In a sea of instant solutions and campaigns which are trying to persuade us in what each of us must have, we become unaccustomed to being asked – what we want; what we need for our environment to be better. We are used to having someone who will solve all our problems, and we forget that we have mechanisms to solve them on our own.
“Join, Find the Solution” is a part of the program of European Youth Capital 2019 and European Capital of Culture 2021, which provides the pupils of high-schools of Novi Sad the opportunity to directly influence the improvement of their environment, i.e. in the particular case, for changes in their schools as the environment in which they spend a large part of the day. The program is open for all state high-schools at the territory of Novi Sad and all pupils and schools have the right to participate. In every school, an idea will be implemented and the decision about which idea will get the funds from the budget of the city of Novi Sad will be made by the pupils of the school, using the principles of democratic voting.
- Gather the Team
Last year, the program was successfully implemented in 8 high-schools in Novi Sad. This year, we are going two steps forward. We have gathered a strong team – the “Join, Find the Solution” is organised this year mutually by two European capitals: Youth Capital and Capital of Culture. OPENS and Foundation 2021, with the support of the City of Novi Sad, City Management for Sports and Youth, City Management for Culture and Provincial Secretariat for Education, Regulations, Administration and National Minorities – National Communities, will this year reach a larger number of schools, pupils and solutions.
- Development and Lobbing
Young people do not know and mostly do not believe the politicians, processes and mechanisms. The programs like Participative Budgeting are the right way to include young people in the political processes and to teach them to be responsible citizens. Some things will be excellent, some will not go so well and in the end, the only thing that matters is to be persistent in the process and learn on the way.
- We Choose the Best
More precisely, it is not we who choose, but the community. Through the process of voting, we have enabled the mechanisms which respond to the actual needs of young people.
- Rewarding the Winner
This year, two ideas in each school will be rewarded. Eleven schools will thereby get twice 70,000. We reward the winning idea about activism of young people and the winning idea about culture and creativity.
Implementation of all winning ideas is expected by the beginning of March 2020. From that moment, we will enter the third year of the process, with two years of experience, materials and results based on which we will continue to advocate for more money, more ideas and a larger number of schools.