The VOICE Action kicks off in Lisbon!
On the 20th and 21st of October, the in-person kick-off meeting for The VOICE Action took place, hosted by the Project Coordinator, Aproximar, in Lisbon, Portugal. This was an exciting chance for the partners to meet face to face and was the first of 4 transnational meetings that will take place throughout the project. Over two full days of shared cooperation, each partner had the opportunity to discuss their role and present their next steps in the progression of this far-reaching project that will span 24 months. There was also time for the attendees to enjoy the sunny city of Lisbon together, and absorb the unique local culture.
The VOICE Action project will educate young people from each of the host countries with an EU-focused training course, manage 7 multi-stakeholder hearings where they can voice their opinion, and then culminate in the mobility of 35 youth to Strasbourg. In order to manage these activities and achieve the project’s objectives, there are several steps in the form of 6 work packages. Each of the 9 partners is responsible for the progress of a specific work package, and so, this kick-off meeting was divided into presentations, conversations, and Q&A sessions on each one.
On day one, the meeting began with a warm welcome to all the partners and an overview of the agenda for the two days, presented by the project coordinator and host, Aproximar. Aproximar then outlined the functions of WP1 (Project Management, Coordination & Internal Communication), which they are leading. After a short refreshment break, the rest of the morning was spent discussing WP2 (Training Toolbox to engage and train young adult offenders on European project and European values) by Merseyside Expanding Horizons. The meetings resumed in the afternoon after a lunch shared by the partners al fresco. A Rocca presented WP5 (External Communication and Dissemination), which included information on the project’s media strategy. Next up was 180 Foundation who presented information regarding WP6 (Quality, Evaluation, and Sustainability), before events for the day adjourned.
The partners then shared a delicious meal, giving the group the opportunity to spend some informal time together and get to know each other better.
Meetings on Thursday were predominantly concerned with WP3 (Participatory Action – the bottom-up approach), by Stichting Young in Prison, and WP4 (Young People on the Move), by Fundación Diagrama. The meetings wrapped up with a general evaluation discussion and debriefing, where the partners reflected on the meeting and looked forward towards the next steps.
After this, the attendees were able to enjoy some free time in Lisbon, a beautiful city characterized by its steep hills, historical architecture, and fresh Portuguese food. The end of this kick-off meeting marks the beginning of a fantastic project that will empower young, disadvantaged people and support future EU policy.