LDA Georgia, Strasbourg and Kutaisi join forces for their young citizens

The Local Democracy Agency (LDA) Georgia is implementing the “Youth for Europe” project, in partnership with the cities of Strasbourg (France) and Kutaisi (Georgia).

Following trainings on European history and EU bodies, selected Georgian participants took part in a study visit in Strasbourg in December 2016, to learn about European values and institutions. They visited the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the European Youth Center. During the meetings, they received information about how the institutions work.

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Georgia to the Council of Europe, Mariam Maisaia, presented the 2015-2019 Action Plan, and discussed the most important Human Rights protection projects. At the European Youth Center, participants learned about international youth programs. The Youth for Europe members introduced their project, and discussed possible future cooperation.

Participants also met representatives of French NGOs and Strasbourg’s Deputy Mayor Nawel Rafik-Elmrini, to discuss European values.

“Strasbourg has always supported the LDA Georgia, together with its host city, Kutaisi” said Nino Khukhua, Delegate of the LDA Georgia. “The visit was extremely interesting for young participants, who will further spread among their friends and families the take-home messages learnt in the heart of Europe”, she concluded.

The Local Democracy Agency (LDA) Georgia is implementing the “Youth for Europe” project, in partnership with the cities of Strasbourg (France) and Kutaisi (Georgia).

Following trainings on European history and EU bodies, selected Georgian participants took part in a study visit in Strasbourg in December 2016, to learn about European values and institutions. They visited the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the European Youth Center. During the meetings, they received information about how the institutions work.

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Georgia to the Council of Europe, Mariam Maisaia, presented the 2015-2019 Action Plan, and discussed the most important Human Rights protection projects. At the European Youth Center, participants learned about international youth programs. The Youth for Europe members introduced their project, and discussed possible future cooperation.

Participants also met representatives of French NGOs and Strasbourg’s Deputy Mayor Nawel Rafik-Elmrini, to discuss European values.

“Strasbourg has always supported the LDA Georgia, together with its host city, Kutaisi” said Nino Khukhua, Delegate of the LDA Georgia. “The visit was extremely interesting for young participants, who will further spread among their friends and families the take-home messages learnt in the heart of Europe”, she concluded.


“My City – Youth City” implemented in Municipality of Centar, Skopje

On the 27th of December, youngsters presented the result of the action “My city- Youth city” in the Youth office of the Municipality of Centar. The action foresaw creation of a map of youth locations created by youngsters in the municipality.

The creation of the map had the objective to encourage youngsters to be actively involved in the society by making plans for the improvement of their community development. The map was created by youngsters from the Municipality of Centar. The map that was created includes proposal of 7 locations for youngsters that could be developed and upgraded according to the needs of the youngsters.

Approximately 20 youngsters attended the event, together with representatives of the Municipality of Skopje and the Youth Office of the municipality. The map will be further promoted and distributed to the public.

The event offered the opportunity for presentation of a project that was subgranted through the Balkan regional Platform for Youth Participation and Dialogue. Gorjan Slavkovski from Youth Can NGO presented the project “Youth in local action”.

The activity was implemented by ALDA Skopje in collaboration with the Youth office and Youth council of the Municipality of Centar in Skopje as part of the project Balkan Regional Platform for Youth Participation and Dialogue.

On the 27th of December, youngsters presented the result of the action “My city- Youth city” in the Youth office of the Municipality of Centar. The action foresaw creation of a map of youth locations created by youngsters in the municipality.

The creation of the map had the objective to encourage youngsters to be actively involved in the society by making plans for the improvement of their community development. The map was created by youngsters from the Municipality of Centar. The map that was created includes proposal of 7 locations for youngsters that could be developed and upgraded according to the needs of the youngsters.

Approximately 20 youngsters attended the event, together with representatives of the Municipality of Skopje and the Youth Office of the municipality. The map will be further promoted and distributed to the public.

The event offered the opportunity for presentation of a project that was subgranted through the Balkan regional Platform for Youth Participation and Dialogue. Gorjan Slavkovski from Youth Can NGO presented the project “Youth in local action”.

