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Active citizenship: participants and their ideas during the ACIL seminar September 22, 2014

Posted by usbngo in Older Posts.
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The seminar on active citizenship, entitled “ACIL: Active Citizens Laboratory”, took place in Thessaloniki, from 15 to 19 September. The week full of discussions, workshops and social contacts was organized by the Greek branch of the Anna Lindh Foundation and the United Societies of Balkans in collaboration with “Thessaloniki – European Youth Capital 2014”.

U.S.B. volunteers met and interviewed the participants of the seminar in order to find out their background, motivation to join the activities of ACIL and their view on the concept of active citizenship.

To begin with, the background of participants varied from being students, teachers, job seekers and volunteers. On their free time, some of the participants support people with special needs, teach in a Roma community in Thessaloniki, are members of environmental groups, local government and so on. Regardless of the differences in their occupations or study fields, all participants had a common willingness to join the seminar and share their views on the relevant topic, gain some knowledge or techniques and to apply them in a real life.

Moreover, most of the participants agreed that the concept of active citizenship is very important and that it is all about interconnection. According to Theodora, one of the participants, “being an active citizen is having a critical mind and thinking about yourself (not in a selfish way) and, at the same time, doing something for someone else and for the society. I think we are all interconnected”.

Finally, all of the participants expressed their intention of doing voluntary work and being active citizens in the future.  By joining the seminar, they expected to hear new ideas, meet interesting people and make meaningful connections with non-governmental or non-profit organizations, all of it in order to improve their future activities regarding active citizenship. As the other participant Nikos said, “the level of our life will improve if we all are active citizens”.
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Written by Kristina Gruodytė

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