Mapping for Change is working with four partners across Europe to address the lack of civic engagement among hard-to-reach youths in urban areas. CIVACT is a new EU-funded, two-year project which aims to empower young people to become protagonists through observing and analysing their neighbourhood’s resources and challenges and be the driving force for change.
The Effects of Social Exclusion
Social exclusion has a major impact on young people, especially for those in disadvantaged areas. As young people make their transition into adulthood, they must deal with a number of challenges and those from marginalised groups are often faced with more adversity. This means they don’t have access to the same resources as others and lack the opportunities and services to enable them to contribute to society. As a result, they feel that they can not influence their community and have little or no impact on policy decisions directly affecting their life. This is becoming an increasingly big problem as it can have a detrimental effect on young people’s well-being and future.
CIVACT will work to improve the social engagement of youth at risk of social exclusion across Europe. Project partners will develop and test new methodologies for engaging disadvantaged young people, increasing participation, belonging and ownership so that they can actively contribute to the development of the communities in which they live. Partners will share their expertise and experience with youth workers in five pilot neighbourhoods and train them to use these engagement methods. These specially trained youth workers will use their new skills and knowledge to give the young people they work with new experiences with civic engagement and the confidence and tools needed to propose changes to urban regeneration and local development.
The project will allow the different partners to bring together their best practices, to consolidate their already existing transnational networks and to develop new ones in view of future collaborations.
Mapping for Change
Mapping for Change will be responsible for the UK pilot neighbourhood delivery and will share their methods and experience with the rest of the team and youth workers. We will also develop a database of methods, available for all youth and social workers to use and learn from so that more hard to reach young people can benefit from the project learnings.
The project will be coordinated by the Lawaetz Foundation (Germany) and comprise a strong collective of partners that have previous experience working with hard-to-reach youths, district management, and social and educational projects aimed at local development. The CIVACT consortium members are: Lawaetz (Hamburg, Germany), Bond of Union (Palermo, Italy), Mapping for Change, (London, UK), Göteborg, (Gothenburg, Sweden), and Apdes (Porto, Portugal).
Love Lambeth Air provided local people with the materials and support required to collect measurements for nitrogen dioxide across a number of streets in Lambeth, providing a detailed picture of air quality in their local area.
Breathe Clean will be providing Tower Hamlets residents with the materials & training needed to monitor nitrogen dioxide levels around the places that matter to them. Participants will measure the air quality at a number of locations over a period of six months, to get a more granular picture of the situation in the borough. The data from the Breathe Clean project will be made available on Mapping for Change’s community maps webpage.
This is a project which used urban exploration as an innovative way to engage young people at risk of social exclusion and encourage their participation in civic issues. Each partner organisation worked in a specific pilot neighbourhood to test and deliver different approaches and applications of urban exploration.