Active Citizens is a non-profit programme that promotes community cohesion and improvement through civic engagement or volunteering in around 30 countries. Run by the British Council and partner organisations.
The Active Citizens programme envisages a world in which these increasing global connections lead to positive outcomes, where youth feel empowered to actively engage in the development of their communities.
We think this vision is important at a time when decisions taken locally can have an immediate impact globally and vice versa. By joining this programme participants will be able to:
- develop a strong sense of their own culture and identity through engagement with other cultures
- have an increased knowledge and understanding of how their local community works and its links to the rest of the world
- take action to improve society through sustainable initiatives
- work effectively with diverse groups of people
- become skilled in cross cultural communication and dialogue, and its effective role in community action
- work together to address the global issues of the 21st century.
Who is it for?
The programme works with young people (between 18 and 30 years) who have demonstrated they have taken local social responsibility; including youth workers, women’s groups, educators, community development professionals, voluntary sector representatives and religious leaders. Working together, they build trust and understanding, develop skills and deliver Social Action Projects (SAPs). These projects are focused on important issues their communities face - such as poverty, gender discrimination, violation of human rights and environmental pollution.
Active citizens journey
In Sri Lanka the journey starts by equipping these young people with the knowledge, skills and attitude required to engage in dialogue and social participation. Skills are developed at two levels – partnership and youth development. Young leaders then engage with their local communities through SAPs. Partner organisations, local government and community influencers can support these young leaders through mentoring, providing access to resources and technical support.
The young leaders are given the opportunity to interact with their peers in the UK and other countries in the region; Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Partners and young leaders share experiences of their engagement with the communities, and thus become a part of a global network of resourceful and effective Active Citizens.
The success of the Active Citizens programme lies in working closely in partnership with groups and organisations that have a strong influence on cultural relations in society at both grassroots and national level. These include local groups, non-governmental organisations, volunteer groups and local governments. These groups and organisations establish strong local networks and unite in the promotion of community needs and cohesion, and can be regarded as potential catalysts for cultural, religious and social development on a wider scale.
To find out more please contact us.