000Between 2018 and 2021 MIJARC Europe is leading its work around three thematic focus points described in the Specific Objectives adopted by the General Assembly back in 2017. The current work plan addresses MIJARC Europe’s commitment to support citizenship and youth participation in rural development.

Through this work plan we aim to help rural young people in MIJARC Europe network and beyond feel that they have the right, the means and the skills to drive change at local level and to motive other stakeholders to support their ideas and create opportunities for youth participation together.

We want young people to feel that they know, they can, and they want to be involved, to be able to imagine the concrete, sequential steps towards achieving real impact and to identify how to determine local authorities to join their initiatives in order to see those changes they envision, happen in reality.

This aim is pursued through the following specific objectives:

O1: enable young people from rural areas to discriminate between self-imposed barriers to participation (their own perceptions, stereotypes and attitudes) and real barriers and find inspiration to identify solutions to both types of barriers;

O2: teach young people how to communicate with, involve and ask for support from local authorities and perceive them as partners rather than opponents;

O3: empower young people from rural areas to become competent and effective digital citizens;

O4: contribute to the implementation of the principles of the Revised Charter on participation of young people in local and regional life and to the dissemination of the “Have your say manual” to local public authorities and youth NGOs in at least 10 rural areas in Europe.

PHASES

This year’s work plan includes one local activity and two international activities, reinforced by follow- up activities at local level and the promotion of the outcomes and outputs in two issues of the MIJARC Explore magazine.

001The first activity includes ten visits at local level, performed by a team of two young volunteers of MIJARC Europe in a rural area in each of the ten countries involved, in order to perform a direct analysis of the state of youth participation and co-operation with public authorities at local level. The findings will be included in a country-specific report and collected in a final report that traces the trends in all the countries involved. The published findings will provide the backbone for the development of the international activities.

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The second activity is an international seminar, gathering 30 young people, for four full working days, attempting to build their confidence in their potential and in the positive effects of their small actions at local level. It also stimulates their openness towards co-operating with public authorities and towards learning how to work together.

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The seminar will be complemented by the third phase, an international training course on e- citizenship that will offer additional tools and ideas to tackle the problems identified in the third phase. The training course will provide an upgrade of the approach to participation in line with the most recent trends in civic engagement, teaching young people how to make use of the Internet and online tools in order to participate.

Finally, each organization involved will do a follow- up activity of their choice, involving a minimum number of 10 participants and one local authority – preferably one of those involved in the first phase.

Download the leaflet: “Let our voice be heard