Speak out loudly!
19.06.2013, Andrzej Wierzchowski Polska wersja »
There was a boisterous firestorm of the news about civic journalism and youth active citizenship all over West Pomeranian local media. The phenomena was caused by Youth Exchange 'Speak out loudly!' that took place in Grzybowo in May 2013. Young people from Poland and Turkey spent 9 days there with one, common goal to explore their role in the media system and to develop skills and attitudes that enable them to become proactive citizens aware of local problems and ready to solve them.
Group of 19 young people from Ankara, Wrocław and Poznań came to the summer resort but was barely seen at the beach. Due to their diversity of cultures, languages and behaviors they were quite well recognized by the local community. They strive to meet with local NGOs, public institutions, schools, and inhabitants of Grzybowo and Kołobrzeg. What was special about them? They often repeated phrase 'Youth in Action'. They took plenty of actions, including sessions with employees of District Family Support Centre, Public Library, County Office, Municipality of Kołobrzeg. They had a job shadowing sessions with the journalists from Radio Kołobrzeg, Kołobrzeg Cable Television, Kołobrzeska Gazette. What is more they succeed to launch the cooperation with Nicolaus Copernicus Lyceum and held workshops about civic journalism and active citizenship for the students and encouraged participant to get involved into peer to peer education.
All the events and topics of their workshops were closely connected with European Youth Week and happened in a similar time frame, which is why local youth got involved in the activities and asked plenty of questions. Mostly they were curious what is that mysterious 'Youth in Action', who can get into action and how to get into action? Participants of the Youth Exchange revealed all the secrets about the financial support of Polish National Agency of the Youth in Action Programme, about the value of non formal and informal education, about Youthpass Certificates and its' recognition both in Poland and Turkey.
As they often repeated it was not like a holiday and it was not like a school or university. It was some new, different experience that let them define their own learning process and share skills. Its usefulness you can see at the blog 'Speak out loudly!', at the workshops and lessons they run after the exchange, in frame of new projects they got involved and in this publication. Be aware that new generation of active citizens and civic journalist is already working in Ankara, Wrocław and Poznań. Notice, that they took a challenge of working and writing in foreign language, they overcame communication barrier and learnt how to cooperate in multicultural team.
Where are the roots of this firestorm? The answer is ADRA Poland, branch of international organization that aims to bring help and relief for people in difficult life situation, especially those affected by natural disasters, persecutions, destitution and disabilities. Although main activities of ADRA are focused on: social support for children, youth and families with fewer opportunities; activization of unemployed people; promotion of health and local communities development, organization took a challenge of empowerment in the field of education, entrepreneurship; promotion and development of European integration and cooperation between societies. Besides, ADRA speaks out loudly about relevant issues to our global society therefore Youth Exchange described above was a key step to built the trust and understanding between people coming from different social and cultural backgrounds.