Q&A series: Year of Youth

2022 is the European Year of Youth and we sat down with four experts working with the Fund for Youth Employment, sharing their views on why it’s important to invest in youth and how they look at the future for young people today.

This time we are sitting down with Dominyka Galčiūtė, a Team leader at the Active Youth Association. Active Youth is a non-governmental organisation that unites young leaders and is the lead partner organisation for the EEA and Norway Grants funded project Migrant Talent Garden.  What gives Dominyka hope for the European Youth today? Find out below.
 

Why is it important to empower and invest in youth? 
“As we all know, the vast majority of the world's population is made up of youth. Thus, it is essential to focus on youth empowerment, which we can call an investment that never fails to provide a great return. Moreover, investing and empowering youth give young people the courage to believe in themselves and get involved in the life of their community. “ 
 

“Investing and empowering youth give young people the courage to believe in themselves and get involved in the life of their community.“ 


Active youth

 The mission of Active Youth is to‌ ‌create‌ ‌opportunities‌ ‌for‌ ‌youth‌ ‌and‌ sustainable‌ ‌positive‌ ‌impact‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌way‌ ‌we‌ ‌treat‌ ‌our‌ ‌planet,‌ ‌health,‌ vulnerable‌ ‌people‌ and online‌ ‌community.‌

What is the Fund for Youth Employment to you, personally?  
“Education is not easily accessible for everyone, and even when someone gets a good education, it is still not a guarantee to open the door to quality employment opportunities. Students lack special skills, such as critical thinking and problem-frame skills, that are very useful in day-to-day life. Fund for Youth Employment is an excellent tool for giving the possibility to youth to develop and improve soft and hard skills that will help them understand a problem from different perspectives and generate unique solutions. It will also help them to boost their chances in the labour market. “ 

  
What is the most memorable moment working on the Fund for Youth Employment project Migrant Talent Garden?  
“The most memorable moment working on the Migrant Talent Garden project is seeing young entrepreneurs being enthusiastic about their business ideas with their "co-founders", creating networks for their future business, helping each other improve and most importantly, their feedback about the project. Their feedback about how grateful they are for this opportunity and expressing themselves how they can benefit from this project. “ 

Migrant Talent Garden
 The main goal of the project Migrant Talent Garden is to train, mentor & make sure young migrants have a chance to implement their business ideas.

How do you see the future for the youth in Europe? 
“Having helped to integrate into the community, identify social problems, generate innovative and sustainable solutions, and be encouraged to make their voice heard will help not only themselves but their family too in the future. Together, they can create incredible things to make our world better. “ 
 

“Together, they can create incredible things to make our world better.“ 

 

How do Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, through the Fund for Youth Employment contribute to empowering youth in Europe? 
“Youth's energy and passion are needed to identify global problems. Youth entrepreneurship is very important in addressing high unemployment. They prefer to be self-employed rather than being an employee. Their innovative and sustainable business ideas are the wheels of the economic growth in each country. Young people can achieve this if they are given platforms to build networks, collaborate, equip themselves with practical skills and tools for innovation. This is how Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein contribute to empowering youth.“ 
 

“Young people can achieve this if they are given platforms to build networks, collaborate, equip themselves with practical skills and tools for innovation. This is how Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein contribute to empowering youth.“ 
 

What gives you hope for European youth today? 
“Most European youths do not have the courage, entrepreneurship skills, and capital needed to start their own business. On the other hand, they face difficulties in being recognized and valued in the labour market. Nowadays, various organizations, projects focus on this social issue and empower youth to collaborate and take action. Have the opportunity to make their ideas heard and get funded to establish their business ideas. Youth can create new job opportunities, make nations grow, and inspire millions.” 
 

If you could give a 20-year-old advice today, what would it be?  
"Your life is in your hands. There is a whole world of possibilities. Learn now, and grow your knowledge as you grow older." 
 

We thank Dominyka for sitting down with us and sharing her views!


Find more information about the Active Youth Association here and have a look at the Active Youth Annual Report from 2021 

Find more information about the Migrant Talent Garden here

Read more about the Fund for Youth employment here  https://eeagrants.org/topics-programmes/fund-youth-employment

Read about the  youth projects that the EEA and Norway Grants support here https://youthemploymentmag.net/