Young voices

Young Voices is a  project, financed by European Solidarity Corps which aims to stimulate active citizenship among youth, as well as increasing the trust in youth NGOs. In this project, 4 youngsters will support the activities of the National Youth Forum. The current project includes 2 partner organizations – the National Youth Forum as a host organization and coordinator and Association FOR YOU as a supporting organization.

Project’s objectives

Young voices will include 4 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30 who will join a 12-month voluntary service and will support the activities of the National Youth Forum. The volunteers involved in these activities can support activities related to establishing a good dialogue between youth, youth organisations and decision-makers, as well as to conduct research on local, national, European and world practices and legislation in the field of youth policies.

National Youth Forum is the largest youth platform in Bulgaria, which brings together 50 youth organizations from across the country. Also, NYF is a full member of the European Youth Forum and an active partner of national and European institutions in building and advocating for youth policies. Their mission is to represent the interests of young people in Bulgaria and their needs, highlighting the importance of youth organizations, their development and participation in social and socio-political processes, and to provide effective structured dialogue through cooperation with relevant stakeholders and decision-makers in youth policy.

The short-term goals set for this project are the following: increase the capacity of youth, youth organisations, as well as institutions of a national level to interact for the implementation of youth policies in the country, to attract more young people and youth organisations to participate in the processes decision-making and to stimulate young people to participate in activities of youth organisations with a focus on rural areas. Furthermore, the long-term goals of the project are to stimulate active citizenship among youth, to increase confidence in youth NGOs, to create strong youth organisations, to disseminate European values ​​at a national level, and to overcome stereotypes towards the youth and structures responsible for implementing youth policies.

Volunteer’s Profile

  • Youngsters between 18 and 30 years old from Bulgaria
  • Motivated to participate in the proposed activities
  • Open to working with different people in terms of their social background or ethnicity
  • Interested in work in the field of youth and youth policy
  • They should have completed their education or be at the end of their training cycle
  • They wish to gain more practical experience
  • Suitable for positions are young people whose education and/or interests are in the following areas – youth activities and policies, management, marketing and advertising, informal learning, public relations, media and communication, international relations, political science, public administration, European Studies, project management, organisation of events.

Main activities planned in the project

Two of the main fields of action of the National Youth Forum on which the project is build are Youth empowerment and Advocacy, youth politics and the dissemination of European values. The volunteers will be included in the preparation, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of the results of the main activities of NYF such as trainings, youth initiatives, international seminars on the youth questions, Leadership academies etc. Also, the volunteers will participate in different activities in the field of advocacy and the creation and the implementation of youth policies on national, as well as the implementation of European values on a national level.

The volunteers will occupy positions in the following areas:

  • communication and interaction with youth organizations in the country
  • communication and interaction with institutions and decision-makers in the country
  • dissemination of the activities of the organization
  • creation of partnerships and seeking opportunities for organizing activities in support of the youth
  • researches and analysis the field of youth policies

The specific activities in which volunteers will be involved are:

  • conducting a youth leadership academy
  • conducting monthly meetings in different municipalities in Bulgaria
  • studies on youth issues
  • opinions on laws and strategies in the field of youth
  • initiatives to promote European values
  • participation in working groups by priority
  • presence during board meetings of the organisation
  • meetings with decision-makers at a national and local level
  • organising national and international youth events
  • search for information about youth organisations
  • meetings with youth organisations
  • establishment of a network of regional coordinators
  • meetings between young people and decision-makers
  • promoting the activities of NMF
  • creating partnerships with organisations at a local, national and international level
  • preparation of initiatives and activities to support structural dialogue
  • communication with decision-makers
  • communication with youth organisations
  • communication with partners

Expected results

The biggest effect will certainly be on the volunteers themselves. They will gain new skills in the field of youth policy, European values ​​and the EU, the institutions which responsible for youth policy in the country and in Europe, marketing and advertising, non-formal learning. At the end of the project, volunteers will also have a set of soft skills-communication skills, presentation skills, organisational skills, teamwork skills, initiative and entrepreneurship, social skills. There is also a significant impact on the target groups the volunteers will work with – youths, representatives of youth organisations, representatives of institutions and decision-makers.

Thanks to the project, we expect:

  • to improve the knowledge and skills of young people in the decision-making process in the field of youth and youth policy;
  • to improve the skills of youth organisations to participate in decision-making processes;
  • to improve the skills of municipalities and regional administrations to involve youth organizations in youth policy decision-making
  • to build a network of 6 regional youth coordinators in the country (Northwest, North Central, Northwest, Southwest, Southwest, Southeast).
  • to raise awareness among the youth about the active youth organizations in their regions
  • to increase the number of young people involved in the activities of youth organisations in different regions
  • to increase the number of active young people with a focus on rural areas
  • to gather up-to-date information on the implementation of youth policies in different regions of the country.
  • to increase the number of young people involved in drafting opinions and documents on youth issues
  • to increase the number of organisations involved in the decision-making

In the long run, we expect:

  •  to encourage more young people to become active citizens
  • to raise the interest of youth in youth policies in Bulgaria
  • to improve the youth’s knowledge of national and European youth legislation, programs and institutions
  • to improve mechanisms for structured dialogue between young people and decision-makers in the country
  • to support the implementation of European values ​​at a national level;
  • to overcome the stereotypes of young people towards the institutions and vice versa
  • to promote youth organisations as advocates for youth rights and policies

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.