The Yuppi Camp Movement Association, in partnership with the PONT Group, is organising an ideas competition and two self-advocacy training sessions for young people with chronic illnesses and those around them. Teams of 3-5 people can enter the competition online until 19th of March, and the top 10 ideas will receive financial support to make them a reality. The self-advocacy trainings will take place online on 4 March in Romanian and on 5 March in Hungarian from 12:00 to 16:00.
Everyday life is different for young people living with chronic diseases. They have to deal with issues that their healthy peers would never think of. The #IAmMyAdvocate project aims to create a community where young people with chronic diseases can share their problems and difficulties and support each other in difficult times. This community creates an environment where they can develop self-confidence, feel accepted and understood, and are encouraged to speak up for themselves. A place where they can find courage.
The idea competition in this project aims to motivate these young people and those around them to identify problems in their community, find solutions and make a difference in their environment. This is the aim of the initiator of #IAmMyAdvocate, the Yuppi Camp Movement Association and its partners PONT Group and Spektrum Education Centre.
In the current phase of the project, the organisers are inviting teams of young people aged 14-35 who have identified a problem and want to improve their environment to take part in the competition. Teams of 3-5 people must include at least one young person with a chronic illness. To get as many perspectives as possible on the problem and find the best solution, participants will take part in a 3-week brainstorming process. With the help of a facilitator, they will develop initiatives based on the Design Thinking method.
Design Thinking is a creative way of thinking: a human-driven approach to innovation that uses the tools of designers to combine the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements of success and efficiency. Facilitators involved in the project will learn this methodology in a two-day training course to enable them to lead their teams effectively.
The aim of the ideas competition is to motivate young people with chronic conditions and young people around them to develop initiatives that are relevant and important to the community. The resulting video portfolio will therefore be truly representative. The participating teams will present their initiatives in the form of videos. From these, a panel of experts will select the 10 ideas that will receive funding. The link to apply can be found here.
The organisers aim to implement an integrated and participatory model for the social inclusion of young people (14-35 years old) with chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes, juvenile arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, asthma, etc.) over a period of 24 months, involving 200 young people with chronic diseases, of whom at least 50% come from disadvantaged areas of the country and from at least 15 different counties.
Chronically ill young people are often treated differently at school and work, their rights are not always respected and they sometimes find it difficult to talk about their illness. But their best advocates are themselves!
To help young people make their voices heard, the project is organising a series of self-advocacy trainings. The first such training took place in Cluj-Napoca at the end of January, and two more online sessions will be organised on 4 and 5 March from 12:00 to 16:00. The online session on 4 March will be held in Romanian and the one on 5 March in Hungarian. The registration link can be found here.
The trainings are aimed at young chronically ill people aged 14-35 from all over the country. Together with professional trainers, they will identify the problems they face and work together to find solutions. Young people will learn how to stand up for their rights, how to make their voices heard, how to think about and implement an advocacy campaign. All in an interactive, hands-on way with special games and exercises.
Activities of the #IAmMyAdvocate project
During the project, in addition to the brainstorming competition, the organisers set up two Facebook support groups to give young people a safe space for dialogue and sharing experiences. The project organisers also intend to launch awareness-raising campaigns on the situation of the chronically ill, primarily for teachers but also for the general public. Therapeutic adventure camps for young people have been and will continue to be organised.
The #IAmMyAdvocate project, led by the Yuppi Camp Movement Association, benefits from a grant of €149,900 from the Active Citizens Fund Romania programme, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Fund 2014-2021. The project partners are the PONT Group and the Spektrum Education Centre.
About the Active Citizens Fund Romania ProgrammeThe Active Citizens Fund Romania Programme is funded by the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the grants is to reduce economic and social disparities and strengthen bilateral relations between the 15 beneficiary countries and the donor countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway). The programme is managed by the consortium consisting of the Civil Society Development Foundation, the Partnership Foundation, the Resource Centre for Roma Communities, the PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as the Fund Operator designated by FMO – Office of the EEA and Norwegian Grants Financial Mechanism. The Active Citizens Fund Romania aims to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to increase the capacity of vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of EUR 46 000 000, the programme aims to develop the long-term sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector, enhancing its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with the donor countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. For more information on the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please visit www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information on EEA and Norwegian grants, please visit www.eeagrants.ro.
Since 2011, Yuppi camps (https://www.yuppicamp.ro ) have been providing effective complementary therapy for children and young people with chronic illnesses in Romania. The camps offer experiential therapy programmes for children with cancer, diabetes or other autoimmune diseases and their families.
As part of the #IAmMyAdvocate project, the competition is run by the PONT Group (https://en.pontgroup.org/), which supports social innovation and participation processes, mainly in the fields of business development and culture, with a special focus on young people and the effective use of information technologies.
Spektrum Education Centre (https://sec.ro/en/home/pagetypetab/0/6/homepage-homepage) aims to provide up-to-date knowledge and timeless skills through high-quality, customer-oriented and diversified education and training services. It organises awareness courses for educators.