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🚀Empowering Participation: Youth Exchange in Guadeloupe

Updated: Jun 20

On 23-31 May, Guadeloupe hosted a transformative youth exchange "Youth UP! Youth Ultimate Participation." This event brought together 24 young people from Armenia, Guadeloupe, France, and Slovakia, aiming to cultivate a deeper sense of democratic, social, and cultural engagement among the participants. The program emphasized young people's important role in shaping their communities beyond traditional political involvement or just voting.

Guadeloupe's natural beauty provided an ideal backdrop for participants to refresh their minds and open up to learning more about today’s youth challenges and how everyone can contribute. The program's approach to non-formal education was fundamental to its success. Participants engaged in team-building activities, discussions, and collaborative projects, fostering a deeper understanding of each other's cultures and perspectives. This learning process strengthened their ideas and transformed them into more educated and empowered individuals. The youth learned how to make music, create videos, and understand storytelling, equipping them with valuable skills to convey their messages effectively.

Diana Yeghiazaryan, the project’s author and co-organiser, states: “For me, as a youth worker, it was important to initiate and implement projects also in the overseas territories of Europe. As the Erasmus+ project has in its values, we want to promote inclusion even beyond and more by trying to reach out to youth in geographically remote areas also”.

One of the program's main goals was to empower young people to take active roles in their communities. Participants prepared to lead a "Youth Participation Week" social media campaign in September, using various media formats such as TikToks, memes, interviews, music, and articles to spread the concepts of active citizenship and community involvement. This initiative aims to increase participants' willingness to engage in decision-making processes and community actions, fostering a more democratic and involved youth population.

The project’s co-organiser and co-facilitator Gregoire Dorville says: “The richest part was the interpersonal relationships participants created within their national and international groups. The Youth UP project has enabled me to progress professionally, as I have learned valuable lessons that will serve me well in the future. I think the project was a great success”.

It is also important to note that the project took place just days before the European Parliament elections, which was very strategic in terms of encouraging young people to take action and responsibility when voting for their futures.

“This project has been transformative for me, increasing my awareness on several fronts. I have gained a deeper understanding of the European elections and my role as a citizen. Before this experience, I was not fully aware of my responsibilities and the impact I could have on my community. This project has significantly heightened my sense of civic duty, and I now feel more equipped to help others become active and responsible citizens as well,” says Warner Jean-Charles, one of the participants from Guadeloupe.

"Youth UP" serves as a powerful reminder that young people are THE PRESENT. Equipping them with the tools and confidence to participate actively will build more vibrant, inclusive, and democratic communities worldwide.


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