When we talk about participation, the first thing to keep in mind is which are the reasons that make a person be involved in a project or in an activity in a totally altruistic way. There are usually different reasons to considerate. In a first view we could emphasize that the person when it participates is looking for something that in its private life can not be satisfied. When one participates develops a multitude of capacities and values as important as the implication, teamwork, solidarity, assertive communication, the process of autonomy, leadership in many cases, adaptation to new situations, flexibility ... elements, all of which are necessaries in a society that lives in community.
It is not surprising that more and more companies, in their personnel selection processes, value positively that a person has had experiences of real participation in a project, since the benefits that are obtained through these are learnings that serve throughout the life of a person and that it will take them inside and influence their "modus vivendi".
In any case, it is worth mentioning different types of participation, since depending on the implication, we can find ourselves in different situations. This is where, to explain it, we use the stool image putting the youngster in the center, and according to his involvement in the project, will be located in one leg or the other.
So, after analyzing the image, we can see as depending on where the person is located, it can develop three types of functions in a project.
- Spectator / observer: Observer providing support to the proposal or project.
- Actor: He engages in the project actively, but without assuming the role of leadership.
- Leader / director: It is who designs and coordinates the project so that it can pull forward.
We must also mention that participation must take into account the temporality, since it is not the same to make a long lasting participation as can be a volunteer in an entity or organization, to participate in a specific activity of the neighborhood, the people or the city, sporadically, because what is learned in one and the other are totally different, especially if we focus on the values learned and the type of involvement; active or passive.
It is therefore important that young people engage in projects or different experiences in order to form societies rich in culture, leisure, sports, politics, environment ... taking into account that participation is a key element in the development of a person and thus becoming active, dynamic, vital, motivated, reflective, critical, committed and involved young people.
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Servicio de Juventud Consell Comarcal de la Garrotxa