EFA president and general secretary of Sweden’s Giva Sverige, Charlotte Rydh, is to lead a government investigation into how to increase youth engagement in civil society through a system of public recognition.
The investigation was announced on October 10 by Sweden’s Minister of Social Affairs Jakob Forssmed at a press conference with Rydh.
It saw Forssmed underline the important role young people already play in civil society through volunteering in a variety of roles, and the value they too gain from this experience. With overall volunteering rates in Sweden decreasing, and young people’s efforts often going overlooked, he said, the government is setting up the investigation to determine how young people’s efforts can be recognized and strengthened in order to create stronger incentives for more to get involved.
The thinking behind the investigation is that greater public recognition can motivate and contribute to increased nonprofit involvement among young people, both in and outside of traditional association life. This public recognition can also strengthen young people’s social inclusion, opportunities to build networks and create contacts for future working life or studies.
The investigation’s task therefore is to propose how young people’s efforts in civil society can be best recognised, so that more people in society see the value of voluntary involvement. This will include looking further afield, at examples of systems for recognition in other countries.
Charlotte Rydh commented:
“I am very happy and honoured to take on this assignment. Over the years I have realized how important my own involvement in my teens and during my studies was, both for me personally and for understanding the role of civil society. Young people’s involvement, both in their local community and more widely, is needed now more than ever. It must therefore be widely valued by employers, schools and other actors but also by young people themselves.”
The investigation will present its proposals in August 2024.
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