Through this project we wish to answer these questions:
- How do young people themselves define youth participation?
- What forms of participation do young people themselves recognize and value (including not just participation in a traditional sense, e.g. being a member of a Youth Council etc., but also alternative ways of participation such as being active in online communities)?
- What are the methods for youth work to support youth participation and enable a meaningful sense of participation in young people?
- How can youth work enhance inclusion in participation, i.e. enable participation also for young people with fewer opportunities (often most active young people in participatory activities are those who have many privileges and opportunities)?
Our project network consists of organizations specialized in youth research and youth work education and also organizations doing practical field work with young people. We aim to create a co-managed learning environment for professional and personal growth for young people, youth work students and youth workers. All of these target groups will work together in our international workshops in Hungary and in Finland. As an output of the project the partners will contribute to the development of an open access education material about youth participation that can be used in formal and non-formal education of youth work.
During the project we will map out both obstacles and channels for youth participation in Hungary and in Finland. The project activities allow us to focus on identifying the problems, but also to think about solutions as well. Based on the concrete experiences of the participants and relying on some findings and data we will create an evidence based practical education material for enhancing youth participation as key topic in the formal educational programs of youth work in Finland and Hungary. This material will be applied to practice in youth work organizations in the Mikkeli region and in Gödöllő district area. In the dissemination phase of the project, it will also be shared for a larger audience in an online format. The material provides a basis for content of youth participation related courses in youth work education both in Finland and in Hungary, beyond the partner institutions of the project.