Words “activism” and “engagement” can be heard quite often and become widespread in last decade. Disposition to create, maintain and develop networks is understood as “social capital”. In other words it can be also described as community coming together to be a collective source of change. The activity, membership and volunteering in civil society organizations is called “civic engagement” or “civic participation”. International Civic and Citizenship Study (2009) states that between Western and Eastern Europe countries differences exist in civic engagement and participation.
The project “Social capital development as a tool of youth civic participation in eastern Europe countries” (SOCAP) aims to involve youth and youth workers into discussion having main topics: youth organisations, youth activities, youth engagement, volunteering, change-makers, community, European citizenship, programme Europe for citizens.
Discussion will be held on different events:
conferences (March 2015 in Latvia, October 2015 in Poland, March 2016 in Lithuania),
round table discussions (March 2015 in Latvia, May 2015 in Romania, May 2016 in Estonia),
workshop (June 2015 in Latvia),
training (January 2016 in Latvia).
The target audience of the project is youth and youth workers from organisations/centres. Project aims to have direct communication with those who will benefit from this project at most. During the project the participants will be encouraged to tell their own stories and come up with ideas how to improve situation in their community, propose solutions how to increase willingness to become more active and involved among youth. The stories than will be uploaded in virtual platform created by youth for youth called “Social Capital Development Guide” giving each and every idea a voice.
Due to its international character the project has been organised by 5 NGO’s from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and it’s main outcome is a study regarding the youth’s level of information, their attitudes and opinions towards civic participation in these countries. You can find more about the study’s findings here. http://www.blsh.ro/SOCAP_ResearchPaper.pdf