Linking Irish and Polish youth
In 2013, GEAI and its partner organisation MARDI organised a Youth Democracy project called “Democratic Energies”, together with two Polish organisations who had already worked with MARDI in another project.
This was an exciting project where young people from Poland and Ireland explored each other’s countries and how decisions are made in each of them. It finished in November 2014.
Questions that the young people asked and got answers to:
- How important are coal, gas and oil in Ireland and Poland? What do we use them for? What is the link between burning them and climate change?
- What is fracking? Must we start extracting gas and oil by fracking? What does this do to the environment and people’s health?
- Are there other ways of getting energy? What are they? Are there any problems with them?
- How do countries decide on energy sources? Can young people’s voices be heard when decisions are made?
- How does Europe work? Who makes the decisions? What is the EU Parliament and what does it look like? Can we meet and talk to an MEP?
During the course of this project there were:
- Separate get-togethers of groups of young people from Ireland and Poland to explore those questions and have fun!
- A week in Ireland for the Polish group and a week in Poland for the Irish group.
- A trip to Brussels for some participants.
- Organisation of a questionnaire for European Parliament candidates during the 2014 elections.
Everyone taking part was guaranteed lots of fun activities, meeting new people, getting an opportunity for foreign travel and learning interesting things in a non-classroom way.
This was exactly what happened. The young participants got to know each other, explored their two countries, asked tricky questions, got to know what it was like to do some campaigning, and explored Brussels and the European Parliament.
It was an excellent project, the participants really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.