‘Democritical’ – A Study Session on Rural Youth’s Democratic Participation

5 March 2019

‘Democritical’ – A Study Session on Rural Youth’s Democratic Participation

YFCU Programmes Co-ordinator, Lisa Black, and Spa YFC Member, Sarah Dorman with the delegation of participants in the 2019 Rural Youth Europe Study Session

Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) Programmes Co-ordinator, Lisa Black, and Spa YFC Member, Sarah Dorman, recently travelled to Budapest to take part in the 2019 Rural Youth Europe Study Session which took place from 24 February - 3 March.

Organised by Rural Youth Europe and the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA), in collaboration with the European Youth Centre in Budapest, the aim of the study session was to gain an understanding of the complications that rural youth are faced with in democratic processes, and find innovative and engaging ways of empowering youth to participate in these processes. Over 40 young people from across Europe took part.

The study session was facilitated using informal educational techniques, where participants actively shared and discussed their views and experiences of democratic processes, while focusing on the youth involvement in the democratic processes, barriers that hinder youth’s participation, and the possibility of taking action.

A series of guest speakers were also present to share their expertise, including Andrea Boccuni, Head of Partnership and Education from The Good Lobby (TGL), who spoke about the opportunities for citizens in advocacy and lobbying. TGL is a civic start-up operating across Europe and beyond committed to giving a voice to underrepresented public interests and bringing more citizens into the public policy process.

The participants also heard from Kristen Aigro, an inspirational speaker on youth participation in democracy and education and former board member of the European Youth Forum who spoke about taking action in the civil society.

Participants had the opportunity to speak to students at universities throughout Budapest on their opinions and ideas. There was also some down time to go sight-seeing and sample the Hungarian cuisine.

The study session provided an excellent learning opportunity with ideas on promoting a positive image of young farmers and empowering young people being brought back to implement in YFCU.