Youth Ambassadors

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Project Duration: April – December 2013

 

How does your project strengthen the role of citizens and civil society in stimulating positive social change?

 

Our focus, as you can tell from our name, is on youth. We chose to focus on empowering youth to help them facilitate dialogue on issues that matter most to them. We were able to provide young people between the ages of 18-25 trainings on cross-cultural dialogue, facilitation and promotion, so they can in turn utilize social and community media to promote cross-cultural awareness, and become part of an inter-regional youth network promoting and facilitating dialogue on challenging social and political issues.

 

What role has technology played in your project?

 

Using new technologies is key in reaching youth. From the beginning we established a visual identity and online presence for the Ambassadors initiative – including social media and blogging – that has further developed with contributions from the first Ambassadors, and remains an active hub for young activists for the past five months. We feel that without online visibility, we would not be able to come into contact with so many young people from different backgrounds, countries and regions.

 

One of the things we have done was to develop a facilitation training manual on cross-cultural dialogue to be used during the Ambassadors’ training that can act as a knowledge product and guide for youth across regions. Youth from different countries and communities received the same training information and tips, and can therefore coordinate inter-regionally and influence their own communities towards the same goal: cross-cultural understanding and respect. We have made this toolkit available online as well in order for as many young people as possible to benefit from it.

 

What kind of activities have the young ambassadors gone on to organize after their trainings?

 

Our Ambassadors have taken initiative and implemented a variety of actions towards cross-cultural awareness. Tackling issues like gender stereotyping, creative recycling, immigration and racism, education and religion, and popular uprisings, the Youth Ambassadors blogged, organized workshops, appeared on community radio and designed online campaigns. At the same time, they kept using social media to inform more youth – and one another – on other initiatives they came across or participated in, making use of this new network of young activists they have developed. It’s been such an inspired and inspiring process!

 

Implementing Partners:

Youth Power/ PeacePlayers-Cyprus

The Civic Resource Centre

NGO Support Centre

Kontea Cultural Heritage

Citizenship Forum

 

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