Youth Power in Motion – Empowering Students for Advocacy and Change

Call: European Youth Foundation – Pilot activity

Reference number: 7995.1.PA.2023

Duration: 12 months


Our main objective with this project is to support young people in Cristuru Secuiesc in forming and operating the local city student council by selecting and training the members of this council, also by organising workshops for them in the topic of advocacy.

Objective 1 – Supporting the existing school councils.

During the project one of our objectives is to examine the existing student councils in the 3 high school, recruit new members if it is necessary and select members who can take part in the training sessions organized by our association, then share the knowledge with their peers and implement activities at school level.

Objective 2 – Strengthening communication and collaboration between young people and the local municipality.

Another important objective is to create a link between the local youth and municipality by forming the student council of the town, also by teaching student council members to effectively communicate their ideas and proposals to the local decision-makers.

Objective 3 – Empowering young people to take an active role in decision-making processes

During the project we would like to provide training and resources to help young people develop the skills and knowledge needed to participate in local decision-making processes, such as community development initiatives.

Expected outcomes

Among the results and expected outcomes of the project we can mention:

  • Improved civic engagement: Through lobbying at the municipality and designing a strategy for civic participation, students can learn how to engage more effectively with local government and promote positive change in their community.
  • Enhanced critical thinking and problem-solving abilities: The project can encourage students to think critically about complex issues and develop creative solutions to address them.
  • Improved communication skills: Students can practice and develop their communication skills through the lobbying and negotiation components of the project.
  • Concrete policy changes: students will conduct research and analyze the needs of the community, then they will design a strategy for those issues and needs. Depending on the topic that the students choose to lobby on, there may be specific policy changes that could be achieved through their efforts.
  • Young voices at the municipality: during the project students will have meetings with the members of the municipality, they will participate the monthly council meetings, where they can share their concerns, ideas and strategies. The project could help local decision-makers to see young people’s needs and issues more clearly and to be more receptive to discussing young people’s ideas.
  • More quality events at town level: Our association plans to reach out to these young people and support them in organizing events that are aimed at the community of the town, because based on our research, there is a demand for this as well. We believe the project will also help these young people learn how to provide quality recreation opportunities for the community.

Project coordinator: Ungvári Borbála

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Gathering her courage, our newest member Gabriella set off alone to the city of ancient Greek architecture to discover her inner leader, her strengths and weaknesses, and to gather new ways to improve them, during a training course organized by our partner You In Europe.

“During the trip I already had a chance meeting with another participant, thanks to a unique pattern of trousers, because already at the Bucharest airport I noticed the dress style of the Bulgarian participant from Spain, which accompanied me at various points of the journey, until I was certain at a bus stop in Athens , that we are probably going to the same place, and so I started a conversation.

This is how many of my friendships, perhaps for life, began.

On the first evening, almost everyone had already arrived for dinner, after which a small conversation developed between the participants. My Szekler, i.e. Romanian Hungarian identity was not at all strange or complicated, as a truly international group had gathered, officially representing 12 countries, but more than that in terms of ethnicity. There was a Spanish-speaking participant representing France, Croatian and Argentinean members in the color of Austria, and I could even mention again my friend who was born in Bulgaria but now works in Spain. I think the rich background has created a strong bond between everyone from the very first moment.

The first official day of the training was of course focused on getting to know each other, noting names and people, discussing the program’s rules and participants’ fears, requests and consent, which was followed by the introduction of YouthPass through non-formal activities.

As the second day dawned, we threw ourselves into the mapping of leadership skills and types with full force. During the team tasks, after presenting the different styles in a short play, we analyzed the behavior of the protagonists of a story from the perspective of the leader’s five key competencies, which led us to the conclusion that we can either be born leaders or just beginners, nobody is perfect, and everyone can improve.

The third day showed a very colorful palette with activities such as shooting a commercial, learning about the steps of team forming outdoors, and after lunch, learning about the importance of communication skills and techniques. During one of the exercises, although humorous, the cultural diversity of the team members caused a lot of complications, as some of them could only speak to each other in their mother tongue, which made it a bit difficult to work together, but in the end, everyone managed to complete the task successfully.

On the fourth day of the training, we explored the more serious topics of SWOT and PEST(EL) analyses, also examined methods for managing change and conflict in teams. A very interesting exercise for me was to help us understand the power of questions, where after the introduction of closed, open and perspective-changing questions, we had to reveal the identity of a mysterious figure by asking carefully thought-out questions.

