An important CaSYPoT partner meeting took place in Elbląg and Bartoszyce (Poland), on 21st -23rd March 2017. The event, organized by the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic, was devoted to project partners’ knowledge and experience exchange in working with youth. It followed the three previous project meetings in Emmaboda, Sopot and Kaliningrad.
The event was launched on Tuesday 21st March in Elblag, and the first two days were entirely dedicated to several workshops. The activities were organized according to 4 themes:
To make the participants more familiar with the project’s structure, in particular, those activities that concern cross-border study and capacity building.
To share the results of the pilot study carried out in Poland – Bartoszyce and Słupsk, Russia – Svetlogorsk and Gusev, Lithuania – Klaipeda, Sweden – Emmaboda. The survey, based on the Swedish LUPP, allows the former mentioned municipalities to get information of young people’s situation, experiences and expectations on school, politics, society, leisure, health, security, work and future.
To share partners’ experiences on working with youth and creating opportunities for young people.
To discuss the process of preparing youth strategies and prepare for creating a joint, knowledge-based strategic youth policy in the Euroregion Baltic.
The workshop on the tools for youth opportunities was enriched by two important presentations carried out by the new associated partners: Kumulus and BSSSC.
Ms. Alexandra Winberg presented Kumulus. This Swedish NGO, located in the Kalmar region, has been particularly efficient in listening to youth’s needs about culture, leisure, sport activities, but also public transports, schools, security, city planning, labour market, housing, technology. This allowed some targeted interventions, like investments in IT technology, initiation of youth groups for cooperation, creation of summer jobs, just to mention some. But, what makes this NGO really progressive is its communication strategy with the youth, which brought them to submit 91 new innovative suggestions.
The second presentation was carried out by Mr. Lars Lund Godbolt, executive secretary of the BSSSC- Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation. This political network for decentralized authorities has been able to involve youth through working groups, meeting and events, and the creation of a Youth Board. BSSSC’s goal is to reach a real youth inclusion through a continuous dialogue.
Another presentation on behalf of BSSSC that deserves to be mentioned was given by Ms. Janne Vikerødegården and Mr. Hallgeir Venholen, from the Youth County Council of Hedmark (Norway). They presented their exemplary Youth policy implementation that is highly innovative in the European scenario on youth cooperation. The Youth County Council works at different levels: local-regional-ENCN, and aims at creating a level that can reach the national government/parliament. Young people represent all youth in their municipalities, organize trainings on public speech, and support free discussions. This well-structured initiative gives young people voice in the development of youth strategies.
After two busy days in Elblag, on Thursday 23rd March, the participants traveled to Bartoszyce, a small town in the northern part of the Warmia-Masuria. There organized was a study visit that brought the participants first to the ZHP Polish Scouting and Guiding Association in Bartoszyce, then to the Centre of Professional Activity in Bartoszyce managed by the Association for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities, where an interesting part of the agenda was a short play based on a Turkish fairy tale ‘Aisha’s garden’.
The one-day trip ended with the visit to the Innovative Centre for the Artistic Development NORA, where young people can develop their various talents and passions as well as get involved in international youth exchanges.
More information about the event can be found on CaSYPoT project website.