On 2nd May, a group of first-time voters (11-12 grade students) from Nautreni high school participated in an interactive workshop led by one of their classmates who obtained their experience on a DYPALL Network youth exchange in Hungary.
The workshop was divided into 3 sections – starting with a short, informative presentation, students gained all the compulsory information they require to be able to make an informed choice about participating in the next European Parliament elections and it helped to eliminate some fears connected with not knowing the election process or where to find information about the EP candidates from Latvia.
This knowledge was strengthened by a team quiz, where students had to differentiate between true and false statements, followed by short discussions about the facts mentioned. Those discussions were highly effective as students had the opportunity to ask questions about the Parliament, elections, the importance of each vote as understanding their part in making a change.
The final part included a Q&A, where every right answer could earn each student an additional point. The winners were then announced and the students with highest points received special prizes, but everyone in the workshop was presented with some marketing materials such as the tote bags, t-shirts and stickers provided by DYPALL Network.
Participants were very skeptical at first and were quite passive in the discussions, as they did not feel that they had any importance in the process. However, as the activities continued and the facts about youth participation in previous elections and their importance in making a change became clear, the general atmosphere and group dynamics changed, making it a more inclusive where even the quiet and skeptical students asked questions that concerned them about the EP and the forthcoming elections.