RETHINKING YOUTH PARTICIPATION: LA MESA LOCAL FROM PUENTE GENIL, CÓRDOBA
Usually, the lack of participation from young people it’s a big problem in towns. Apathy, incredulity and lack of time has contribuited to a bad communication between the public administration and the young people. This is more evident in big cities.
In the last 30 years we have found in spain many interesting processes of youth participation, which have been developed by local, provincial and autonomous government boards across the country. This is the most common model.
But most of the time boards meanly local ones, just allow the youth participation from their partners. The participation process is slow and very bureaucratic and in some cases are totally politicized, this causes vanishing of some of them in our country.
Other forms of participations are the assembly decisions. This is a free system in which young people freely decide how they want to participate getting innovative conclusions.
When we talk about a process of participation we’re referring to a global bet, where young people, politicians and technicians follow the same objectives. We believe that this is the only way for developing participations. Young people empowering their reality, the city councilor as supporters and decisions transmitters , and the youth technician as intermediary and executor from both sectors.
In this alliance we activate, supply and use the social media to accelerate the process of participation.
In Puente Genil we have an example of this work system with the Mesa Local de la Juventud. In 2007 has been designed a process of participation to make a change at the social profile of the youth in Puente Genil. Young people decide all the subjects related with youth in the town. Nor the local government neither the youth technician decides which activities should be developed. This is a basic process for taking by the civil society.
The exit of this process is the way of participation. Young people according to their reality create a way of participation. The youth technician is only a way of communication.
The MESA LOCAL DE LA JUVENTUD is a consulting body and its decisions are binding to the Youth Center.
Is a non legal entity, dynamic, and where any youngster has voice and vote no matter how often they participates. They decide schedules, places and agenda. During theses meetings the youth technician and the councilor attend as witnesses . The only obligation to participate is to be young.
By the moment the Mesa Local has celebrated 92 meetings with a media of 35 youngsters where they have decided important decisions as Youth Programs from 2008 to 2016 as well as the Youth Creation Space “ La Lonja” , on the other hand employment projects from Puente Genil.
Summarising the innovative character comes from the idea and from the process leaded and decided by the young people and also how they associate.
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Puente Genil