We are happy to share that our partners from Norway during September and October started the implementation of the Voice up initiative in their community and already organized 3 meetings with young people stakeholders, major, politicians, educators, artists and representatives from Agder. The events took place at the Lillesand Town Hall on (7 September, 14 September and 12 of October).
37 people participated on these events where Voice Up Iniative first was presented and they started to work on the implementation of the initiative.
The objective of this initiative is to enable young people to point out the best and worst places in the city and compare their daily commuting and living in relation to where they live.
During the first meeting it was emphasized mainly on different ways of communicating a message by photos and videos. The participants started with an introduction for both the activity and its purpose before the filmmaker John as one of the presenters, held his presentation regarding communication. The youngsters were heavily involved; they asked questions and brought ideas to the table. After the presentation they were told to film a “thing” of their own choice. They were divided groups of 2-3 and began their brainstorming. Most of them went outside and started filming. When they got back inside, they showed some ways of editing, and were then given some time to do this. All participants watched the videos and brainstormed together what they could focus on until next meeting. They were given an instruction to make a 1-4-minute-long video built on what they had just filmed and show it next meeting. The youngsters seemed to enjoy the Voice Up-activity and had a lot of laughs together.
On the second meeting continued the work from last meeting, by watching the videos they had made the previous week. They had done a really good job and were very enthusiastic! During this meeting there was a discussion what they could do to make their videos even better, by perhaps being more specific with their message, adding music and such. After brainstorming together and extracting new ideas, some of the youngsters went outside to add to their video, whilst other started editing. At the end of the evening, all the youngster had their videos finished or nearly finished. Some of them made some changes during the next few days, and then sent the finished videos to the coordinators. They produced 5 different movies with very different topics.
The third meeting was reserved for youngsters to present their videos to the city council of Lillesand municipality. The five short films they had produced showed a variety of subjects.
The politicians were enthusiastic about this way of presenting subjects that are important to youth. Several of the youngsters concrete suggestions were noted, and the politicians promised to follow up these suggestions. Also, the youngsters and politicians had a fruitful debate on how they can engage young people more. The mayor said he wanted to follow up by going to the schools to communicate more directly with the young people in Lillesand municipality.