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YouthActiv gets young people interested in the EU and what it means for them before they’re even old enough to cast their first vote.
Dr. Foteini Asderaki, Assistant Professor of the Department of International and European Studies in the University of Piraeus, explains the idea behind YouthActiv, a series of workshops and seminars designed to show young people the importance of the EU:
“The idea came up after a discussion with students in the Department of International and European Studies, who realised that there is a lack of knowledge on European issues in Greek society and media. We concluded that we should do something to motivate youngsters to become more aware and active about European challenges.”
The project, aimed at people aged 16-18, involved nearly 700 pupils, teachers, volunteers, academics and representatives from youth NGOs. The goal was to get young people – many of whom would vote in the European elections for the first time that year – talking about the way the EU works, and to understand its role in their everyday life.
The students and youth NGOs who participated designed interactive educational activities that they hoped would motivate other young people to become more active European citizens, including videos, animated films, articles and even a mobile app.
Thanks to EU funding, the project team was able to travel to five locations to start conversations with young people across the country.
Dr Asderaki puts the success of YouthActiv down to “positive thinking, motivation, inspiration and collaboration among young people”; in fact, many of the pupils who took part have now gone on to study European Studies at university.
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