The activity was implemented by ALDA Skopje in collaboration with the Youth office and Youth council of the Municipality of Centar in Skopje as part of the project Balkan Regional Platform for Youth Participation and Dialogue.


CARAVAN NEXT - Amsterdam filled with creativity!

“Explorez Festival searching for LOVE” on 12-19 December 2016 is a cultural macro event of the Social Community Theatre programme. This year it is organised in Amsterdam and hosted by ZID Theatre.

***
Around twenty workshops, theatre and music performances were organised in ZID Theatre and various other locations. In a week before Christmas, animating activities brought together neighbourhood communities and bonded hundreds of citizens on the streets of Amsterdam. During this year a process of creation and cultural exchange of Caravan events was followed with professional artists and local citizens exploring and reflecting on the active role of a European citizen.

Some of the programme engaging partners in Amsterdam:

  • Bread & Talks: A Shame by Family of Clear Streams // ZID Theater
  • Bread & Songs – A theatrical concert by ZID & ODIN // OBA
  • Workshop by Alberto Pagliarino (SCT) // ZID Theater
  • LIEFDE NU – premiere of new ZID performance // De Meervaart
  • Double Bill with Keeping Quiet (POD) and LIEFDE NU (ZID // Podium Mozaïe
  • We Are The Future by BRAMA, POD and ZID // ZID Theatre
  • Flamenco Kitchen by Atalaya and ZID // Westside
  • Inspirational meeting Caravan NEXT // WoW
  • HARTSTOCHT – a musical tour through the neighborhood (ZID & Caravan NEXT partners) // start at ZID Theater

Link utili:
Caravan NEXT website 

“Explorez Festival searching for LOVE” on 12-19 December 2016 is a cultural macro event of the Social Community Theatre programme. This year it is organised in Amsterdam and hosted by ZID Theatre.

***
Around twenty workshops, theatre and music performances were organised in ZID Theatre and various other locations. In a week before Christmas, animating activities brought together neighbourhood communities and bonded hundreds of citizens on the streets of Amsterdam. During this year a process of creation and cultural exchange of Caravan events was followed with professional artists and local citizens exploring and reflecting on the active role of a European citizen.

Some of the programme engaging partners in Amsterdam:

  • Bread & Talks: A Shame by Family of Clear Streams // ZID Theater
  • Bread & Songs – A theatrical concert by ZID & ODIN // OBA
  • Workshop by Alberto Pagliarino (SCT) // ZID Theater
  • LIEFDE NU – premiere of new ZID performance // De Meervaart
  • Double Bill with Keeping Quiet (POD) and LIEFDE NU (ZID // Podium Mozaïe
  • We Are The Future by BRAMA, POD and ZID // ZID Theatre
  • Flamenco Kitchen by Atalaya and ZID // Westside
  • Inspirational meeting Caravan NEXT // WoW
  • HARTSTOCHT – a musical tour through the neighborhood (ZID & Caravan NEXT partners) // start at ZID Theater

Link utili:
Caravan NEXT website 


2017 challenge - Let's build a better Europe together!

Dear members, partners, friends,

As the New Year 2017 is approaching, I would like to seize the opportunity to highlight how important it will be for all of us.

This year, 2016 forced all of us Europeans to face the dramatic increase in refugees fleeing their homes in search of a safe haven. Not always has Europe proved to be effective in managing the situation, thus giving a voice to populist, xenophobic, and Euro-sceptical movements.

Brexit referendum last June was a cold shower for many of us. After our initial shock, we welcomed it as a potential trigger to reinvigorate the European project – which is far from being perfect, but stands as the only option to secure peace and wellbeing.

Aware of the historical challenges we are facing, we get ready to the year 2017. We will of course continue our activities promoting citizens’ participation and good local governance in the enlarged Europe, crucial to remind us why the European Union was created, and what it means concretely to be European citizens.

Our citizen journalists will keep roaming around their communities and reporting real-life stories, bringing with them the EU values, and sending us views and perspectives from locals we wouldn’t otherwise hear from; we’ll keep developing projects, such as the newly launched URGENT, putting together towns to tackle the fear of immigration; youth workers of the Balkan regional platform will keep telling young men and women that they can change their societies, and how.

