NOW Youth Focus
Young people are those most affected by decisions on how we live together. Integrating their knowledge, insights, and concerns is vital to shaping the future!
Involving youth is a cornerstone of our work. We acknowledge young people’s unique views, concerns and knowledge. By providing skill training and empowerment workshops designed for and with young people and connecting youth and decision-makers, we also make sure young people are equipped to participate and take over active roles in their home towns.
We work with young people as:
Beneficiaries of our activities
Partners in our activities
Leaders in our activities
Young change agents
We support the growth of an international community of young people from all walks of life, united in their aim to shape a better living together in their home towns. In this community young people inspire and support each other in their activities to promote sustainable, inclusive and harmonious living together on the local level.
Social cohesion on the local level is concerning young people – in the present just like in the future. With our Youth empowerment Programme we provide young people with the relevant skills, knowledge and attitudes.
We are aware that young people have their very distinct perspectives, experiences and expertise and that often these are not sufficiently included in decision-making processes. We aim to bridge this gap by empowering young people and making their voices heard.
With our connecting activities we link young people with our network of mayors and experts from communities, innovative NGOs, researchers and social entrepreneurs from the Middle East to Northern Europe. We support young people in developing competences required for meaningful participation and action. We promote the exercise of active citizenship of young people by showing modes of participation and giving young people the platform to speak up.
Our Youth Activities
Youth Focus Group Discussions
Act.Now initiates, conducts and coordinates Focus Group Discussions with young people. As all our activities are created in a participatory process, we include young peoples’ ideas in our project and event design and prioritise content, topics and issues relevant for young people.
To identify the most pressing issues and challenges young people face in their communities we provide them with space and time to discuss openly, exchange and reflect. Insights gained through the Focus Group Discussion are included in the content design of our activities with decision-makers. Therefore, offers the unique opportunity for participants to converse with each other while having an impact on topics discussed amongst decision-makers.
The Focus Group Discussions follow the purpose of getting insights on:
- Issues and needs that young people identify in their local communities
- Young Peoples’ Perception of the grade of social cohesion
- Most relevant aspects of communal action/ local activities
- Experiences from young people with local youth participation
To ensure we take in insights from young people from all walks of life, we include participants people from all diverse social and cultural backgrounds, different educational experiences as well as urban and rural areas.
Over the past two years we have initiated 20 Focus Group Discussions in 11 countries talking to 169 young people. Together with our network of partner organisations we have managed to coordinate Focus Group Discussions in the following countries: Austria, Italy, Kosovo, Lebanon, Turkey, Cyprus, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Serbia and Greece.
Focus Group Discussions are recorded in writing, audio and/or video to ensure interaction of the participants is noted. The information gained through the Focus Group Discussion is systematically examined with qualitative content analysis. The data is collected anonymously, which makes it impossible to trace back statements and relate it to participants.
Youth Empowerment Activities
With our training activities we support young people in developing their competences in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes. During our activities we convey knowledge on social cohesion on the local level, its factors and promotion measures. Participants learn about promising practises on social cohesion promotion in local contexts and about their rights and opportunities for participation.
Through these activities we connect young people from a variety of international, social, cultural and educational backgrounds. We support the establishment of an international community of active local change makers.
Activities include interactive learning sessions, group-exercises, ice-breakers and collaboration games. Content is complemented with sessions on life skills and communication skills conducted with experienced trainers from our network. Designed to ensure quality of our activities we connect participants and give them the opportunity to reflect on the learning outcomes of the empowerment activities.
#stayhome – Young people have a message for you
The Youth Participants from our conferences have formed a huge network and decided to also respond to the current crisis. In solidarity with each other and united in their wish to slow the spread of the virus, they share important advice from their homes in various countries.