In October 2014, ESIN hosted a meeting with young people from the Croatian organisations DESA based in Dubrovnik, SVIMA (Association for Civil Society Organisations and Civil Initiatives Development) and the Association for Sustainable Development of the Island of Rava. They wanted to prepare themselves for full utilisation of the European Social Fund.
At the meeting which took place in Stockholm Bengt Almkvist, Marian O’Malley and Christian Pleijel met with Dino Varenina, Ana Eric and Romana Hansai from DESA, Antonia Uskok who is the young vice mayor of Vis, and Ivan Srsen, born on Rava, living on Rava, working as an environmental officer, a local guide and producer of Fleur de Sel.
In June 2015, island kids from Åland, Turkey, Latvia and Latvia and of course Crotia met on Vis https://europeansmallislands.com/2015/06/12/island-kids-met-in-croatia/.
Later that year, Otočni Sabor (the Association for the Development of Croatian Islands) became a member of ESIN.
Now, Otočni Sabor, SVIMA and Association for the Sustainable Development of the Rava Island have commenced a new project called ”Active Young Islanders for smart small islands”.
The project seeks to equip young islanders (aged 15 – 25) of several Croatian small islands with policy-tracking, communications, advocacy and campaigning knowledge & skills through:
(1) Tailor-made workshops for young islanders and respective public panel discussions entitled “Smart small islands in the Republic of Croatia and active contribution of young islanders – reality or utopia” with a participation of relevant Croatian Members of the European Parliament / members of the European Economic and Social Committee
(2) An action research / a public panel discussion on the young women representation in the small islands’ decision-making process/in the small islands-based governing & management structures
(3) An advocacy campaign during which the young islanders will have an opportunity to clearly articulate to relevant decision-makers (line ministries & Croatian Parliament’s Committees) as well as the general public on their opinions/concerns with regard to transformative development agenda of Croatian small islands based on the “smart islands” concept.
The project makes me think of ”reverse mentoring” = traditional mentoring turned on its head. A method where more experienced (=old) people actively seeks the council of (young) people with less overall experience but fresh perspectives and skill sets.
Croatia is the youngest member of ESIN. We have a lot to learn from you.
Young olives growing on and old one, Rava (renowned for its olives)