At the same time, the size, operational capacity, and global recognition of our Association have considerably expanded. Not only do the number and diversity of members and projects constantly increase, but also we are invited to present our experience and best practices at events and fora all over the world, from France to Togo via Ukraine.

In 2017, both the network of ALDA and the European Union will need to scale up their abilities of proactivity, communication, and complexity management to a completely new level. I know the people who make ALDA – for this, I am positive we will rise to the challenge and seize the momentum. We will be supported by the programme Europe for Citizens – and together, we will make our best for Europe to do the same!

I thank all members and partners of ALDA for the fantastic work carried out together this year, and with the majority, for many years now.

I also thank the new members of the Governing Board, elected last May in Paris, and the previous Board; and of course the whole staff of ALDA, captained by our Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, and a happy New Year 2017!

Oriano Otočan
President of ALDA

Dear members, partners, friends,

As the New Year 2017 is approaching, I would like to seize the opportunity to highlight how important it will be for all of us.

This year, 2016 forced all of us Europeans to face the dramatic increase in refugees fleeing their homes in search of a safe haven. Not always has Europe proved to be effective in managing the situation, thus giving a voice to populist, xenophobic, and Euro-sceptical movements.

Brexit referendum last June was a cold shower for many of us. After our initial shock, we welcomed it as a potential trigger to reinvigorate the European project – which is far from being perfect, but stands as the only option to secure peace and wellbeing.

Aware of the historical challenges we are facing, we get ready to the year 2017. We will of course continue our activities promoting citizens’ participation and good local governance in the enlarged Europe, crucial to remind us why the European Union was created, and what it means concretely to be European citizens.

Our citizen journalists will keep roaming around their communities and reporting real-life stories, bringing with them the EU values, and sending us views and perspectives from locals we wouldn’t otherwise hear from; we’ll keep developing projects, such as the newly launched URGENT, putting together towns to tackle the fear of immigration; youth workers of the Balkan regional platform will keep telling young men and women that they can change their societies, and how.

At the same time, the size, operational capacity, and global recognition of our Association have considerably expanded. Not only do the number and diversity of members and projects constantly increase, but also we are invited to present our experience and best practices at events and fora all over the world, from France to Togo via Ukraine.

In 2017, both the network of ALDA and the European Union will need to scale up their abilities of proactivity, communication, and complexity management to a completely new level. I know the people who make ALDA – for this, I am positive we will rise to the challenge and seize the momentum. We will be supported by the programme Europe for Citizens – and together, we will make our best for Europe to do the same!

I thank all members and partners of ALDA for the fantastic work carried out together this year, and with the majority, for many years now.

I also thank the new members of the Governing Board, elected last May in Paris, and the previous Board; and of course the whole staff of ALDA, captained by our Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, and a happy New Year 2017!

Oriano Otočan
President of ALDA


Death of Jean-Claude Frécon, former President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities until October 2016, passed away on 10 December.

Secretary-General of ALDA Antonella Valmorbida conveyed the condolences of ALDA to his family and loved ones. “Not only was he an enthusiastic supporter of local democracy, he was also a good friend” said Mrs Valmorbida.

See the dedicated page on the Congress website

Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities until October 2016, passed away on 10 December.

Secretary-General of ALDA Antonella Valmorbida conveyed the condolences of ALDA to his family and loved ones. “Not only was he an enthusiastic supporter of local democracy, he was also a good friend,” said Mrs Valmorbida.

See the dedicated page on the Congress website


“Active youth for local development”, a new project that took off!

On 12 December 2016 in Sisak Town Hall, the “Active youth for local development” project was officially launched during the partners meeting and followed by a press conference.

***

The purpose of this 12-month project is to strengthen the local communities of Sisak, Lekenik and Martinska Ves, so they can create conditions for active participation and better life quality of the local youth.

Project activities and expected results were presented by Mrs Paula Raužan, Mrs Zrinka Hafizović, Mrs Maja Romarić and Mrs Maja Šikić from the Local Democracy Agency Sisak (project leader), Town of Sisak, Municipality of Lekenik and Municipality of Martinska Ves, respectively. Radio Sisak participates in the project as an associate. The project is funded by the Croatian Ministry for demography, family, youth and social policy.

