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YES! GAM-EU : Youth Engagement Strategies and Gamification in the EU - Call for participants

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Venue: Portimao, Portugal
Start: 10/03/2019
End: 16/03/2019
Deadline: 17/02/2019 23:59 (CET)
Description of event: With approaching European Parliamentary Elections in 2019, we believe that we should foster a new approach towards the EU as a vehicle for positive change and we should engage European citizens to question themselves about the kind of Europe they want in the near future. In order to do so, young people should be the key actors and the first ones to be addressed, as they can be leaders and multipliers in identifying and fostering concrete innovative ways towards a more democratic, equal and inclusive Union.

In this sense, youth civic engagement emerged as one of the subjects that young people ask the EU to prioritize (Eurobarometer survey 2016). According to their views and ideas, as collected through the “Future of Europe” study, one of the main reasons for the lack of engagement is the inherent lack of knowledge about the EU and EU politics and opportunities.

Young people themselves, suggest for example to recognise the key role of youth organisations to train up young people and youth workers to provide workshops on EU topics and institutions and to promote more opportunities to meet, engage and exchange both with EU officials and with other young people across Europe, as only through experience and practice it is possible to “truly understand what the whole concept is about”.

Young people who took part in the New Narrative for Europe debate, also highlight the usefulness of media-based solutions (as apps, virtual reality educational tools and other online tools) to deliver information about the EU that can be relevant, personalized and youth-friendly.

Aware of these findings and strong with the inputs of the many youth organisations we work with on a daily basis within our network and beyond, we believe it is fundamental to contribute to young people knowledge and understanding of the EU and its institutions and to provide opportunities for young people to become proactive and informed European citizens. For this reason, we want to build together a road-map that will allow youth not only to understand how the EU works and what it has been contributing to their lives so far but also to reflect on how they can actively contribute to a better future for the Union.

With approaching European Parliamentary Elections in 2019, we believe that we should foster a new approach towards the EU as a vehicle for positive change and we should engage European citizens to question themselves about the kind of Europe they want in the near future. In order to do so, young people should be the key actors and the first ones to be addressed, as they can be leaders and multipliers in identifying and fostering concrete innovative ways towards a more democratic, equal and inclusive Union.

In this sense, youth civic engagement emerged as one of the subjects that young people ask the EU to prioritize (Eurobarometer survey 2016). According to their views and ideas, as collected through the “Future of Europe” study, one of the main reasons for the lack of engagement is the inherent lack of knowledge about the EU and EU politics and opportunities.

Young people themselves, suggest for example to recognise the key role of youth organisations to train up young people and youth workers to provide workshops on EU topics and institutions and to promote more opportunities to meet, engage and exchange both with EU officials and with other young people across Europe, as only through experience and practice it is possible to “truly understand what the whole concept is about”.

Young people who took part in the New Narrative for Europe debate, also highlight the usefulness of media-based solutions (as apps, virtual reality educational tools and other online tools) to deliver information about the EU that can be relevant, personalized and youth-friendly.

Aware of these findings and strong with the inputs of the many youth organisations we work with on a daily basis within our network and beyond, we believe it is fundamental to contribute to young people knowledge and understanding of the EU and its institutions and to provide opportunities for young people to become proactive and informed European citizens. For this reason, we want to build together a road-map that will allow youth not only to understand how the EU works and what it has been contributing to their lives so far but also to reflect on how they can actively contribute to a better future for the Union.

The project YES! GAM-EU wants to:
• Make information and news about the EU available through innovative media channels in multiple languages, by engaging young people through an online simulation gaming platform and app and by creating virtual reality educational tools
• Provide educational workshops and events for young people and youth workers to know about EU policies and priorities in the field of youth and to become multipliers of EU values among their peers at the local, regional, national and European level
• Provide large-scale creative, experiential and immersive learning experiences for young people to allow them to meet and exchange and at the same time to engage with policy issues and to find and develop solutions for the future of Europe
• Organise events (road-map) to bring the EU to different rural and remote areas as well as in urban disadvantaged neighbourhoods and contexts, specifically focusing on 2019 parliamentary elections

Expected results of the overall project are:

- To facilitate the access to information and data about the EU and its institutions for all young people through innovative media channels and through interactive online gaming platform, apps and virtual reality educational tools that can proactively engage them and foster European values and citizenship
- To increase young people understanding of the EU and its institutions, enhancing their role as active contributors to EU policies and the future of Europe in general
- To engage more young people in the 2019 Parliamentary Elections, reaching out to disadvantaged and marginalised ones and increasing their involvement in EU matters by also providing opportunities to engage and dialogue with decision makers
- To bring together young people from all over Europe to interact and discuss the issues and topics they care about and to make their voices heard at the European level, in order to fully become actors and multipliers of new needs-based EU policies in the field of youth (and beyond)
We believe that the results and outcomes we envisage are fully in line with the needs identified, as they provide a clear answer to many of the challenges and issues that are more relevant to young people in Europe.

The project will contribute to bring the EU closer to young people, to translate European values and processes into youth friendly language and tools that will be accessible and available to a diverse range of young people. The use of gamification as a methodology will help to reach out to young people virtually and to eventually engage them in the real world by providing not only information, data and learning opportunities but above all chances to discuss with their peers and to directly address decision makers.
Selection criteria: What we are looking for:

The youth worker should be aged between 18 and 30 years old, preferably, but not necessarily.
The youth worker should be involved in the youth sector.
The youth worker should be active and engaged civically.
The youth worker should be available for the activities mentioned above.
Number of participants: 50
Additional infos: Activity 1 (Portimao/Portugal) – Let’s start playing! Setting the common ground March 10-16th 2019
Youth workers will take part in a training course in Portugal taking place in March 2019. During this training course, the youth workers will gain experience, knowledge and the needed training in order to use the beta version of the application/platform.

Activity 2 – Beyond Games: Road Map to 2019 EP Elections
Following the training, the trained youth workers will be delivering and facilitating gamification activities at the local level and support young people to use the beta version of the application/platform.

Activity 3 (Brussels/Belgium) - First youth exchange April 27th-May 4th 2019
After the 2019 European Parliamentary elections, the participants of the roadmap events will be part of the Youth Exchange that will be held in Brussels and get the opportunity to meet with MEPs (Members of the European Parliament).

Activity 4 - Training of local facilitators
The participants of the first Youth Exchange held in Brussels will be later on part of the training of local facilitators which will then create educational events at a local level peer to peer.

Activity 5 – Playing (G)Local
The local facilitators will take part in the educational events held at a local level with the support of the initial 50 youth workers.
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