FROM PASSIVE TO ACTIVE
Among the most important functions of a Youth Information Centre it is to distribute the information among the youngsters of their area of activity. To inform, invigorate and develop the participation are some of the most prominent activities of the Youth Information Services network in Spain.
This information has multiple ways of be widespread. Since the classic notice board, with thousands of leaflets, pamphlets and several posters with lots of information, to the modern lists of online distribution, and of course, the social networks use as Facebook to disseminate the information to your "friends" or people who usually follow us.
Typically this type of forms of youth information is passive and they wait that youngster's curiosity serves as motor to the self information; but we have to reconsider the effectiveness of these informative models, are they really valid today? Do young people really look at the notice boards? In a survey conducted to youngsters between 14 and 18 years from Puente Genil, 78% say not to look out the traditional notice boards, and 85% look on social networks only what they really interest, that usually is not the same as information centre posts.
On the other hand, we find other forms of youth information, more active, and in the majority of cases they improve the communication Information Centers - Youngsters: the sessions of personalized information. Either through direct information from the youth worker with the youngster or through different specific counsels from various issues of youth interest. Probably, a great youth correspondent could be the best form of information…but, is it really a sustainable form? Could a youth worker pay attention to all the demands of young people in its area of influence?
After several years checking different forms of youth information, we opt for an information system where the main importance is given to young people themselves: the youth correspondents groups. This form not only gives us great results in terms of information, but also helps to reactivate participatory and activation processes of young people on concrete areas.
The Youth Correspondent is that young person that voluntarily and responsibly dedicates part of his/her free time to inform other youngsters in educative centers, Neighborhood Associations, Youth Associations, Casas de Juventud, Work Centers, entertainment venue, etc., in collaboration with a Center of Youth Information. One of the Correspondent main characteristic is that he/she spread information from young to young and collect information demands of their partners to move them to the corresponding Youth Information Services.
What features define the Youth Correspondent? In the case of Andalusia, the defining features of the youth correspondent are the following: volunteer, correspondent, revitalizing, participatory, entertainer, responsible, outgoing, with organizational capacity.
In the particular case of the Center of Youth Correspondent of Puente Genil, the youth correspondents group is basic in the process of information and youth participation. Young volunteers meet with youth workers and demand information, move it and bring different proposals that they have collected from their own youngsters. In this way start the process of participation and approach to the administration, being key figures of its process of personal growth.
In the center of Youth Information of Puente Genil take part more than 100 youth active correspondents, mainly between 15 and 25 years that give a totally participatory character to the actions taken. They rely on their own program of activities and they have just developed a Project P2P of information for the participation which is being financed by the Andalusian Institute of Youth.
To conclude, the youth correspondents groups are key elements in the process of participation and communication, and they are fundamental shafts to develop right youth politics.
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Puente Genil