“That the people have the Power to redeem the work of fools.”
Patti & Fred “Sonic” Smith
The fate decided that “People Have the Power”, the project, would be approved on the 30th of December 2019, the birthday of Patti Smith. Fate dictated as well that the project would be affected, in its majority, by the pandemic. At the end, People Have the Power was not what it was dreamt to be, but it was something new and challenging.
A project that relayed so much on public intervention to happen during the 2 years of a world pandemic was, at least, ironic.
Still we prevailed.
For the 12 volunteers hosted by us during 32 months it was also a different experience.
The project was carried in a 3 rounds scheme: “People Have the time to create”,“People have the time to change”, and “People Have the Power to Act”. Between September 2020 and May 2022 we hosted 3 volunteers. The second cycle started in September 2021 with 7 new volunteers who finished their experience on May 2022. The last run of the project had 2 volunteers between the end of August and December 2022.
To all of them, even being under the same project, the experiences were completely different. The first group was 6 months unable to travel further than Wrocław. The second group had a full quarantine experience and the 3rd group had the shortest but probably the most dynamic experience, at least in terms of moving around.
But everything came with preparation. To be able to present those topics the volunteers researched and prepared a questionnaire that was sent to youngsters in the region. We obtained more than 200 answers on the issues that were affecting them the most and what subjects they found important to discuss.
Youngsters gave ideas, suggestions, learned and acquired new knowledge and awareness on things they could do.
Podcasts were the channel to touch and discuss topics that are not usually discussed by young people as well all subjects that interest them personally, and to what volunteers could shine some light on, through conversations and interviews. Topics as the Balkan post Yugoslavia, to what means volunteering, inspiring people in different fields, LGBTQ+ representativity, women’s role in society, were some of the matters discussed.
The dynamics of the project may have changed in these last 2 and half years, by external factors, but what hasn’t changed was the dynamic of the young people involve. In the last stretch of the project, the last four months, EFM hosted 2 volunteers, who promoted debates in schools, discussed the stereotypes and gender inequality in schools, invited people from different countries in Europe for interviews, lead workshops in the local museums, Supported and spent free time with Ukrainian refugees, as well as taking part in the preparation and organisation of APVs and youth exchange in the topic of society views and ideas on it by young people.
All in all People Have the Power was not the dream initially dreamt but, after 32 months of activities, it really proof the authenticity of the title and the power of its meaning.
We can have pandemic, we can go through a world crisis and the effects of a war, we can be suddenly hosting refugees, we can be forbidden to move around, or asked to not make gatherings. But amid all of this this project has shown that People do have the Power. If we really want to change something, create something and act for a better world, we have in us the power of creativity and we’ll always be able to find ways to engage, connect and improve our communities.
“I believe everything we dream can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth’s revolution
We have the Power!”
As an output of People Have The Power, Podcasts were recorded by our volunteers and you can listen them whenever you want 🙂
Project Title: People Have The Power
Project number: 2019-3-PL01-ESC11-077933