 

Main activities are dedicated to forming 3 local active youth groups (aged 16-26) that will take part in a free-of-charge, long-term education on community development, particularly required to meet the needs of the young. The learning opportunity will provide knowledge and competencies that are necessary to succeed. At the same time, participants will have to organise various activities that will explain the importance of equal youth inclusion in local development. For example, voluntary actions, public presentations and education opportunities

Essential to say that more than 60 young people will be directly involved in the project activities, which will help them to gain new experiences, knowledge and skills, commonly required on the labour market. Moreover, the employment of three activists is foreseen by the project itself.

Additional information and invitation to participate will be published in February 2017 on the project and partners’ web sites.

Link utili:
“Active youth for local development” sito
LDA Sisak website

On 12 December 2016 in Sisak Town Hall, the “Active youth for local development” project was officially launched during the partners meeting and followed by a press conference.

***

The purpose of this 12-month project is to strengthen the local communities of Sisak, Lekenik and Martinska Ves, so they can create conditions for active participation and better life quality of the local youth.

Project activities and expected results were presented by Mrs Paula Raužan, Mrs Zrinka Hafizović, Mrs Maja Romarić and Mrs Maja Šikić from the Local Democracy Agency Sisak (project leader), Town of Sisak, Municipality of Lekenik and Municipality of Martinska Ves, respectively. Radio Sisak participates in the project as an associate. The project is funded by the Croatian Ministry for demography, family, youth and social policy.

 

Main activities are dedicated to forming 3 local active youth groups (aged 16-26) that will take part in a free-of-charge, long-term education on community development, particularly required to meet the needs of the young. The learning opportunity will provide knowledge and competencies that are necessary to succeed. At the same time, participants will have to organise various activities that will explain the importance of equal youth inclusion in local development. For example, voluntary actions, public presentations and education opportunities

Essential to say that more than 60 young people will be directly involved in the project activities, which will help them to gain new experiences, knowledge and skills, commonly required on the labour market. Moreover, the employment of three activists is foreseen by the project itself.

Additional information and invitation to participate will be published in February 2017 on the project and partners’ web sites.

Link utili:
“Active youth for local development” sito
LDA Sisak website


World Mayor Prize - Congratulations to our member city Gdansk and its Mayor Adamowicz 12/12/2016

ALDA congratulates the mayor Pawel Adamowicz of Gdansk Municipality (PL), for being among the finalists as for the awarding of the prestigious World Mayor Prize.

***

Pawel Adamowicz, 51 years old, has been a city chief since 1998. He was called a mayor who has accepted the challenges posed by migration, but is also convinced of its long-term benefits. Facing pressure of populism, he and his community have made exceptional efforts to welcome refugees and integrate migrants. The prize is awarded every two years by the think tank City of Mayors Foundation.

The City of Gdansk became a member of ALDA in 2016, and is particularly engaged in our activities promoting local democracy in the Eastern Partnership area, especially in Ukraine. Among our key common objectives, the launch of the Local Democracy Agency in Odessa.

For ALDA, the fact of having Mr Adamowicz among finalists is already a great success that we want to celebrate.

ALDA congratulates the mayor Pawel Adamowicz of Gdansk Municipality (PL), for being among the finalists as for the awarding of the prestigious World Mayor Prize.

***

Pawel Adamowicz, 51 years old, has been a city chief since 1998. He was called a mayor who has accepted the challenges posed by migration, but is also convinced of its long-term benefits. Facing pressure of populism, he and his community have made exceptional efforts to welcome refugees and integrate migrants. The prize is awarded every two years by the think tank City of Mayors Foundation.

The City of Gdansk became a member of ALDA in 2016, and is particularly engaged in our activities promoting local democracy in the Eastern Partnership area, especially in Ukraine. Among our key common objectives, the launch of the Local Democracy Agency in Odessa.

For ALDA, the fact of having Mr Adamowicz among finalists is already a great success that we want to celebrate.


Boost conference: Regional Cooperation Youth Office (RYCO)

The Boost conference: Regional Cooperation Youth Office (RYCO) on the Western Balkans, took place from 8 to 9 December 2016, in Tirana, Albania.

