On the eve of the parliamentary elections, we hosted a 'Young Voters Town Hall' as part of the project 'To Vote, I Voice: Don't Count YOUth Out'.
The 'Young Voters Town Hall' counted with participation of 6 political parties, which were chosen by the participants: Accion21, AVP, HTC, MAS, MEP and Raiz. Each party were invited to sent one candidate to represent the party.
Taking on the same principles as the World Café model (and HCLF's own Impact Café), 2 candidates sat with each of the 4 groups in 25-minute intervals, where they could answer questions the participants had on the topics of education, mental health, environment, and labor. In preparation for this event, participants prepared questions after receiving information throughout the previous activities of the 'To Vote, I Voice' project.
During the 25-minute sessions, the candidates had to elaborate on answers by also explaining what, how and when: what are the action steps, how would they be funding proposed changes, and what is the timeline for implementation.
After four 25-minute rounds, in which the candidates rotated between the 4 groups, the participants presented how they experienced the interactions with the candidates, in which they highlighted what they found important and what they saw that the candidates would have to work on regarding the 4 topics should they be elected into parliament.
The next round consisted of each candidate answering a couple of questions about youth participation should they be elected into parliament: how will they promote youth participation in Aruba? and how will they ensure that the suggestions mentioned in the youth manifesto would be implemented.
To close the activity, we ended the Young Voters Town Hall with a reflective set of questions we like to ask participants in our other activities. The candidates had to answer the following questions:
- how do they feel
- what do they think
- what did they learn
- what will they do
Next up in the To Vote, I Voice project, the participants will be working on drafting the Youth Manifesto during 2 worksessions in July and August.
Curious about how our participants experienced the project? Check our impact section where you can a testimonial video of a participant by the name of Patrick Williams who describes his most memorable moments during the project and what he enjoyed about Young Voters Town Hall! To Vote, I Voice is supported by the Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben and CEDE Aruba.