As we mark the first anniversary of the Youth Democracy Cohort, a powerful narrative of empowerment, engagement, and change comes to life. Over the past year, this innovative initiative has embarked on a remarkable journey, championing the voices of young individuals and shaping the course of democracy. With a constellation of key events and accomplishments, this year has been nothing short of transformative.
Launching a vision: September 15, 2022, Brussels
The journey began in Brussels on September 15, 2022, with the resounding launch of the Youth Democracy Cohort. This pivotal event brought together co-leaders, eager minds, and the first member organizations to sow the seeds of a movement that would thrive on youth participation and empowerment.
Global momentum: partnerships and events
Throughout the year, the Youth Democracy Cohort’s partners orchestrated a tapestry of events spanning continents. From bustling cities to remote villages, the message of democratic engagement resonated. Workshops, seminars, and dialogues empowered young advocates with the tools needed to catalyze change within their communities.
February Pre-Summit and the launch of the Menu of possible commitments
The pre-summit event held in February in Brussels was a defining moment. It marked the official launch of the “Menu of Possible Commitments,” a comprehensive guide empowering the cohort to channel their energy into meaningful action. This resource became a catalyst for actionable strategies, guiding the cohort towards impactful advocacy.
Global representation: The Summit for Democracy
The inaugural Summit for Democracy became a global platform where the cohort’s presence was profoundly felt. From the lush landscapes of Costa Rica to the diverse landscapes of Zambia and South Korea, young voices resonated, shaping discussions that echoed through halls of power. Their insights were not only heard but also integrated into the global dialogue on democracy.
Catalyzing change: Subgrants and advocacy
A beacon of action, the Youth Democracy Cohort’s commitment extended beyond rhetoric. Nine subgrants were distributed, fueling grassroots advocacy efforts across diverse fronts. These grants ignited change, enabling participants to create tangible impact in areas close to their hearts.
A Global Tapestry: A Growing Network
The power of connection was a driving force behind the Youth Democracy Cohort’s first year. A growing network spanning continents, languages, and cultures emerged. The cohort’s ability to bridge geographical boundaries underscored the universality of their cause.
Acknowledging Gratitude: Thanks to donors and partners
This journey would not have been possible without the support of the EU Commission, whose vision and dedication propelled this initiative forward. Heartfelt gratitude is extended to all partners who contributed their passion and resources to this endeavor, collectively turning dreams into reality.
Mapping the Road Ahead: Priorities for the Next Year
As the Youth Democracy Cohort looks ahead to its second year, several key priorities will guide their path:
1. Inclusion of people with disabilities : Ensuring the democratic dialogue is inclusive, the cohort will focus on amplifying the voices of individuals with disabilities, striving for equal representation and participation.
2. Youth empowerment through education : The next year will see a concerted effort to equip young individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to be effective advocates and change-makers.
3. Diverse perspectives : The Youth Democracy Cohort will continue fostering an environment where diverse perspectives are not just valued but actively sought out, enriching the dialogue on democracy.
As we celebrate the culmination of a transformative year, we embrace the boundless potential that the Youth Democracy Cohort holds. Their journey signifies that the voice of the youth, when empowered and united, has the power to reshape democracies and bring about a brighter, more inclusive future for all.