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Youth ambassadors are part of a nationwide project set up to give young people a voice in agreements made in and about the community. Should a new playground be approved to be built on that empty lot or should the grass be left for kids to play football? Shouldn’t you have a say?
Youth ambassadors act as a fixed point of contact for other kids in the community, and pass on what they’ve heard from their peers to the municipal administrators. Ambassadors get in touch with other kids through a website or by visiting different schools, for example. As a youth ambassador, your job is to be the liaison between municipal officials and other young people living in your area.
So what kind of person is right for this job? To be an ambassador, you have to feel committed to your community. You also have to be young, aged between 16 and 24. You’ve got to have a genuine interest in themes affecting your generation and feel it’s important that their voice reaches the municipal authorities. Also, you can’t be afraid to raise your voice: youth ambassadors are there to advise the municipality, whether that advice has been solicited or not.
More and more municipalities are joining the youth ambassador project. If yours is not involved yet, don’t despair. Send your city or town council an email to ask if there are special themes on which you can represent your generation. Who knows, there may be any number of prospective projects, or your tip might be the spark that gets them thinking about launching a youth ambassadorship!
Want to see real youth ambassadors in action in different Dutch cities (websites in Dutch)?