Happiness overload is when you call young people for a silent debate, but they cannot wait to be loud and debate on every topic. Point by point. We are very proud that Poraka Nova gathered so many young enthusiasts in the new office of Poraka Nova in Bitola.
The 24 youngsters, mostly high scholars joined us yesterday in the silent debate event, in order to debate through specific methods on the topics such as Digitalization, the Mental health of young people, and Education.
We welcomed participants with energizers in order to get familiar with each other, the topic of the event, and the NEUEYT project`s aims and initiatives.
Afterward, we continued with the brainstorming session, where participants discussed local problems they are facing every day but later we narrowed to three topics, the most important topics according to them, that concern every young people.
Even though the Silent debate was planned to last for an hour, the young people lead it to, two pleasant hours that fly by quickly. The methodology of the silent debate is very specific, where at the beginning the participants are not talking, they only write in silence their opinion of the topic written on the flipchart. Every group was writing in their topic, but after some time they changed the groups/topics and write their opinions as well. It ended with a deep discussion point by point, engaging us with the real problems that young people are facing.
The event ended with networking, planning the next steps, and possible future initiatives and projects.
All of the participants were very active and happy to contribute, but as well to learn from each other.
Some important conclusions after the brainstorming and debating in silence were:
Education: The education system in our country is on a critical level. Even though we are living in a digital era, schools don’t have important digital tools, so the students do their job most of the time at home where they are spending a long time on a computer. Even though we are living in the 21st century, yet young people are discussing the deficiency of practice, food, canteen, clean toilets, and hygiene products.
Mental health: it is very closely connected with digitalization, with easy access to everyone, so they are closing up inside the virtual world, where it can be very dangerous too.
So discussing these three topics youngsters are in a constant loop of many not important information and more often disinformation, not supported by the educational system and their mental health is in danger.
So as the overall outcome of the event is that young people need to have support by their parents, to work on family connections, to have free psychotherapy at least twice a year, the nonformal education to be supported by formal education and they need to complement each other, to have more often courses for digital skills, to take advice and practice from outside experts (maybe from a foreign country) and more engaging outdoor activities
These conclusions and issues emphasized by the youngsters will be presented in front of policymakers and stakeholders in N. Macedonia during the next stakeholder table meetings.