Active Citizens

What's it all about?

Globally connected, locally engaged. That’s the thought behind Active Citizens, a non-profit programme that brings local communities together to give them the skills and resources to make the world a better place. But it’s not just about donating a few tools to the local allotment or volunteering your time to help repaint a sport’s hall; Active Citizens is about developing a completely different attitude towards the community we live in. Engaging, planning, getting involved and building positive relations. It all starts locally, but the effect is global.

There are two ways to become an Active Citizen: firstly by volunteering through a partner organisation in your community or by applying to the Active Citizens Social Leadership Programme. Whichever you choose, you can be sure you’ll be increasing your understanding of your own identity, as well as your local community’s.  To find out more, visit the Active Citizens official site or email the Active Citizens team.

What does becoming an Active Citizen mean?

In its most simple form it means you’ll be part of about 30 people in your community who share ideas on how to improve local issues. It could be anything from creating youth programmes to target unemployment in the area (as they did in Hackney) or an inter-generational project to bring together people of different ages (as participants did in Leeds).

So far it has created 130,000 Active Citizens in 40 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe,the Middle East and North America. Linked as part of a global network, including 13 communities from the UK, Active Citizens undertake a common learning journey that enhances their leadership, cultural awareness and project management skills.

How do I get involved through a partner organisation?

Each partner organisation has their own set of criteria for training Active Citizens, so you’ll need to contact the one closest to you to find out more. There are normally about 30 places on each course, but exactly how many will depend on what stage of recruitment they’re at. The UK partner organisationsare listed here.

What will it cost?

Your local partner organisation will receive a grant to cover the cost of training programmes, but you’ll generally have to cover the cost of transport.

To find out more, please email the Active Citizens team.

How do I get involved in the Social Leadership Programme?

The Social Leadership Programme (SLP) is aimed at individuals living in the UK who are already engaged in some way with community social action (either professionally or through volunteering) and want to develop their skills and networks further.

The 2015/2016 Social Leadership Programme is now fully subcribed and underway. To receive emails about future opportunities, please email the Active Citizens team.

What will it cost?

There’s no fee to take part, but participants arrange and pay for their travel to and from the Residential. (Participants who would struggle to pay for their travel may apply for support from a small travel fund.)

 

What they say

“I truly believe that there are far more things that unite people than divide people. If young people from different backgrounds can come together and discuss their similarities and differences, they will go back to their communities with a greater feeling of empowerment. Once they have heard about something working in one environment, they will be more motivated and able to make it work at home. Everyone is already excited to experience social projects in action. Seeing the difference they make will help us to be the difference we want to see in our own communities.”

– Ed Yoofi Bentsi-Enchill, UK youth worker.