Many smaller and medium sized towns, especially within peripheral and rural regions, are facing depopulation, migration of young people and are not competitive enough to attract young families and well educated people. In order to reach out to these target groups and in general to become more attractive for new settlements and resettlements, the communities constantly need to work on attractiveness and address the core issues which can lead to change and improvements.
Young people are only one of the key segments, which can be a resource for the communities. So how can smaller places become more attractive for young people? In order to get worthwhile answers the youths themselves must be involved in the shaping of the future of their hometowns before they leave for universities and jobs. And that is what the YE Projects focuses on: Involving young people and let them become ambassadors for their communities.
The YE project is a learning by doing project, in order to give both increased learning and useful outputs. The main target group are young people between 14 and 20 years old within schools, youth councils/clubs, NGO's or individuals. They can become engaged citizens and bring about good ideas for improvements of their hometowns, given a serious guiding by professionals and a motivating working environment. They will be involved in local actions and some will be participating at international workshops.
The common theme is "hometown attractiveness". Youth will gather information, map and analyze the local communities by the help of professional facilitators. Also teachers, youth workers, artists and other professionals will be involved. Representatives from businesses, NGO's and decision makers may take part in the workshops and in the creation of the intellectual outputs. Youth will study and improve the town/community brand and elaborate a range of branding actions in close cooperation with the local authorities.
During their first meeting in Warsaw the project partners agreed upon the dates and locations for the mirror workshops which will take place in Suwalki (Poland) in June, in Rauna (Latvia) in August, in Jelgava (Latvia) in March 2016 and in Robertsfors (Sweden) in May 2016. Any new associate partners are welcome to join the planned YE workshops. It is required that they commit to all four events, cut-off point for new partners to join: 1st of May 2015.