Youth ACT Bolivia - La Paz Group
YOUTH ACT BOLIVIA – LA PAZ
We are a group of young people who live in the city of La Paz, located at 3,640 meters above sea level. Our city is the seat of government of Bolivia, so we live in a political environment all the time. Commerce is a strong aspect of our city and shops exist on every corner. We have a very different population that comes from all over Bolivia: this is because we have good universities, most of the procedures are done in La Paz and there is a great job opportunity. This makes us know a lot about the culture that surrounds us and makes our city have diverse landscapes. We have a very varied public transport, due to the fact that in the last time the unions proliferated a lot, but the most peculiar of all is the cable car. By means of this transport is that the whole city can be explored and we can realize our different houses and areas.
Most of the young people participating in the project are from the Villa Armonía area, an area somewhat far from the center, but with easy access. In this area there is a college of the Teresian Institution, called Pedro Poveda. The young people from Villa Harmony were trained there: Adiv, Adriana and Nicol. In the Miraflores area, a more central area of the city, is the Santa Teresa school, where AndyLuz was trained and where Mery worked, who guides us in the project.
Both schools have a very active youth ministry and carry out a work of values that is reflected in each person who steps on these establishments. Our first meeting was thanks to a Youth Ministry Congress, at the beginning of 2020, where we met our last member, Agustín. We would never have thought that from that first contact we would come to share a lot, especially in this time of pandemic.
As we joined the Youth ACT project in early 2020, our work was only virtual, but we made the most of new tools and opportunities. Our project probably wouldn’t have come into focus as it did if it weren’t for the same situation we were going through. While the pandemic situation for many people could mean closing possibilities, for us it was a new path and approach. We start by asking ourselves which population is the most vulnerable before COVID, during COVID and, probably, after COVID? When we responded, we saw that we could only talk about what we knew best, the young people. So our second step was to do a survey on different needs that young people might have and different outreach tools. Analyzing the data, we saw fit to make a Facebook page with information and videos of young entrepreneurs.
As the second part of the project, we saw the training on EDIW topics as convenient: we had courses and self-training regarding democracy and democratic values. We have always used a feedback method and constant evaluation, to see how to improve and where to direct our ideas.
This was achieved thanks to our meeting every Saturday for Zoom. Despite not knowing much in person, we create a space for dialogue and learning that always enriches us in academic and personal training. We also try to put into practice what we have learned in each meeting, since we organize ourselves on a rotating basis and we understand the times and spaces of all the members based on respect. Therefore, our project focuses on both an external and internal projection, being that we are part of the same youth group that we want to help.
Our main objective is to encourage young people to do their small businesses and show the world what young people are capable of. All this through information on public policies, project implementation, group management, conscious decision making, information management, among other things. To achieve this complex goal we had to set goals along the way: with the Facebook page, we apply practical and didactic tools accessible to anyone; With our training, it was to encourage ourselves to do projects for the future; Finally, with the dissemination plan, it is to focus on youth groups that are already working so that they can generate bigger things from their groups and that they can see the potential they have. We try, along the way, to make youth visible by giving a voice as key actors of social change and innovation as a path to the future that will belong to them.
We are currently working with the community that follows us on Facebook, with our friendships and we will seek to project ourselves with the young people of Villa Armonía, inside and outside their own church, as well as with the young people of Miraflores, through the Iglesia Corazón de María . We also support and dialogue with young owners of small businesses to have an exchange of feedback, something to teach and learn through each interview. We seek to expand little by little to all possible youth sector and that the information we have is open to all public, in order to create new youth spaces with the appropriate values that EDIW helped us find.