***

The 2-days conference brought together key stakeholders from national, regional and European civil society organisations, foundations and private sector concerned about the future development of RYCO.

 

The discussion focused on ways of providing support to the Regional Cooperation Youth Office on the Western Balkans. It was an opportunity for ALDA to share experience and good practices in the field of youth policies in Western Balkans.

RYCO is an international organisation established by regional governments in partnership with the civil society to create the conditions and support activities that promote reconciliation, mobility, diversity, democratic values, participation, active citizenship and intercultural learning, with the spirit of the European integration process of the region in mind.

Usefil links:

Website of RYCO e ROAD TO RYCO

The Boost conference: Regional Cooperation Youth Office (RYCO) on the Western Balkans, took place from 8 to 9 December 2016, in Tirana, Albania.

***

The 2-days conference brought together key stakeholders from national, regional and European civil society organisations, foundations and private sector concerned about the future development of RYCO.

 

The discussion focused on ways of providing support to the Regional Cooperation Youth Office on the Western Balkans. It was an opportunity for ALDA to share experience and good practices in the field of youth policies in Western Balkans.

RYCO is an international organisation established by regional governments in partnership with the civil society to create the conditions and support activities that promote reconciliation, mobility, diversity, democratic values, participation, active citizenship and intercultural learning, with the spirit of the European integration process of the region in mind.

Usefil links:

Website of RYCO e ROAD TO RYCO


Youth for EU - 257 high school students for Europe

Great success for the new project “Youth for EU”, coordinated by the Local Democracy Agency from Brtonigla and dedicated to the youngsters aged from 16 to 26 years.
The first activities of the project, a cycle of the seminars about EU institutions, about the official annexing of Croatia to the EU and about the opportunities that are awaiting us after 1 July , involved 257 students from nine high schools in Croatia.
The initiative, which is taking part in the Regions Istria, Sisak-Moslavina e Osijek-Baranja, is financed by the European union within the IPA Info 2011 programme.
The main activities of the project, officially started in January 2013, are diverse and will be developed on several levels: from workshops and conferences to the active participation of the young people involved. Currently, we have completed the cycle of seminars in the Italian high school of Buje, Pula and Rovinj as well as in several high schools in Osijek, Sisak and Topusko, while are still going on the seminars for the youth associations in the three Regions.
Among all this youngsters, after completing an “EU quiz” about the topics presented during the seminars, will be chosen the 30 participants for the EU camp which will take place in Istria in September. During the camp – which will offer workshops, seminars and debates – the participants will create and realize a TV spot and a radio programme (that will be broadcast by local TV and radio stations of the three Regions involved) in order to inform the citizens about Europe especially in such important period for Croatia. After coming back from the camp the youngsters will organize one conference in every Region. During these meetings there will be collected opinions, issues and desires that will be put into a unique document named “The Voice of Youth”, which will be given to the representatives of regional authorities during a final open event.
ALDA is partner of the project, together with the Local Democracy Agencies from Osijek and Sisak, Zaklada za poticanje partnerstva i razvoja civilnog društva, Croatian Environmental Press Centre, K.R.I.D. youth association from Petrinja, Europe Direct Trieste and Giosef Italy.

Great success for the new project “Youth for EU”, coordinated by the Local Democracy Agency from Brtonigla and dedicated to the youngsters aged from 16 to 26 years.
The first activities of the project, a cycle of the seminars about EU institutions, about the official annexing of Croatia to the EU and about the opportunities that are awaiting us after 1 July , involved 257 students from nine high schools in Croatia.
The initiative, which is taking part in the Regions Istria, Sisak-Moslavina e Osijek-Baranja, is financed by the European union within the IPA Info 2011 programme.
The main activities of the project, officially started in January 2013, are diverse and will be developed on several levels: from workshops and conferences to the active participation of the young people involved. Currently, we have completed the cycle of seminars in the Italian high school of Buje, Pula and Rovinj as well as in several high schools in Osijek, Sisak and Topusko, while are still going on the seminars for the youth associations in the three Regions.
Among all this youngsters, after completing an “EU quiz” about the topics presented during the seminars, will be chosen the 30 participants for the EU camp which will take place in Istria in September. During the camp – which will offer workshops, seminars and debates – the participants will create and realize a TV spot and a radio programme (that will be broadcast by local TV and radio stations of the three Regions involved) in order to inform the citizens about Europe especially in such important period for Croatia. After coming back from the camp the youngsters will organize one conference in every Region. During these meetings there will be collected opinions, issues and desires that will be put into a unique document named “The Voice of Youth”, which will be given to the representatives of regional authorities during a final open event.
ALDA is partner of the project, together with the Local Democracy Agencies from Osijek and Sisak, Zaklada za poticanje partnerstva i razvoja civilnog društva, Croatian Environmental Press Centre, K.R.I.D. youth association from Petrinja, Europe Direct Trieste and Giosef Italy.


Young, pragmatic and committed: the Citizen Journalists of LADDER project rock!

Around 40 citizens and non-professional journalists coming from Europe, the European Neighbourhoods and beyond, are the protagonists of the growing network of Citizen Journalists of LADDER project.

***
The network of Citizen Journalists was set up at the beginning of 2016 with the aim of raising interest, sharing information, telling stories of good practices and denouncing situations of mismanagement to be solved about several topics. All topics are related to DEAR (Development Education & Awareness Raising) and to the implementation of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Articles cover the following macro-categories: poverty & development; climate & energy; tolerance & inclusion; citizens’ participation; engagement of public & private sector; local actions for global impact.

The Citizen Journalists, by writing and sharing their experience and knowledge, will raise awareness about global challenges we are now facing, and will also improve their skills and competences as journalists, measuring up with other realities, and seizing the opportunity to reach a wide audience that gives relevance to their commitment and to the addressed issues.

A selected group of Citizen Journalists, at the end of their experience in the network, will also benefit of a communication and journalism training organised by ALDA, in order to further develop their competence and personally meet with their invaluable companions of adventure.

All co-applicants involved in LADDER project guide and support their representative Citizen Journalists, under ALDA’s coordination.

ALDA is very pleased to share some relevant articles written in these months of activity, providing one article for each macro-category of interest (all articles are written in English):

Always in the framework of LADDER project, other interesting and useful activities are being implemented, such as the job shadowing activity, that provides the exchange among co-applicants of LADDER partnership, with the aim of learning new working practices on the field.

Link utili:

Network & profiles of Citizen Journalists
Contribution by Citizen Journalists
Article on first activities of Job Shadowing
LADDER website

Around 40 citizens and non-professional journalists coming from Europe, the European Neighbourhoods and beyond, are the protagonists of the growing network of Citizen Journalists of LADDER project.

***
The network of Citizen Journalists was set up at the beginning of 2016 with the aim of raising interest, sharing information, telling stories of good practices and denouncing situations of mismanagement to be solved about several topics. All topics are related to DEAR (Development Education & Awareness Raising) and to the implementation of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Articles cover the following macro-categories: poverty & development; climate & energy; tolerance & inclusion; citizens’ participation; engagement of public & private sector; local actions for global impact.

The Citizen Journalists, by writing and sharing their experience and knowledge, will raise awareness about global challenges we are now facing, and will also improve their skills and competences as journalists, measuring up with other realities, and seizing the opportunity to reach a wide audience that gives relevance to their commitment and to the addressed issues.

A selected group of Citizen Journalists, at the end of their experience in the network, will also benefit of a communication and journalism training organised by ALDA, in order to further develop their competence and personally meet with their invaluable companions of adventure.

All co-applicants involved in LADDER project guide and support their representative Citizen Journalists, under ALDA’s coordination.

ALDA is very pleased to share some relevant articles written in these months of activity, providing one article for each macro-category of interest (all articles are written in English):

Always in the framework of LADDER project, other interesting and useful activities are being implemented, such as the job shadowing activity, that provides the exchange among co-applicants of LADDER partnership, with the aim of learning new working practices on the field.

Link utili:

Network & profiles of Citizen Journalists
Contribution by Citizen Journalists
Article on first activities of Job Shadowing
LADDER website