To participate is to have, to integrate, to intervene and get implied in order to get a common goal, towards to which a group of individuals get organized, establishing priorities according to their needs.
However, participation is not meant to be something exclusive to the adult audience. Every citizen know about the importance of the active participation of the youngsters in society.
It is true that the youngsters have different values and habits, different times and ways of communication, different levels and kinds of experience tan the adults, but, we have to highlight the abilities, talent, potential and willingness to learn new things.
In order to make the active participation of the youth posible, we must have the right, the means, the space, the opportunity, and whenerver necessary, the support to participate and even influence the decissions that allow us to be part in the actions and activities focused to créate a better society. It is collected so in the preface of the European Letter of Youth Participation in local and regional life.
Thus, a way of carrying out the Youth Participation woud be throughout the “Associativism” or “Associationism.” To create an association, for instance at the high school, make the youngsters to establish different links and to have a structure from which they can participate or intervene themselves. This is a way of being able to exercise in an active manner their rights as citizens, to be part of the social, economic and cultural life of their environment, that is, their high school.
The youth associationism, as we called it before, promotes the participative culture, provoking the active and responsible implication, and making the participants to achieve a social compromiso towards the goal that they have in common.
Nevertheless, this phenomenon has many other advantages too. First of all, it allows the youngsters to be Heard, estimulating then their ideas. It also allows to develop new abilities and responsibilities, such as those of their own acts and decissions. By means of the associations, the youngsters can make their suggestions or vindications to reach the intended audience and also collaborate in some other different realms.
In general terms, we could say that this phenomenon allows the youngsters to earn more confidence and stimulates their participation in the society. This way, adults learn to recognize the youth’s talent and potential, creating new opportunities of sharing experiences and knowledge.
Written by Ana J. García
Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Villa del Río