On 15-19 June 2015 PAS took part in the first Suwalki Mirror Workshop held in the municipality of Suwalki in Poland for Innovation Circle Network’s new youth project ‘Young Eyes.’ The project is involving young people from the four municipalities of Suwalki, Rauna, Jelgava and Roberstfors. The aim of ‘Young Eyes’ is to provide the young participants from Poland, Latvia and Sweden a range of enjoyable experiences which enables international exchange and co-operation. In turn this will allow the young people the opportunity to share their places with each other through ‘young eyes’ and develop their ideas for making their places better. PAS is using the logic model framework as a tool to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the project and to ensure outcomes are being met throughout the project which continues until September 2016.
The week-long series of workshops focused on governance and community issues and PAS facilitated feedback sessions with the young people while bringing to the project a Scottish perspective and knowledge on built environment issues and a wealth of experience in working with young people.
Activities that took place included: a youth led walk around Suwalki focusing on the history and local issues; internationally mixed group sessions exploring concerns such as which people have most input into public decision making, who the young people trust the most in their town and how youths currently get involved in local issues and what can be changed.
The week came to an end with the young people creating proposals for how Suwalki could change to encourage young people to return to the city. They presented their ideas from a young person’s perspective on how Suwalki could be more attractive in terms of job creation, social status, entertainment and family time.
The story of the Suwalki Mirror Workshop is told in the video below.