As a result of the inception phase for a ICLD municipality partnership, which was completed in summer 2009, the Municipality Office, the Employment and Social Services Administration in Karlstad got granted two municipality partnership projects in cooperation with the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality our twin city since 2008.

The objective of this project is to develop Karlstads and Gazianteps respective youth work by education, cooperation and showing the potential of cultural youth exchanges effect when it comes to democracy work.

We will mainly work with three subjects:

  • Youth participation
  • Youth influence
  • Youth initiatives

The municipality of Karlstad, together with Gaziantep, considers these three subjects as the general factors that our cities can tackle together. Representatives from Karlstad and Gaziantep have jointly identified needs and possibilities to develop the cities respective as well as common forums for the participation, influence and initiatives of young people. In Gaziantep the project will be implemented in the central districts Sehitkamil and Sohinbey.

These three subjects can be seen as three steps to develop our cities youth work. Youth participation is a necessity for a functional democracy and for a functional youth work. To reach and maintain functional youth participation there must be youth influence, and one of the greatest forms of influence is the possibility to present and accomplish initiatives. Culture and democracy are the two perspectives where Karlstad and Gaziantep can address and tackle the three subjects most effectively.

We also aim to identify and develop methods to increase the participation of young people’s knowledge about effecting policy-making in each country, both as individuals and as groups or organisations.

This project will be implemented during a two year period of 2011 and 2012 with a total of four exchanges, two in each country. The expected result regarding youth related questions about democracy is based on the three subject’s participation, influence and initiative. One result is to increase the possibility to participate and influence on a local level for Turkish youth. Increase the possibility for youth to take initiative, to cultural events for a start and, long term also concerning democracy and influence.