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Youth participation in community action plans

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Introduction to ‘Dances with the youth : Youth participation in community action plans’

1.What was special about the plans?

To advance youth community participation and community change, the National Youth Commission, in its annual (2006) program ‘Dances with the youth: youth participation in community action plans’ hoped to harness the enthusiasm, creativity and potential of young people to make a contribution to Taiwanese society. In this plan, initially 40 people were selected as alliance partners from over 100 NPOs involved in youth work, and invited to take part in a meeting held by the NYC, at which they were formally asked to propose ‘Youth Action Plans’. Finally, the NYC invited experts, academics and youth workers to form an advisory panel who acted as judges during the two phases of the plan and set how much money should be awarded.

2.What was in the plans?

This year, the National Youth Commission passed a total of 24 ‘Youth Action Plans’, which included initiatives on community building, environmental protection, local culture, commercial development, educational capacity building, social service, and organizational networking. Since the participation and voice of the disadvantaged youth was particularly valued, the assessment committee gave specially consideration to the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union’s ‘Orchid Island Youth Experience of Taiwan Island’s Culture and Ecology Plan,’ the Tien Foundation’s ‘Youth Indigenous Community Service Plan,’ and Taitung County Austronesia Community University Development Association’s ‘Youth Indigenous Community Overseas Study Network Action Plan’ in order to make real advances in giving the disadvantaged youth opportunities to participate in public affairs.

3.What role did the youth play?

The youth were not only at the heart of this plan, but at the same time played the role of instigators. In order to allow the youth to take part in the development, administration and assessment of the ‘Youth Action Plan’, before assessment of the second phase, the National Youth Commission held a ‘Youth Worker Capacity Building’ event at Aspire Park in Taoyuan for NPOs from various fields and the youth from different backgrounds to discuss and exchange ideas on the interests of the youth, while at the same time sharing work experiences, learning about cross-sector cooperation, combining resources, strengthening partnerships between NPOs and youth groups, and in the future promoting the establishment of a ‘youth sector’.

4.Vision – How can we sustain youth participation in community change, community youth support, and youth action?

Throughout the process of participation in and adjustment of the Youth Action Plan, the enthusiasm and stamina of the youth was unwavering. But young people’s promises and responsibilities to society should be deepened, and the roles they play should be more diverse. The youth have a mutual relationship with their communities. Under the influence of the youth, community NPOs can support more diverse youth action plans after enlivening their organizations; and when the youth are recognized by their communities, they can be more active and their action plans can be more sustainable.

List of the 40 NPOs in the Alliance and their 24 Youth Action Plans

Vision Youth Action VolunteerMatch.ORG 02-2365-4907
New Culture Foundation   02-23970576
Lan En Foundation   089-732-072
Taiwan Youth Rights Union ’Expanding Communities’ Youth Action Plan 02-6630-5595
Chun Yu Foundation Youth Capacity Building and Community Participation: Local Historical Sites are Most Beautiful 04-2526-9406
Bunun Foundation Let's Grow Together – 2006 Bunun Academy Night School and Summer School 08-956-1211
Keelung Historical Association 'Sunshine Family' Plan 02-2424-0888
Taiwan Fund for Children & Families    04-22061234
Humanistic Education Foundation   02-2367-0151
Taizhong City Youth Charity Association  Sunflower Action Plan – Disadvantaged Working Class Children Program 04-2286-0501
Taiwan Labor Front  Youth For Democracy – Youth Democratic Community 02-2365-5705
Lan Ho Foundation Volunteer Discovery Tour Guide Workshop 04-724-1664
New Homeland Foundation Meeting with ‘Puli Gurus' 049-242-2003
King Car Foundation    02-2368-0278 #105
Hsin Kang Foundation Smiling Hsin Kang – Greenification Activity 05-374-5074
Sustainable Taiwan Foundation Youth Recovery of Tainan's Attractions 06-335-1291
Water Source Foundation  Deepening Water Source Youth Action Plan 04-2227-7826
Meinong People's Association Longdu Community Club ─ Meinong Grassroots Building 07-6810-469
Kaohsiung Botanical Garden Value Creation Association    07-350-5990
ECPAT Taiwan   02-6610-6616
Taiwan Human Rights Association   02-6810-0469
Donggang Preservation Association  006 Pingtung County NGO Youth HRD & Community Action Plan 08-788-84382
Tsui Ma Ma Foundation  Foreign Youths Visiting Taiwan Housing Assistance Plan 02-2365-8140
Taiwanese Renaissance Foundation   02-2369-2106
Hualien Youth Volunteer Organization  Sending Youth to Houshan – East Coast Indigenous Community Literacy Youth Action Plan 03-846-3995
Teacher Chang Foundation   02-2502-5858 #463
Homemakers Union I am a Lohas Youth – New Environmental Living 02-2368-6211
Youngsun Foundation  ' Youthful Dreams Take Wing' Youth Action Plan 03-9354080
European Union Study Association Youth Getting to Know Europe Camp 02-2701-9393
Eden Foundation   02- 2230-7715
TW Center  9th Summer School – Taiwanese Hakka Culture Recovery and Recreation 02-27122836
Taiwan Tibet Exchange Foundation    02-2219-4219
Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan   02- 2321-2362
Tien Foundation  Youth Indigenous Community Service Plan 02-2365-5615
Taiwan Environmental Protection Union  Orchid Island Youth Experience of Taiwan Island's Culture and Ecology Plan 02-2363-6419
Taiwan Epilepsy Association   02-2514-9682
Society of the Wilderness Environmental Protection 543 – Youth Speakers 02-2930-3193
Taitung County Austronesian Community University Development Association  Youth Indigenous Community Overseas Study Network Action Plan 089-359-200
Garden of Hope Foundation   02- 2367-9595
CommonWealth Magazine Foundation   02-2507-8627 #346