On 24th February in the offices of Poraka Nova in Bitola, the 2 nd stakeholders meeting was held under the name “ Democratic participation of the young people” At the meeting were present 24 participants, of whom 11 stakeholders and 13 young people. The profiles of stakeholders were university professors, pedagogues, members of the youth council from the municipality, workers in the municipality in the youth sector, members from the local NGOs The profiles of participants were high schoolers, university students, and unemployed young people. At the beginning, it was presented the NEUEYT project, his initiatives in general, and explained the ones we already held in Macedonia. Also, future plans were presented.
Afterward, the young people took space and talked about their points of view on the local problems they are facing, unemployment, lack of information they are facing in the digital era, and some of the topics that were tackled in the silent debate. It was narrowed down that the information we are providing for them they are not getting it and we have the feeling that the nowadays youths are uninterested and passive. So the direction it was held in that direction, to find common ways where both sides can meet in the middle. The NGOs representatives but also other sectors private and public need to find a way that is easy and understandable for young people, to find the right links (social media, and other relevant online services they are following), to ask about their real problems, to ask their advice for help, for explaining the real issues. They shared some past problems and issues when tried to get in touch with the young people, but were unsuccessful.
Some of the problems that public sectors are facing is that they are lacking staff and overflowed work. The private faculty mentioned that they have a mentor professor that guides the young people during their study year, informs them about their studies but also other relevant happenings. A good practice that can be taken for governmental faculties and institutions. A step that will make easier the students life but also institutions.
Young people to be more open, feel free to discuss, to be more responsible if they want to be freer when expressing their ideas, to seek for support and guidance. On the question, if they are ready to take democratic participation they said yes, but they need more time, learning, experience, more information and of course support.
One of the keynotes that were highlighted was that:
- The communication between young people and the stakeholders is on a low level and both sides need to work on it. They need to make more effort if they want to create/get the right information
- To use the right channels for information
- To use the “youth dictionary” if they want to be understood and supported
- To find the right access, attractive and approachable for the young people
- Proactive young people that need to work on their passive behavior, to ask for help NGOs and/or relevant institutions
- Proactive institutions. They need to use the right channels for informing young people. Especially the educational ones. They need to work on their employees (professors and staff) that can be part of different programs, maybe to set a norm for attending trainings courses relevant for youth information, so the young people will get the right information and/or feel free to approach the person that is responsible for it. Also they can take the good practice from the private faculty for mentoring.
On the study visit in 15-16 March, visitors from Norway and Italy, along with the stakeholders and young people that were present are going to visit:
- Both faculties – Biotechnology (governmental) and Slavic (private) and their youth unions
- Medical and economy high schools,
- Local NGO`s YMCA, youth cultural center, youth center
- Municipality – the members of the youth council and the members of the voluntary sectorThe next, 3rd stakeholders meeting will be held in Struga with the same people on this meeting.