Low level of youth participation in rural or deprived urban areas remains one of the key issues across the Eastern Partnership countries. Specifically in Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine there is a clear lack of youth participation structures in rural areas. At the same time, young people are not able to join the decision-making processes on youth issues at a local level because of the absence of youth consultative bodies or youth councils in the municipalities.
Recognizing the above mentioned problem, “Everybody Counts: Rural Youth Empowerment in Eastern Partnership Countries” project pursues the aim of fostering the integrationand participation of young people from rural and deprived urban areas through:
— Raising awareness on youth participation opportunities,
— Providing job preparation, digital and mobility trainings,
— Developing opportunities and an ongoing conversation with participants on civic engagement/participation.
Most importantly, the project mainstreams rural youth participation issues into state youth strategies and policies among the stakeholders in Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine and encourages the state authorities to put specific efforts in regional and rural youth policy development and implementation.
The project outputs include, but are not limited to the following:
— Empowerment of young people and youth workers through workshops and trainings,
— Summarizing the findings of online research on youth participation and involvement.
— Supporting the development of youth participation structures in rural areas through grass-root work and dialogue with official stakeholders responsible for youth,
— Mainstream youth participation issues into state youth strategies and policies through preparation of a package of recommendations on youth policy,
— Development of a handbook on Inclusion of youth with fewer opportunities.
On December 29th in Yerevan, Armenia an International Youth forum was organized as a part of the effort of mainstreaming youth participation issues. The forum brought together rural youth, the actors from civil society and the state to create and offer to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports the package of recommendations Strategy of the State Youth Policy for 2018-2022.
“The project benefits from the support through the EaP CSF Re-granting Scheme. Within its Re-granting Scheme, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) supports projects of the EaP CSF members with a regional dimension that contribute to achieving the mission and objectives of the Forum. The donors of the Re-granting Scheme are the European Union and National Endowment for Democracy. The overall amount for the 2017 call for proposals is 290.000 EUR. Grants are available for CSOs from the Eastern Partnership and EU countries. Key areas of support are democracy and human rights, economic integration, environment and energy, contacts between people, social and labour policies.”