European Youth Week celebrated its finale – we know the most successful student projects of the “Democracy and Me” workshops!
Prague, May 20, 2019 – Young people from all over the Czech Republic presented their suggestions on how to solve the urgent problems in their neighborhood at the final conference in Prague. They have thus determined what topics they want to communicate with the rest of society. What topics should society address? Almost 60 youths discussed this.
Student projects covered a wide range of topics – from the collection of used food oil to waste sorting, cultural and sports life in cities, to improve the conditions for education. Individual presentations and projects were then evaluated by a panel of judges: Libor Rouček (former Vice-President of the European Parliament), Ludmila Johnová (European Affairs Information Department of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic), Zuzana Wildová (the Czech Council of Children and Youth) and Johana Hošková and Ludmila Vávrová (both for the Centre for International Cooperation in Education). Based on the jury’s evaluation, the six best projects were selected and the authors received prizes. From the sixth to the fourth place were placed projects: the Recycling Centre (České Budějovice), Market City Parking (Ostrava), Czech Without Borders (České Budějovice). The third place went to the civic education project in Litvínov and the second to the project Awareness of national minorities about life in the Rychnov region. The winners were Natálie and Eliška Šťastné with the project Collection of used oil in Krnov. The Audience Award went to the team around the project Czech without Borders.
Presenting the possibilities of civic participation that lead to solving the problems young people perceive around them and the subsequent consultation of programs that provide funding for these projects, was the purpose of the “Democracy and Me” workshops that took place throughout the European Youth Week throughout the Czech Republic. The final conference brought together 12 selected teams.
The participants of the conference were welcomed and their activities were appreciated by the director of the Youth Department Michal Urban (Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports). Their possibilities and the importance of feedback were appreciated by the head of the section of the school, vocational education and youth Lenka Henebergová (House of Foreign Cooperation) and the morning block also included a reminder of active participation in the elections by Jan Patek and Kateřina Blažková from the European Parliament office in the Czech Republic. This was followed by the main part of the program, namely the presentation of 12 selected student projects.
The aim of the conference was not only to present student’s projects but also provide practical tips and instructions on how to remain an active citizen. This is one of the reasons why the program “Be active, it makes sense” was included in the program. Here, a life story was presented by former MEP Libor Rouček. The benefits of our EU membership were highlighted by Ludmila Johnová (the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic), Zuzana Wildová (the Czech Council of Children and Youth) presented Youth Dialogue, its goals and opportunities for young people to participate in it, and Mikuláš Misterka (Czech High School Union) focused on the importance of student self-governance. The conclusion of the conference was an opportunity for participants to learn about other possibilities of civic participation.
The workshops and the final conference are being prepared by the the Centre for International Cooperation in Education (DZS), a semi-budgetary organisation, established by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Czech Republic, in cooperation with EUTIS, o.p.s.