Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia (#FYCA), the largest youth organization in Armenia, together with its Armenian and European partners, implemented the training course #VOTE from April 29 to May 5 in Malta. The training was organized within the framework of
«Raising the capacities of youth NGOs for rural youth participation in democratic life – VOTE! », the two-year capacity building program, with co-financing of Erasmus Plus, the EU.
The purpose of the training was to deliver knowledge to young people about political/social participation, democracy, and citizenship, to highlight the peculiarities of organizing communication and information campaigns.
"The topic is very essential both in Armenia and in other European countries. This year is special, as many local and national elections are scheduled in a number of European countries. European Parliament elections will be held in May as well. The Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia, as the largest youth organization in Armenia, attaches the highest priority to the participation of young people in these processes and pays exceptional attention to experience exchange and cooperation, " mentioned Atom Mkhitaryan, the President of the Organization.
A variety of local programs will follow the training aimed at promoting young people's involvement, the results of activities will be summarized during the international workshop in Bulgaria, and will include a number of job shadowing.
The Honeymoon of Democracy:
Building a democratic state is a long and difficult process that requires tremendous efforts by the government and the entire society. Modern youth is entrusted with the participation of all democratic reforms. The advantage of the younger generation is the emerging world outlook that contributes to the creation of a democratic state.
Priority of each state is to ensure the vital interests of the youth, the acquisition of modern education, professional skills, finding a special place in the labor market, creating conditions for the disclosure of their capacities. For young people, it is necessary to create legal, social and economic conditions, to raise professional and intellectual and moral-psychological potential.
Elections and youth participation:
Global social, political reshuffles force to revise the attitudes towards the younger generation, because new socio-economic needs require a new public consciousness. And one of the cornerstones of that consciousness is to motivate and prepare young people to participate in the electoral processes. Young voter is a mirror of country's future.
And strangely, there are stereotypes about this important electorate; the youth are passive, not interested in anything, and if they are interested in something, politics and elections are in the last circles, they are alienated from the state power system at all levels. And here comes the science terminology; legal nihilism, negative social adaptation and so on. All this, in turn, is fixed by experts' statistical data.
The youth, with all its inexperience and negative social adaptation, feels the fake extremely. When they see, their confidence is being gained by bribing, it reflects with a widespread mistrust and denial. Every conscious individual is interested in how and where he will live in the next five years, what profession and under what circumstances he will work, where his children will live and learn. One should only correctly explain the link between their future and the forthcoming choice/election, rather than the slogans in the abstract language, but with reasonable arguments, examples from life.
But the target group of young voters, who needs an individual approach, is the participants who vote for the first time in their life. And to raise their awareness one can organize "I vote for the first time" or "I can choose the fate of my country for the first time" events, organize discussions, make rehearsals of elections, with electoral processes, vote counting, observers, etc.
Global Network can become a platform or tool for dialogue with the youth. In some countries, participation in the elections is a patriotic or civil duty. For example, in Greece, Luxembourg and Belgium, electoral participation is a constitutional obligation and avoiding it is subject to liability; and no one is questioning the democratic order of these European states.
In Cyprus, for example, citizens are obliged to register themselves on polling stations, thus implementing their own right to vote. And citizens in Greece who still have no right to participate in the elections can work in youth wings of political parties. One thing is clear. Young people's resources and power should be used, otherwise it’ll be extremely harmful to the country.