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Students who live in cities often feel the need to join groups that are working to combat neglect, income inequality, loneliness, environmental degradation, poverty, and/or racism, among other things, through activism, education, or by being an example to others.

A good example is the so-called Ecobarrios projects in Latin America, which contribute to a sustainable green city by, for example, maintaining an urban garden, social projects in slums or collecting litter.

Students from low-income families fight for better schools and fair jobs, while others help strengthen the connection between schools and businesses. The Ecobarrios training program is for all ages, but it certainly has a big impact on young people. It empowers them in ways that traditional school systems do not.


  1. Divide the group into teams of 4 – 6 people.
  2. Each team should have at least one person who can translate from English to your own language.
  3. Each group will research three youth organizations from the list and write something about the vision, mission and activities of each organization.
  4. Each team then chooses a project from one of the organizations studied, which could potentially take place in their own town or village.
  5. Each team describes the vision, mission and plan of action for the project for their own city (or village).
  6. Teams present their project to the whole group.



Investigate how groups of young people can get involved in a positive and active way to improve their city.

Learning Outcomes:

A horizontal perspective on urban issues and student participation. Learning what it means to respect the other and to learn from and with the other.


Internet access and/or contact with active youth groups in a city.


Using self-determined criteria, students review each other’s presentations and provide feedback.

List of youth organisations:

  • Active Element Foundation
  • Communitybuilders Teenagers
  • Harlem Live!
  • Wiretap
  • Youth Channel
  • The Center for Teen Empowerment
  • The Mirror Project
  • Listen, Inc.
  • Youth Empowerment Centre
  • Project Seattle Young Peoples


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