Arriving at the last day, we received a real “leader” guest, who as the inventor of the Save the Hood environmental protection initiative presented their activities on the coasts of Greece, also revealed to us the secret of the well-oiled system of the work process with thousands of volunteers.

To conclude our activities, emotions came to the fore as everyone shared their thoughts and feelings about the week during the evaluation. For me personally, it was a great opportunity to discover the world and myself again on my own, which, although it may have been a series of obstacles, I feel I managed to overcome. Apart from the friendships I made with the participants, I came away from the training with a wealth of experience and knowledge that I will certainly use in the future in my work at ATA.”



The VET-Pact project we are coordinating is progressing well, with lots of new and exciting activities happening currently. As a reminder, The “Enhancing VET practices and capacities through Transformative Learning (VET Pact)” project aims to enhance the quality, perception, and capacity of VET in three European countries (Romania, Hungary, Spain) and three Latin American partner countries (Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador). The project adopts a transformative learning approach and aims to develop a curriculum for 1,800 VET students and a training module for 180 VET teachers to become trainers. It also integrates digital and green practices, focusing on environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

The most important thing we were engaged with in the past weeks was putting together the curriculum for students that will at first stage be trained to the teachers from the six countries in the training done in El Salvador and after that these teachers will adapt it and train it to their students, testing and upgrading it. The content of the training uses transformative learning approaches and aims to give the students crucial life skills for their careers and future opportunities that are usually not taught in regular VET training.

Beside this, the research report that the curriculum is based on is finalized and translated from English into Hungarian, Romanian and Spanish and in the next days it will  also be designed, ready to be published, disseminated and used not by the partners, but by anyone wishing to understand the the current situation of VET in the 6 countries and the needs of VET students. 

Furthermore, we are all ready, with tickets bought, bookings done for the training in El Salvador that will start on the 20th of November. An NGO representative and four VET teachers will be traveling to San Salvador from each country in order to attend the training based on the above mentioned curriculum.

Last but not least, the VET Pact website is already up and running at From now on, the website is the main place where you can read all the aspects and updates of the project.  We will be back with new updates soon.



Between 21-28 October we organized our last youth exchange this year, which covered the topic of addictions, including 5 behavioral addictions. The Youth Exchange attracted 42 participants from 6 countries, namely Spain, Latvia, Turkey, Slovakia, Croatia and Romania.

On the first day of the programme, participants got to know each other and the Erasmus+ programme type. They talked about their hopes, fears and contributions. The participants also prepared an agreement, a set of rules for the remaining days of the program. In the afternoon, they completed a Mission Impossible task that allowed them to get to know each other and the city a little better.

On the second day, they talked about addictions in general, compiled definitions of addictions in teams, and then watched an exciting TED video by Gábor Máté, related to the topic. The analysis of the video was followed by presentations by the representatives of participating countries, in which they presented national statistics and facts regarding addictions. In the afternoon, digital and work addiction were discussed, which were processed by the participants by creating a digital brochure.

On the third day, after the completion of the brochures, a guest speaker visited the team, namely Melinda Orbán, family therapist, who talked about addictions in an interactive workshop, and participants could also fill in a codependency test. In the afternoon, creative work took place again, as addictions related to eating habits and shopping were discussed by creating vision board.

On the fourth day, after finishing the posters, the team explored the region during an organized excursion. They visited Szejkefürdő, as well as the Salt Region, Praid and Korond. In these regions they could admire the famous and unique Szekler gates, the unique natural wonders of the Salt Gorge, and the special painted ceramic vessels of Korond.

The fifth day was full of work again. In the morning, the teams wrote slam poetry about travel addiction, and then received more information about the forms, use and history of paper theatre. Since the final product of the youth exchange was a paper theatre, the participants were again divided into teams and spent the afternoon planning and writing the story.

On the sixth day, after finalizing the story, they started drawing scenes, coloring, and at the end of the day they practiced for the high school presentation.

On the penultimate day of the program, in the morning, the teams visited the students of the Berde Mózes Unitarian High School and introduced them to 5 addiction paper theater stories as well as slam poetry. In the afternoon, school activity was evaluated.

On the last day, the Youthpass certificate, its significance and importance and the 8 key competences related to it were given a major role. After this future projects were discussed, and we closed the event with the Youthpass ceremony.

The program offered an opportunity to get to know different cultures and explore their traditional dances and tastes. The Youth Exchange took place within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme.



