It's time for #MakeChange !
How do the problems in our societies in Europe make you feel? Confused, overwhelmed, angry, indifferent, powerless? Are you thinking - why should I care at all? And what impact would my actions have anyway? Well, good news is that they can have a tremendous impact! Think about Greta Thunberg - the Swedish climate activist who has been the inspiration for youth climate strikes in Europe and across the world. Think about a small group of students who have survived the Parkland shooting in Florida, US. They have created a „Never Again” campaign and organised a huge March for Our Lives in Washington in 2018, one of the biggest youth-attended marches since the Vietnam War protests in the 1960s. Your idea, your vision for your country or the world, your determination to pursue it matters! It can inspire others and make them join you or even help create an entire movement!
Curious to understand how change happens?
If you are looking for sources of inspiration to promote initiatives aiming at achieving a positive change in your community, you must have surely made your own research on the Internet.
There are indeed plenty of websites and blogs which provide expert and peer advice on how to start your grassroot movement and promote your initiatives both online and offline, and the BRAVE project is no exception!
Nonetheless, you might feel sometimes that these advice are too theoretical and would hardly be applicable to your own context.
This is why we collected 5 inspiring stories of successful youth-led change!
Whether promoted by a single person or a group of people, through social media channels or peaceful demonstrations, addressing local issues or nationwide challenges, these stories have one thing in common: they are promoted by young people without any special status or privilege and, despite that…they are a success!
We collected details and testimonies of these initiatives, the challenges they wanted to address and the actions promoted to achieve change, and we hope that by reading them you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to make your own change!
Perspectives & Context (Video)
Engage with the story of young people from Dąbrowa Górnicza (Poland) who organized the Empathy Festival to prevent discrimination and radicalisation.
How you can make a change - experiences of young people from Dąbrowa Górnicza (Poland)
The disarming case to act right now on climate change
In this passionate call to action, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg explains why, in August 2018, she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world’s attention. “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions,” Thunberg says. “All we have to do is to wake up and change.”
Emma Gonzalez's powerful March for Our Lives speech in 2018
Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez – who had been a leading voice immediately after the attack on her school – took to the stage in Washington DC for six minutes and 20 seconds, much of that in silence. She says it was the amount of time it took a shooter to kill 17 people at her school in Florida in 2018.
#FreeInterrail - A Vision of a Europe for All | Vincent-Immanuel Herr | TEDxOTHRegensburg
Vincent is co-initiator of the #Freeinterrail idea and the campaign of the same name, which plans to gift each adolescent in the EU with a coupon to an interrail-ticket at the date of his or her 18th birthday. Shortly after the first ever publication of the #freeinterrail idea in June 2015 it drew the attention of several European newspapers and institutions and just two months later they were allowed to present the idea to the vice president of the EU comission, Kristalina Georgieva.
Youth realizing the Sustainable Development Goals #SDGs
Almost half the world’s population is under 30 years old but youth represent less than 2 percent of all lawmakers. Young people are twice as networked as others and can use their potential to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. Today’s young people are raising their voices for equality, empowerment and the opportunities they need to help create a better future for all.
How to become a youth activist
If you are planning on starting your own campaign, start with some advices from Nohelia on how to become a youth activist.
Social media campaign guide
Kim and Maya, young activists show you how to use the power of social media for your campaigns.
Get support from your local government
Abigail gives you some tips on how to get your local government to listen.
Get inspired by the campaign of Gulalai
Gulalai Ismail leads a network of educators in Pakistan which has helped 10,000 young people at risk of radicalization to build peaceful communities.
Be The Hero - help STOP bullying
A story about young people who wanted to #upstand and give a voice to people who have been bullied before and raise awareness that bullying does actually happen.
