From 13th to 20th of January 2015, 3 participants from TDM2000 Polska were participating on the Training course “Non formal education – the road to Active Citizenship” which was a project organised by our Maltese partner Fingerprints in Marsaxlokk, Malta.
The Training Course, organised with the support of the Erasmus+ programme, was designed for youth workers who work in NGO’s, youth organizations and informal groups of young people, interested in developing effective communication means to increase the level of active participation of young people from different countries. The aim of the project was to highlight the importance of non-formal education as the key to become active citizens.
One of our participants, Piotr Łuczyński, shared his impression from the training course.
Active citizenship is for many of us empty slogan and the idea that its not reflected in reality. It is a very old concept, already used by Aristotle and then re-used by John Locke, Thomas Hobbes and Jacques Rousseau. The main idea of active citizenship is to act independent from state institutions, and to be aware of a common goals.
The main issue in the pursuit of active citizenship is awareness that we live in a community, awareness of the problems, needs and willingness to act. Of course, the action may have different dimensions here, but in my opinion, the highest level is to take our own initiatives, without the impetus from external institutions.
Why am I writing about? Because that’s the issue of active citizenship was devoted to the training of young people from Erasmus + project in Malta, where I had the opportunity to participate. In the project we had participants from Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta, Romania, Turkey and the UK.
The main topic of the meeting was the impact of non-formal education to the pursuit of social commitment. During the training, we had to prepare movies, do interviews with the local people, have discussions and participate in special workshops.
The term active citizenship is often blurred. I noticed that for the post-communist countries, it has a completely different meaning. Engaging in pro-social projects in Western countries is far higher. More people there are involved in NGOs. In Poland, social activity is still evocative of the „social act” , which was, actually obligatory for everyone, is a pity because now we lose a lot of opportunities because of this.
One of the most interesting examples discussed during the training was ”ladder of youth participation”
It shows the degrees of involvement of young people in society. I don’t want to estimate what kind of participation is better, this ladder shows only the difference between independent initiatives and those controlled by adults.
I hope and Pruszkow (my city) will engage young people more. I must admit that this is one of our main goals this year for our team.
– Piotr Łuczyński