‘Don’t you forget about me’ - Storytelling workshop in Barakaldo

28 Jul 2022

‘Don’t you, forget about me’ is the title of a well-known Simple Mind’s song. This words also popped up strongly in the Storytelling workshops in Barakaldo, when both youngsters and policymakers recognised that their worlds are increasingly distant.

Orkestra researchers presented to the youngsters and policymakers in back-to-back workshops what they’d found out on the inequality traps that are created in the interactions between intermediary institutions and young people in Barakaldo

The first idea introduced was that institutional support is not part of the life strategies of the youngsters. But, there is a policy concern and there are policy initiatives addressing youth in the different life domains. So, why is it so? What do they think on that, youngsters, and policymakers?

‘If I’d known about the financial support for emancipation provided by the city council and other institutions, I’d done it before”. This was the statement that a young individual made in the storytelling workshop. Other youngsters agreed on the fact that the ways in which institutions can support their emancipation are not clear for them as they do not know the whole range of possibilities they’ve got. Whose responsibility is that then? 

Youngsters recognise that they should approach more actively the institutions.

Policymakers feel that they do what is in their hands to get in contact with the potential beneficiaries of their policies. Many channels and means are used for this purpose, some more traditional and some more innovative for them (social media channels…). 

But it seems like efforts from both sides are not enough, something is failing… Which are the reasons for that?

What the back-to-back youngsters and policymakers Storytelling workshops held in Barakaldo the 21st of July of 2022 showed is that both groups need each other, but that they do not find the ways to connect. Suggestions in these regards came from both sides:

The disaffection of the youngsters towards public institutions was mentioned by policymakers as a possible explanation of the lack of connection between them.

As the previously mentioned song’s lyric say…’

‘Won’t you come and see about me?’

’Tell me your troubles and doubts’

Youngsters called for the need to gain capabilities that help them to identify which are the institutions they can address and the formal rights and resources that are available for them. Policymakers call for a greater effort in trying to understand by institutions credibility is more and more contested. 

One of the ideas that emerged was the possibility of using the educational institutions as: a) a nexus to the different programs offered by the local public institutions and b) as a tool to develop individual capabilities that go beyond the curriculum, such as learning how to pay taxes or how to read the electricity bill. 

Maybe we could take inspiration from the song chorus (Don’t you, forget about me) to solve the lack of connection between youngsters and policy makers. This means working together and acknowledging and supporting each other. Connecting both realities, the formal resources with the individual space, seems to be the future challenge for fighting youth inequalities in Barakaldo. 

Remember!!

Don't you, forget about me

Don't, don't, don't, don't

Don't you, forget about me

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