Our last Youth Exchange of the year, which will take place between 21-28th of October and will be around addictions, will start soon. The program attracts participants from 6 countries: Turkey, Latvia, Spain, Croatia, Slovakia and, of course, Romania.

The Youth Exchange will actually be a continuation of our previous programme, this time it will not be about addictions related to different substances,  but behavioural addictions will play an important role. Over the 8 days, digital addiction, addictions related to travel, shopping, work and eating habits will also be discussed. We will approach the topic in completely non-formal ways, digital catalogues, posters, slam poetry, as well as paper theatre will be produced in order to better process individual dependencies, understand them and look for possible ways out.

Of course, the program will also provide space for getting to know certain cultures, tasting traditional delicacies and learning dances. The project and the 8-day exchange are implemented within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme.



The ATA tent organized on town days could not be left out of the program offers of our association this year either, which awaited the youngest children and their families with a colorful program this year as well. Fun, laughter, skillful hands, beadwork, face painting, baby corner and a big smile at the end characterized the two days of the ATA tent. As usual, our international volunteers designed the tent program this year. For weeks they were fiddling and thinking about what they could do to put a smile on the faces of our little guests. They enthusiastically made the decorations to bring color to the life of the town days.

The tent was filled with life on Friday. First we put the decorations, then we settled in with the lemonade corner, created a playground for the babies, and another corner for the parents to wait until their children enjoyed the crafts. Some were happy to join the game and joined in handicrafts, beading or supporting their children in sensory games. Since we had a warm weather, cold refreshments were essential, which we did not only distribute to those who visted us, but everyone who asked for a glass.

In the second half of the day, face painting took place. Our international and local volunteers were eagerly waiting for the children with various creative paintings that transported the youngest ones to a magical world. Perhaps there were some who were sleeping like butterflies, spider-men, or unicorns.

Overall, we can say that the ATA tent was a great experience again this year, the many smiling and grateful faces were worth the effort. We would like to thank the parents and children for visiting us again this year during the town days, our staff, international and local volunteers for their persistent and sacrificial work, and the Municipality of Székelykeresztúr for their financial support for the realization of the event.



The meeting of twin towns took place in our town between 4 and 6 August, to which 700 participants came from Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. During the three-day event, representatives of the twin cities discussed primarily the current economic and social situation of their settlements, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the community and economy, as well as solidarity actions against the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

On the first day of the program, presentations took place, then the representatives of the delegations discussed the aftershocks of the pandemic with the involvement of a specialist, and developed strategies for solving them. In addition, a photo exhibition was opened for those interested, and participants could also join a folk song evening. On the second day, the focus was on the sense of European identity, the participants talked about what kind of Europe they would like to live in, how Euroscepticism can be destroyed. The topic of solidarity was also an important aspect of this day, as European countries discussed how to counter the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. On the third day of the event, the presentation of the Europe for Citizens project type to the representatives of the region played a prominent role, while various sporting events were also held in the spirit of fair play. 

In addition to the above-mentioned topics, we considered it important to plant the seeds of European identity in children and young people, so we set up a separate tent for them for the entire duration of the event. Here, the children took part in handicraft activities, which we coordinated with the help of our international volunteers. We gave young people an interactive presentation about Erasmus+ programmes, youth exchanges and European Solidarity Corps volunteering opportunities they can get involved in. 

During the event, cultural experiences were exchanged, participants could listen to and learn each other’s folk songs, folk dance performances were held, and we could discover each other’s gastronomy in the framework of a cooking competition. All these events were aimed at mutual acceptance, appreciation and preservation of our cultural values and reflection of European diversity. In addition, visitors to the event and the guests joined the Petőfi Memorial and Community Run, promoting the importance of time spent together and movement, and a friendly football match was held among the inhabitants of the settlements in the spirit of fair play. 

Overall, we can say that eventful days are behind us. The event attracted nearly 5,000 visitors in addition to the 700 invited guests. During the presentations, roundtable discussions and brainstorming sessions, solution strategies were developed that can be put into practice by representatives of all settlements after their return. The tent launched for young people and children was a great success, and we hope that in the future these young people will also be able to experience a sense of European identity even more. 

The event was supported by the European Union. 



Yesterday, on the 4th of August, the town twinning in Cristuru Secuiesc has started, with delegations from Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. The approximately 700 participants were greeted yesterday by the mayor of our town, after which the representatives of the delegations set to work.  

