And now…what? The curtains have fallen, the show came to an end and you have your outcomes in hand, still hot and vivid. Your youth exchange project has come to an end and luckily you produced a lot of amazing results that you wish to offer to society and bring change and improvement. Apart from a simply successful project, the most valuable asset of your journey is that your work has promoted the ideas of peace and reconciliation to all people involved: participants, team members, stakeholders, partners etc.
But is this all?
Was this your biggest goal?
Is this enough to be satisfied and content?
The answer is…NO! The goal of your youth exchange was to make an impact to society, to make a difference! To promote the results and products of your project to a broader target group and leave your mark in the field. In other words…it is time to transfer your results into institutional change!
In the previous chapters we have talked a lot about creating policy. But is this the only way to bring change?
If we stick to the literal meaning of the term, “advocacy is an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social institutions”. In our case, though, it should rather be considered as the act of speaking on the behalf of or in support of another person, place, or thing.
Undertaking the role of an advocate is not an easy task. It comes with the responsibility of offering independent support to those who feel they are not being heard and to ensure they are taken seriously and that their rights are respected. Advocacy seeks to ensure that all people in society are able to have their voice heard on issues that are important to them, protect and promote their rights and have their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives.
No matter how serious it sounds, you are fully armed to complete this task: you have the idea, the means, the people and the power to do it! Make the results and the products of your youth exchange visible following these tips:
- TIP 1 – Disseminate the results of your project and the messages that were created during its implementation that are related to your main goal.
- TIP 2 – Use various forms of communication, especially those that combine text and visuals, in order to catch the audience’s attention and pass a stronger message that will be carved in their consciousness. Include photos, videos, statements, drawings etc.
- TIP 3 – Use the power of social media as it is the place where most people are engaged on a daily basis nowadays.
- TIP 4 – Communicate your key messages via any available channels and means, even the most traditional ones, in order to reach all levels of audience (internet, news papers, TV and radio broadcasts, flyers etc.).
- TIP 5 – Launch online and offline campaigns or organize events, trainings, seminars or any other kind of planned activity, in order to spread your message and even inform people on the topic.
- TIP 6 – Take advantage of the power of the mass! There are already too many people involved in your activities: participants, volunteers, partners, team members, stakeholders and donors – use them and their connections to reach a larger audience.
No matter how far you go, remember always this: change is the only constant in life, and you can be part of it! Be the change you want to bring in society!
IT’S WATCH O’CLOCK!
If you are still looking for some motivation…take a look at this: