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La Serena (Chile) – Barcelona (Spain): promoting participation

As part of the Red de Participación Juvenil project, high school students from the Colegio Marista de Las Compañías, in La Serena (Chile), have established contact with young Marists from the Escuela Anna Ravell, in Barcelona (Spain). The aim is to collaboratively produce a series of podcasts on topics that are of interest to both. Sustainability, school coexistence, overcoming addictions, are some of the possible themes to be dealt with. 

A particularly noteworthy experience of the Anna Ravell School are the Participation Congresses. Processes in which all pupils, from 3 to 18 years old, are involved and moments for individual reflection, in teams and in each classroom. There are also spaces in which the representatives of the different levels interrelate to synthesise proposals; the school’s action plans include many of these initiatives. In 2021 the congress was dedicated to how to make the school more sustainable, in 2022 the focus was on school coexistence and in 2023 on contact with and belonging to the neighbourhood.

For its part, since 2023 the Marist School of Las Compañías has been developing “Youth Participation Laboratories”, together with other schools in the region of Coquimbo. This year the intention is to continue tostrengthen the face-to-face events, but also to complement them with virtual activities in order to dialogue with languages that are more appropriate for adolescents and to facilitate contact with young people from other countries. 

A direct antecedent of the Youth Participation Network was the series of talks that took place in 2021, in the context of the first constituent process in Chile. On that occasion, schools in the city were contacted and a virtual meeting was held with conventional constituents in the region, to convey the concerns, expectations and ideas that arise from the students.

Since then, several of them have continued to participate in volunteering activities promoted by the Gesta Foundation. This network is a favourable platform for youth volunteering projects promoted by the Zero Indifference Programme, a competitive fund created by the Gesta Foundation in 2005 to support social projects and initiatives generated by students between the ages of 12 and 18.

Joaquín Meli U. – Communications Manager Santa María de los Andes

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