Often, older people call the youth passive. Youngsters are blamed for broken lanterns in the park and lack of sufficient turnout during elections. The Bilyayivska AH has found at least eight effective solutions for how to involve young people in hromada management and channel their potential, energy for useful activities.
In a survey conducted by journalists of the Visti Bilyayivka newspaper, young people related their future solely to moving to big cities.
Everything has changed dramatically since AH formation. In 2018, Bilyayivka became a candidate city for the status of UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) "Child & Youth Friendly Communities".
Natalia Borodchuk, UNICEF Social Policy Project Manager for Ukraine, signing a Memorandum with the first southern Ukraine’s city – Bilyayivska AH
The city has ready-made cases for how to involve young people and children in management and decision making.
This metal tree stood in the park for three weeks. No one damaged it
In addition, statistics shows positive benefits for the hromada. These are activities initiated exclusively by children and young people.
No city celebration takes place without the voluntary involvement of children. There are about 6000 children and young people in the hromada. 1000 of them in various formats became organisers of useful and necessary AH events (cultural, sports, environmental, charitable).
Youth Council created: Why do students return home for the weekend?
This is an advisory body of the Bilyayivska City Council.
The youth proposed the events they wanted to see, organised them themselves: they were performing artists, screenwriters, directors. The city council provided the sound, the stage, and presents for the participants.
The first festival that children held for their hromada peers
Young people said they had no place to show their talents. Thus the first youth creativity festival "Children's Quarter" was born.
Such cooperation was based on the principle: the children showed their abilities and the City Council supported them with funds and organisational work.
Last year, the Youth Council was recognised by the hromada as the winner in the "Active Public Activity" nomination of the "Viva, Bilyayivka" competition
Now the city has already elected the second composition of the youth council.
School parliament: why it is important to involve children in school reforming?
In total, 36 pupils from 6-9 grades entered the first parliament. Anyone could submit an application.
Presentation of the School Parliament, Bilyayivka, 2019
Unlike the Youth Council, which can include people between 15 and 35 years of age, it is a structure only for schoolchildren.
Youth Ideas Fairs: How much does comfort cost?
This is one of the elements of the Public Budget programme. Not only have the city's young people come up with an idea, but also calculate its cost, offer their participation in its implementation.
The city's youth and children talk about a skate park project they have prepared for the Hromada Ideas Fair
In order to receive funding, young people have to present their ideas, defend them, find like-minded people to support them, or even give up the idea if it still needs improvement.
By the way, the Youth Residence was opened during summer – it is a space with alcoves, wi-fi area and mini-kitchen
Discussion Clubs: Learning to substantiate your stance
Bilyaivka organises discussion club meetings on neutral topics: i.e. should fathers be involved in raising children?; what is the secret to success?, etc.
This is how discussion club invites people
The success of such discussions depends on the right speakers and a relaxed atmosphere.
Participants of one of the hromada discussion clubs
Youth Self-Government Day: an opportunity for teenagers to be a mayor
In 2018 Bilyayivka for the first time held the Youth Self-Government Day.
The idea so much appealed to the AH youth that many wrote: it’s a pity that I no longer fit the age requirements. The competition had age restrictions of up to 25 years.
Deputy Mayor Mykola Chornyi and Danylo Holovchuk, his young colleague for a day, in the framework of the Youth Self-Government Day
Two mayors – the current and youth ones
Scholarship for gifted students: it's not a bribe
It is not enough to study well to receive such a scholarship. There is something to be done within the hromada.
Ivan Berlinskyi is a future doctor. In summer, on his own initiative, he participated in the work of the station of the Bilyayivka Emergency Medical Service on a volunteer basis. In addition, he participated in many city concerts
The fellows of the programme conducted eco-education courses for kindergartens, financial literacy courses, organised quests and creative workshops.
Yulia Kaplanian returned after a great training to work in the city as an elementary school teacher
Party of My Dreams game: vaccination against populism
For the second year in a row, hromada schools participate in My Dream Party simulation game. This is, to a certain extent, a vaccination against populism, according to Diana Serdyuk, teacher of school No 2 and game coordinator in Bilyayivka.
“This is not a politicisation of the school, but education of active, engaged citizens,” says Tetiana Malevska, head of the Department of Family and Youth. “Our goal is to form youth ability to consciously and responsibly make their choices.”
A game where everything was real
An important condition for a quality youth policy is gender balance
The youth council of the first convocation was headed by a boy. Now it is headed by a girl. One of the most active participants is Oleksandr Yarovenko, who overcame a serious illness. At first charity concerts, the youth raised funds for his treatment. When the boy returned to active life, he began to initiate many campaigns, public projects. In 2018, he received an award of UAH 7.000 from the Odesa Oblast Council for the development of the hromada youth movement, and donated half of the sum to help other children with oncology.
In the past year, 23 delegations from Ukraine and 1 from Belarus came to Biyayivka to take over the hromada reform experience.
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