We are in a situation where we are one of the few NGOs that has almost no youth at the top of the organization. Our executive committee, trustee groups or boards – and almost all our decision-making bodies are driven by the adults. In the 21st-century people regard youth as being people who are 30 or below.
This is not because we have deliberately kept young people away. But the organization has primarily gained its stability through the older memberships. We must be inclusive – that is at the core of everything we do at PTPI.
Where the lack of youth representation is hurting us, is when we start to apply for institutional funding, such as from groups like the Council of Europe based in Strasbourg. We have in the past been able to secure funding for certain types of projects. There are chapters that have a strong youth representation who continue to receive funding, also from partners such as Erasmus. Recently the feedback has been quite strong about our lack of youth visibility and decision-making. Our websites do not fully capture the strength of our youth movement. And our EEC is not fully youth-led, which is desirable.
What is important is that we need to think about our response to this. We are an organization of Understanding, thus we need to take the lead in the feedback we are being given. For any improvement in how people see us to actually happen, we need young people to step up, despite all the changes taking place in their lives. It is important for us to have a regional and chapter level dedicated individual for youth activities. We can provide stability and continuity at the administrative level of PTPI Europe. We now need your help to make the transition and to ensure that we prove we can do this.
And, this is where our chapters come in. Do we have young people that are prepared to shadow our finance and secretary of the current EEC? They have one more year to serve of their current term so this is an ideal time to learn from people in the job. Sadly at the moment, these are volunteer roles. However, when we have youth in the roles there are funds we can apply for, to cover expenses. We then need to have on our website a list of the youth-led forum for PTPI Europe. And we must demonstrate that youth are active and capture both the benefits and the results.
Please do get in touch and provide us with a name and email address for your youth representative. Bear in mind that we are asking for the young person who can represent your chapter. And consider that they must be 30 or under to meet the criteria set by the external bodies.
Please do send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all that you do for PTPI chapters already. It is appreciated even though we do not tell you as often as we should.
Your EEC and Administrative board