Since 2018 Cristiana has become one of the Code Week Ambassadors in Romania, movement that aims to bring coding closer to the young generation. As a strategic goal regarding GEYC, Cristiana is eager to support individuals in their growth and development which, she believes, can be obtained through each and every small action we take in this direction.
First of all, what is GEYC and what is the mission of the organization?
To start with the beginning, GEYC or the Group of the European Youth for Change is a Romanian NGO that has been founded back in 2010 in Bucharest, Romania. We are active at local, national and international level and through our activities we encourage entrepreneurship, digitalization, stimulate social responsibility while standing for human rights.
In what sense do you empower the young people?
We are young people working with young people through both peer-to-peer education and mass communication supported by youth leaders. Each project we create or initiative we join, we try to adapt it based on the community needs.
Among others projects, your entity organize the European Digital Youth Summit – EDYS. Can you explain what is this event about?
European Digital Youth Summit - #EDYS18 is a multistakeholder event aiming to bring together 100 representatives of organizations, companies, media, academia and young people in order to discuss the impact of European projects with a particular focus on new digital technologies and young people.
Initiated by GEYC in 2014, EDYS is now a bi-annual event aiming to create a high-level of discussions on the most important topics for young people in a continuously changing digital world. This year the event will take place in Brasov, Romania, on the 14th of December. We are also welcoming international participants, so for more info on the topic of the conference or how you can apply, we invite you to have a look at the following link.
What other initiatives or projects are organized in GEYC?
One of the most relevant projects we are involved in through which we stand for online activism and digital transformation of youth NGOs is TURN ONline, a KA2 Strategic Partnership, funded by the Erasmus+ program of the EU and developed in collaboration with 6 other NGOs from Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Greece.
In this context, a proof of oir digital citizenship approach is Young Digital Leaders, an Europe-wide education project aiming to empower young people through digital citizenship, critical thinking and media literacy skills.
The main aim of this program is to encourage youth in becoming tomorrow’s digital leaders. The project, developed in partnership with Google and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, was created in order to equip young people with the skills they need to be safe, powerful and effective online citizens in the 21st century, and to explore new ways of teaching digital citizenship in formal educational settings in Europe.
Lately we have been focusing a lot on the digital sector and, in this order of ideas, I have also become involved in the Europe Code Week initiative as an Ambassador for Romania. Through this program, I aim is to support organisations in the process of building digital skills the young generation needs. Find out more about Code Week here.
How is the level of digital technology among young European people?
I personally think that what young European people need at the moment is a deep understanding of information protection in the digital world. By getting involved in the education sector and by raising awareness towards this topic young people can use online networks and tools in a safer, more efficient and more innovative way.
You have collaborated with an initiative organized by the Catalan project Turn Online. How do you value this experience?
TURN Online initiative has had a great offline and online impact in the Romanian community and not only. Also, it benefited from international awareness, as it was one of the main projects presented during the Internet Governance Forum, hosted by UNESCO in Paris, in October 2018.
I really appreciate the support we constantly offer one to another in the coordinating team, as without it, nothing would have been possible. In what is coming next, we will continue by organising a TURN ONline workshop during the EDYS Conference in December. Also, we are preparing the launch of the MOOC platform. Last, but not least, we are getting ready for the Final TURN ONline Conference that will take place in Barcelona in February 2019. So my advice for you is: Keep an eye on our activities, great things are about to happen.