Group to evaluate the visits and collect valuable data on issues related to minority rights, cultural, media, political and educational life of minorities, thus providing input information for database on minority issues.