In July Youth center BIT Črnomelj organised a workshop that will help them shape a new youth strategy in our municipality. We gathered dozen of youngsters from a village Vinica, that lies at the border with Croatia and introduced them to decision-making processes and democracy in local environment.
After a successful workshop under chestnut treetops, where we met with our youth and brainstormed their ideas on different topics, we wanted to see if they how to influence local stakeholders. Therefore the process of gathering their ideas was different. After that, we split youngsters in groups that each had two specific objectives and two of them took on heavier roles – one was major for-a-day and the other one was youth council member for-a-day. Young in groups were asked what kind of issues they are dealing with and to present them to their mayor to find the solutions or create new policies. They have listed several problems that are decreasing the quality of life in their area and started intriguing brainstorms about innovative solutions.
Secondly we asked them to deconstruct their ideas into actions that would lead to an actual result. They made plans for »multi sports grounds« for all generations and semi-fixed their traffic issue due to the fact that the state road going through the village to the border can’t be closed by local authorities. Groups have presented their projects to their stakeholders and he decided which project ideas he found doable and would found it. During this role-play activity we explained to the participants how local administration works, what kinds of authority it has and what is in state domain, how active participation in shaping local environment makes us valuable. We also exchanged some experiences when dealing with government agencies and complained a little about their unresponsiveness.
We believe that we managed to gather some of their ideas that we can include in the new youth strategy for our municipality and that we managed to transmit some of the knowledge about decision-making, local governance and inspired them to even more actively participate in their communities.