Is citizenship education the way to support Young People to be heard?

With their being a new demand for the ‘youth voice sector’ to find new ways of working following funding cuts and demands for more. (The challenges will be discussed in the report which will be produced.) I decided to meet with organisations which do things using an education direction. The organisation which this post is about is a small (in terms of staff numbers) but with a large history of engagement and has some really interesting great shared learning is the Forum for Young Candians

So what is the Forum for Young Canadian? Their website ‘sells’ the programme as:

A week that will change your life!

Would you like to contribute to the future of your community and your country? Are you interested in decision-making and politics? Forum for Young Canadians offers a fun and exciting opportunity to meet other engaged students. Take part in an incredible week behind the scenes of the world of federal politics on Parliament Hill. For nine months, Forum will support you in your effort to make a difference. You will learn to communicate, collaborate and transform your ideas into meaningful community action. Find below some of the exciting activities that take place during the sessions. On top of all these meetings and discussions, you’ll also have the opportunity to get to know your fellow participants through social events. Does this sound like something for you? 

While this programme is not a direct youth engagement method as some would imagine, during my time with them I learnt about the great way that the programme builds the skills and the networks needed for young people to be leaders and go back to their community to develop and build change. During the discussion it was great to learn how they use partnerships and networks to be able to support the programme, especially was of interest was the importance of an alumni network. Something which I thought was an interesting practice which would be really interesting if it could be replicated in the United Kingdom is the fact that there is a partnership with the government the civil servant can use the alarm time by volunteering to help with this program to as continuous personal development time which means that there are stronger connections to government to begin with (which has alloŵed their participants to get involved in government consultations) but also that there is the reduced staff cost to th to the organisation. 

Also there was some great discussions about organisations needing to partner with other organisations in order to make sure that they are sustainable for the future and can continue to provide a range of opportunities. I also have to say they give the best freebies! Thank you again for meeting with me during my fellowship!! 🇨🇦🇨🇦 Make sure you check them out! 

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