Our one-week journey finally came to its end. The digital advocacy for active citizens project was rounded today with a certificate ceremony and saying goodbye to the participants. This whole week was a new experience for all of us and we were more than happy to be sounded with these amazing youngsters. We would like to thank all participants for their contributions, creativity and energy during the whole project. We hoped that you had an amazing experience and that you will bring nice memories with you. Big thanks to Macedonian participants for being perfect hosts and making this exchange more enjoyable for all of us.
Here is a short summary of what happened during the training:
The first day was all about getting to know each other and getting familiar with the topic. The day was rounded with the treasure hunting game in the city centre.be We were more than happy that finally we can welcome these amazing youngsters and prepare an unforgettable experience for them.
use of digital tools that the group members use, as well as a brief
brainstorming regarding the tools available in the digital era. The participants learned about the differences between advocacy and digital advocacy. Additionally, they had the chance to share some examples of successful and unsuccessful campaigns and presented their individual ideas on how to improve the unsuccessful ones. In the end, they received a toolkit for a successful campaign design and they started working on an idea for an advocacy campaign that they will design from scratch.
An Erasmus + youth exchange can’t be complete without a day for cultural exploring and getting familiar with the history, food and nice walking in the city centre of the host organization. They had a chance to visit the capital, explore the monuments in the city, eat traditional food and play outdoor games near the river Vardar. The weather served us, and we had iced coffee near the square and made a bunch of photos in different locations.
The fourth day of the training was focused on creating the group campaigns which were split into four main areas: Education, Health, Empowering youth locally and Youth shaping Europe. All the four groups presented their ideas publicly and elaborated their campaign’s main objectives and goals, target audiences and the tools they will use in order to achieve their goals. The campaign topics that the four groups invented were: YouCanChange (Empowering youth locally), ParkInSon (Health), Our Voices (Don’t) Matter (Youth shaping Europe), and Youth for Future – (Education). The ideas were all very inspiring and the rest of the group members already related to the ideas recognized them as important ones and gave their personal contributions on how to improve these ideas in future. After this part, the participants worked on their individual campaign promotion on their private/organizational social media and thus, started the competition part in which 5 of the most successful stories that received the most impressions will receive a symbolic award (the winners will be announced on day 5). Later during the fourth training day, the participants had a media sharing session in which they watched a short documentary regarding an advocacy campaign focused on pollution problems and endangered species and had a chance to discuss the movie and share their personal opinion on the topic.
The fifth day of the Digital Advocacy for Active citizens youth exchange started with outdoor activities in a park in Shtip where all the participants had lots of fun doing group games that involved strategic thinking, and observational and organizational skills. All of the games sparked tons of fun and smiles that prepared the participants for the rest of the activities. The afternoon sessions involved a simulation game – “Skatepark in Shtipsburg” that was focused on a public debate for (or against) building a skatepark on the location of an existing green space now used as a park. The participants had roles as representatives of parties, citizens, NGOs and skateboard associations, a mayor and his counsellors. The debate involved speeches of the parties that were for building a skatepark, the parties against and questions from the public audience – the citizens. In the end, the citizens had a chance to give their vote and the winner was the two parties that advocated for building a skatepark. The day was rounded with the preparation of the personal campaigns on the social networks as well as a traditional night for representing local food and drinks.
Until the next exchange in Shtip!