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Becoming Citizens

Engagement of Young and Senior Citizens (2009-2010)

Partners
Liceul Teoretic “Bartok Bela” and Scoala Generala Nr.13, Timisoara

Identifying the problem
The project aims to foster civic engagement and mobilization of the community. Democratic societies rely on the active and well informed participation of their citizens. The few decades of decline, in terms of civic engagement and trust in governmental structures, brought on a low level of civic participation. Thus, the society is less capable of taking proper collective decisions, allowing the interests of stronger minorities to take control. Many citizens, especially younger ones, feel that the government does not represent them. Therefore, it is necessary to help them be heard and obtain a more satisfactory representation.

Project goal
Initiating a new approach to civic engagement of youth in partnership with the members of the Citizen Consultative Committees in Timisoara (encompassing mainly senior citizens) for better community experiences and communication.

Objectives
1. To encourage active civic engagement of high school students from 15 schools in their neighborhoods.
2. To increase students' knowledge and understanding of political processes and institutions.
3. To improve the competence of young and senior citizens to participate in the public sphere.

Target group
150 high school students from 15 schools in Timisoara
15 Citizen Consultative Committees from Timisoara
Members of the Senior Citizen’s Committee

Activities
Evaluating the role of youth and youth NGOs in civic education, in schools (survey regarding the perception of civic education, civic engagement, problems encountered etc.)
Surveying the community concerning its problems and priorities and discussing possible solutions
Meetings with the Municipality (Mayor, Local Councilors) in order to present the survey findings
Meetings with MPs and government officials in order to improve knowledge and understanding of political processes by establishing informal communication channels between politicians and civil society
Competition - The best civic project and the best civic team (for implementing the best project aimed at mobilizing youth and senior citizens for solving community problems).

Estimated impact
The project relies on building a partnership between youth and senior citizens for better civic engagement. This partnership will create informal communication channels with those who make decisions, will make use of the digital world in order to determine youth to practice their computer skills and become more informed and active. These will closely co-operate with local authorities for touching upon the problems of the community, they will take part in the decision making process and so forth.

The project is implemented between 1.06.2009 and 31.05.2010, and is financed by CEE Trust - Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe.

 
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