Youth ACT Argentina Group
YOUTH ACT ARGENTINA
In Argentina, the group that participates in the Youth-Act project is made up of young women between 19 and 25 years of age, young professionals as well as graduate and undergraduate students in our respective careers and various work areas. We share experiences and knowledge in the areas of psychology, education, engineering, law, design, agronomy and political science. The group has for its advocacy to work with women in a situation of economic and social vulnerability. In addition, as responsible citizens, we collaborate as volunteers in recreational and educational activities with children and adolescents, ,with the homeless as well as in care and protection of the environment. We have an Instagram account @youthactargentina through which we share some work done or information that we consider relevant on the former..
The members of the group are residents of the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. We are located in the municipalities of Vicente López and Moreno .We started the Youth-Act program in November 2019 as a group of young women attracted by the Non-Formal Education proposal under the title of Youth for Participation and Democratic Values. In February, those of us who coordinate the group participated in the Seminar in Madrid, a rich experience of meeting and training with young people from different countries who share experiences and concerns. Before going to Madrid, with a couple of meetings, we organized a campaign to collect milk to donate to a picnic area in the province
A month after returning from the seminar, Argentina entered into a social, preventive and mandatory isolation as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This isolation lasted until November 2020. This situation forced us to meet virtually as a group to share what some of us learned and experienced in the face-to-face seminar. in Madrid.
The virtual meetings have allowed us to go through the training process proposed by Y.A. orienting our group meetings to research and to give importance to critical analysis of information in context and, at the same time to strengthen ourselves as a team. We highlighted some fundamental aspects, such as democratic leadership, prioritizing the active participation of the entire group, promoting dialogue between all people, taking into account different opinions. All members of the group are committed to contribute actively. Each participant feels part of and assumes responsibility for the elaboration of a joint project and in developing attitudes that we find valuable in and for society. Equality and respect in dialogue are other pillars we valued, where every word put in common has the same value, thus achieving a cooperative, group-oriented, responsible, sustained and committed work.
Within this process we had two instances of specific training with women that we admire and recognize as examples and guides in our journey in Youth-Act. We had a virtual meeting with Belén, who guided and encouraged us in the steps for the social project we wanted and to put us in and contact with other realities. She was inspiring by her testimony as a volunteer in India and Argentina, She is dedicated to communication and corroborated our desire and path of giving a voice to people in situations rarely heard and in the task of providing information to those who do not have access to it..We also met with Carla to begin defining and putting our project in writing. Carla is coordinator of projects in vulnerable contexts at the University of Lanús. We recovered what we saw at the seminar and shared a training space open to questions. Prior to meeting Carla, we investigated public policies, institutions and research on the subject we chose, and with the new guidelines we continued in the development of the project, specifically the drafting of the objectives.
As part of the journey, we were able to accompany particular situations in vulnerable contexts: a community dining room run by a group of women in an urban-marginal neighbourhood, always being available and attentive to respond with food campaigns and campaigns to disseminate the problem. Moreover, we also understand that in our usual tasks, mainly in the areas where each one works, studies, volunteers, as in parishes, etc., we apply what we have worked on and learned as a group, promoting youth participation, respect in dialogue and plurality of voices. The problems that interest us are related to women in a situation of socioeconomic vulnerability.
however, in the training process we had to rethink the mode due to the present reality. We define three categories of objectives, firstly the personal objectives of the members of the group, oriented towards training, sharing from experience and towards learning from a deepening view of social problems. Second, the group’s internal objective is to go through the two-year process as group training that develops skills for a participatory citizenship committed to democratic values. An third, to earn to work as a team and to build with others with values that promote cooperation, equality and other democratic values.
We set for ourselves the objective of community insertion, reflecting on the incidence in society on how we promote participation and democratic values with other young people in today’s socio-historical moment, favouring a culture of commitment to the most vulnerable.