Heart-Centered Leadership Foundation recently kick started a project called 'To Vote, I Voice: Dont Count YOUth Out!'.
With the local elections coming up very soon, we aim to empower youth to become engaged as active citizens and build their political power when it comes to decision-making processes. This election especially is a crucial one for Aruba, but this project is not about political parties but about the future of Aruba and how young people can have an active voice in the decisions that made for them and for future generations.
The project consists of 6 activities that will provide youth with the tools to analyze the current political structures, engage them in participatory activities to voice their concerns, and come up with solutions to topics that directly affect their futures. The culmination of these activities is a manifesto, created by all participating youth, with points of focus on 4 core areas that the newly elected government officials should take into consideration when making decisions for the youth of Aruba. These 4 areas in particular have been heavily impacted as consequence of the global pandemic: education, mental health, labor, and environment:
During the project, participating youth will:
Analyze the current situation when it comes to the 4 core areas of education, mental health, labor, and environment and come up with concerns and questions
Engage in dialogue with professionals to receive evidence-based information about the current situation in Aruba
Engage in dialogue with candidates of participating political party with critical questions that concern youth
Analyze all the information they received throughout the activity and write a manifesto with all points of attention that the newly formed government officials should emphasize on for the sake of youth in Aruba.
An overview of the planned activities can be found below. The first two have already taken place on May 15 and 29, respectively. The next activity will take place on Saturday, June 5th, and will include workshops and further analysis of political party's programs. During this activity, the participants will not only be prepared for, but also come up with questions to ask the 6 political parties that will participate in the Young Voters Town Hall to take place on June 19th.