On the first day, each settlement presented itself with a presentation, detailing the current economic and social situation of their, talking about current challenges and good practices that can be applied during these challenges. In the early afternoon, they took the topic forward with the involvement of an expert, who talked about the social and economic effects of the pandemic, and later the group worked out solutions through brainstorming.  

The first day also hosted cultural activities, a photo exhibition in the Molnár István Museum, and joint folk song singing and learning was organised.  

Today the Petőfi Memorial and Community Run took place, where more than 100 participants ran for the poet’s name, commemorating his heroism and promoting the community experience. Today we continue the series of activities with regard to the conflict in neighboring Ukraine, the actions of European countries in the face of the conflict. In addition, young people and children can take a peek inside the ATA tent, where we offer arts and crafts and exciting opportunities. 

Today, cultural activities are not left out either, as folk dance groups on stage prove the existence of our cultural heritage. We are still looking forward to welcoming everyone who would like to join our program offerings. 

The event is funded by the European Union. 



The meeting of the twin towns will be held between 4-6 August in Cristuru Secuiesc, where nearly 700 guests will come from three countries: Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. The main topic of the meeting will be solidarity, European integration processes and the aftereffect of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The delegates of the participating settlements will discuss these topics through presentations, roundtable discussions and brainstorming activities with the involvement of experts. In addition, they will participate in cultural activities, such as folk song evenings, folk dance performances and the presentation of characteristics of folk costumes. At the same time, during a cooking competition, they can experience each other’s gastronomy and traditional flavors. 

The program also includes activities for young people and children, as our staff prepares handicraft activities for the youngest, while older and young adults can hear more about various project opportunities and volunteer opportunities provided by the European Union. 

In addition to the invited guests, we welcome the residents of the settlement and the region to the meeting, trusting that everyone will find the right program offer for them.  

The project is supported by the European Union. 


Unforgettable experiences, new friendships, laughter from morning to night, beautiful landscapes and of course an insight into the artistic word. In a nutshell, that’s what our last week in lefkada was all about, we’ll try to describe the feeling that surrounded us in a little more detail, but we won’t promise anything, since we all know experiences can’t be passed on, they have to be lived. The adventure started late on saturday night, when we set off not completely unknown (actually but:) ) into the also unknown big world. Three „little boys”, a young adult and a middle-aged lady. Sounds like a good pairing at first, doesn’t it?? We proudly dare to say that it was the best pairing, age is just a number, the saying is true.

The participants of the program were made up of 6 different countries – Turkey, Spain, Poland, Estonia, Greece and Romania – we were a very colorful team. Not only because of the different nationalities, but also because the leaders of the program thought of sensitizing the young people, we could learn sign language and help our peers.
On monday we got to know each other with the help of some team-building games, we had to show our artistic talent here, because we had to draw each other on an envelope, which later included anonymous messages, making our stay there even more exciting.
On tuesday, the three main themes were presented, within the framework of which we had to create on the following days of the week. We could choose between acting, painting and light mapping, several members of our team – Robi, Misi, Ilonka, Anett – choose acting, because there were people who could try themselves in this field for the first time in their lives. But in addition to all this, Misike also gained an insight into the world of light mapping and digital editing. And in the evening we got to know the flavors of different cultures better and of course we also prepared a couple of domestic delicacies, Ilonka’s divinely delicious pityoka tokány and cucumber salad, we didn’t have enough, they even asked for the recipe, but I think turkish and polish delicacies after that we couldn’t even fit a little home.
On wednesday morning, we started putting together the play, everyone got their role and the rehearsals went full steam ahead, as we had to present a finished play to the big audience by friday evening. In order to increase motivation, we went to the most beautiful beach of the island in the afternoon, then we were able to go to the city and, to the greatest delight of the boys, we were also able to taste the real gyros.
On thursday, the drama was assembled by the lunch break, Misike also progressed very well with the task assigned to him in the light mapping group. and in the evening we were able to show the finished piece to our big team.
On friday, we presented our weekly work to school children and their parents in a small village. the background for the actors was provided by the light mapping team, and the props were provided by the painting team, so everyone’s work could be seen in front of the audience
In addition to work, of course, we had plenty of time to get to know each other and our culture better, every day we could learn the basic expressions of different countries, drink real turkish coffee, fortune-telling was done from our palms and coffee bags, we could learn and teach traditional dances, we talked late into the night and had big we could swim on the nearby beach during our lunch break. A week rich in emotions and impulses is behind us, we learned a lot of new things and perhaps the best thing about it all was that we were able to live it together, so we can stay in each other’s hearts forever.