Freechild Youth Handbook: Get Engaged and Change the World by Adam Fletcher for the Freechild Institute

Youth Action Planning

Do you want to take action with young people? Children, youth and adults around the world are working together more than ever to make a difference. It can be hard figuring out the process though!

After almost 20 years of launching youth action projects around the world, Freechild thinks we should share what we’ve learned. In addition to our workshops and books, we want to make sure anyone can take positive, powerful action to make the world a better place.

Here is the Freechild Institute’s youth action planning process.

Steps for Planning Youth Action

  1. Find history. Young people have been making positive, powerful change for a long time. Learn about it, read stories, ask older people and get connected. Read more »
  2. Explore power. In a world run by the powerful, its important to rise above being powerless. When we work together in community to make a difference, children, youth and adults can create power and challenge those in power. Read more »
  3. Define the issue. What do you want to change? Research what matters to you, explore how to make a difference, and get info. Read more »
  4. Build community. The powerful want to cut off youth from each other and adults. Challenge that by rallying your friends, strangers, older and younger people, and people who are different from you. Get everyone involved in taking action. Read more » 
  5. Network. Find people who aren’t invested in your issue who’ll be your allies and build coalitions to for them to share space, ideas, knowledge and strength with you. Read more »
  6. Map engagement. Match action to your issue, map out the steps to making a difference, name your communication strategy, and get to work. Read more »
  7. Celebrate. Reach out to the people, organizations, elected officials and others who are your allies, as well as people in your networks using social media and in-person contacts. Tell what’s happening, gather ideas and support, and keep moving. Read more »
  8. Reflect on it. Look back on what’s happened, explore what you have done and could do, and plan your next steps using your new learning. Read more »

Once you’ve planned action, take action! Remember Freechild’s motto: “Once through action do words take power!”

 


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