Perspectives & Context (Articles)
Youth can challenge extremism
How two teenage sisters from Pakistan are campaigning to stop young people from joining violent extremists in Pakistan – and what we can learn from them in Europe…
17-year-old Tura, founder of Street Children’s Theater in Bangladesh, shared her experiences
When she was just 13, Tahua Tura of Bangladesh started expanding her theater troupe to include street children, primarily living in closed-off communities once referred to as “untouchables”…
At 17, Gino Tubaro started transforming kids with disabilities into super heroes
At the age of 17, Gino Tubaro received a letter from a desperate mother. “Please make my boy, Felipe, a hand,” it said. “We cannot afford a prosthetic.” Gino had been inventing things since the age of 13. His own mother had taken him to science fairs and invention workshops, pushing him to follow his passion for technology.
Riley Damiano: Spreading joy and awareness for pediatric cancer through blue lollipops
Changemaking, like smiling, is contagious. Riley’s story highlights how simple acts of kindness through blue lollipops ripple into a movement for pediatric cancer research.
Allan van der Meulen: How to become a changemaker inspiring others to thrive in a challenging context
At 19, Allan van der Meulen stumbled upon Ashoka Fellow Marlon Parker’s RLabs where he was put in charge of helping other young people like himself learn new skills and knowledge. He soon started facilitating classes, leading new programs and putting his own ideas into practice.
Anshul Tewari Created India’s Largest Youth Media Platform at Age 17
Anshul Tewari was dismayed that cultural taboos are producing “a culture of silence that is pushing an entire generation away from changemaking.”
Eli Beer: Revolutionizing emergency response and uniting people in Israel and the world
When he was only 6-years-old, Eli Beer and his brother witnessed a bus bombing while walking home from school in Jerusalem. Eli heard someone calling out for help from amidst the chaos, but he didn’t know what to do and ran from the scene.
Dario Riccobono: mobilizing young Italians against the Sicilian mob in Italy since he was 13 years old
When Dario Riccobono was 13, his little-known hometown of Capaci in Sicily, Italy was suddenly thrust onto the world stage. A massive explosion orchestrated by the mafia took down a portion of the nearby highway and with it the renowned anti-mafia prosecutor, Judge Giovanni Falcone, who was driving to his home.
Get inspired by the campaign of Sophie
Get inspired by Sophie Umati, who launched the I AM KENYAN project. The project is a globally backed, Kenyan driven, awareness campaign that uses photography as a platform to promote peace.
Youth advocacy toolkit
Youth-led advocacy is about supporting children and young people to speak up and helping them actively take part in the decisions that affect their lives. This toolkit will give you the skills and information you need to stand up for what is important to you.
Youth activist toolkit
This guide leades you through the process of planning your campaign, shaping your messages, reaching your audience and provides you with hundreds of practical advices.
Youth work against violent radicalisation
This study presents ways in which youth work prevents radicalisation leading to violence. It also identifies inspiring youth work practices, as well as the needs and challenges youth work faces.
A model for taking action in the community
Here is a simple model for taking action you can use to give you some general guidance on how to bring about positive change in your community.
Best change processes
Looking for evidence to support community processes? These processes have been identified as critical activities for community change and improvement.
Freedom of expression toolkit: a guide for students
The Freedom of Expression Toolkit is UNESCO’s contribution to freedom of expression and it is written with upper high school students in mind. The Toolkit covers the major concepts and issues and it is written in an easy to understand, conversational manner.
Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Course
This open access course in MILID, which has been designed, written and offered as a partnership between UNESCO and Athabasca University, introduces the concepts of media and information literacy and intercultural dialogue alongside important issues related to this new set of competencies for global citizenship. It is available for anyone who wants to sign in. There are 10 units addressing such concepts as media and information literacy, intercultural dialogue, freedom of expression, the multiple roles of media and advertising in contemporary life, gender representation and stereotyping in the media, challenges and opportunities for youth, and ways of engaging with new technologies for social change.
6 steps to creating effective free expression campaigns
This guide created by IFEX will guide you through all the steps necessary to create an amazing public campaign and make your voice heard even though you might not have previous experience. Dare to start.