Today the life of the EU is affected by economic, social and political situation throughout the globe. The increasing interconnectedness gives new challenges for the whole European community and requires active engagement of the citizens to meet them. Participation of youth becomes of crucial importance. Furthermore, the ability to act in a global society, which is diverse and interconnected, becomes an important element of the socialization of young people.
Year 2015 was announced as the European Year for Development This was a perfect opportunity to pay people's attention on how they could contribute to the efforts of the EU and national governments towards global development. For this reason, Global Citizens’ Academy and Kaunas Youth Valley initiated a project “Youth’s Socialization in a Global Society”. The project aimed to foster young people’s socialization in a global society by promoting the fundamental values of solidarity, tolerance, belief in making a difference, which are of crucial importance for development of a just and sustainable world.
The main activity of the project was the global education event for school students “Challenge (In)equality!” which took place on 20.November, 2015 in Kaunas, Vytautas Magnus University. It was a space for the youngsters to become aware and experience the meaning of global inequality and injustice, as well as to look for solutions to decrease it. The participants had an opportunity to look at the issue of inequality in different contexts: economic, social, political and environmental.
One-day event offered its participants a variety of workshops: simulations, creative labs, interactive lectures, discussion groups, etc. Every participant had an opportunity to participate in 2 workshops throughout the day.
The event engaged 188 school students of the age 13 to 19. They represented 13 different schools from 10 municipalities. The opportunity to participate in the event was also provided for youngsters with fewer opportunities – 17 participants out of the overall number were with hearing difficulties.
The event had a very positive effect on the motivation of young people towards their active engagement into creating a just and sustainable world. This was achieved by implementing the following measures: 1) establishing close cooperation with school communities interested in promoting global citizenship among their learners; 2) active involvement of young volunteers; 3) offering a variety of activities for students, so everyone could found one according to their needs and expectations.