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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


8. Creativity and Culture

8.9 Enhancing social inclusion through culture

Fostering equality and young people involvement through cultural activities

The Participation Decree (participatiedecreet)


The Participation Decree - in full the Decree on flanking and stimulating measures to promote participation in culture, youth work and sport - aims to support, enrich and strengthen participation in culture, youth and sport policy.

The Participation Decree is a mix of structural and project support, initiatives aimed at the participation of a broad audience and of certain groups of events, existing measures and new initiatives, subsidies for public and private initiatives.

The Participation Council wants to be a new leverage in many ways for more community formation and for more opportunities for the broad public in society to taste culture, youth and sport. In addition, the Participation Council wants to be a strong partner for social disadvantaged groups. There are a number of specific actions for the social disadvantaged groups.

Based on the participation decree, The Flemish Government subsidizes annual participatory projects that help group groups on their way to the cultural, youth or sports offer or valorises initiatives based on groups of people. In this way, the Flemish Government wants to promote a diverse, sustainable and active participation of opportunity groups in culture, youth and sport. Some examples of projects that received grants since 2017:

  • Urban Words Youth radio: program for young people from disadvantaged groups linked to Urban Words (Urban Woorden).  The project aims at young people with a migration background or in poverty with an interest in urban arts, radio (or media), public debate or the activities of Urban Words. Young people receive training, feedback sessions, and create programs and debates about selfchosen themes.
  • Bric a Brac (a project of NPO Rest for the Wicked): With BRIC A BRAC, Rest for the Wicked wants to set up a process on vulnerability, failure and resilience. The project starts from the experience and expertise of people in poverty and young people with a diverse ethniccultural background to draw a number of lessons for artistique and cultural projects . This is used to initiate new participatory trajectories that thematize the interaction between art / culture professionals on the one hand and their target group on the other.
  • JoCult Light (project of NPO De Wissel, MFC Combo, Artforum and Barranja): Project to give disadvantaged groups in youth care (12 21 years) opportunities to participate in culture. Based on the first successful experiments, the organisers work with the young people towards a sustainable broad platform for youth care and the cultural sector.
  • OKAN Got Talent (organized by NPO School without racism): The project wants to bring young newcomers in OKAN-schools (reception classes for non-native newcomers) into contact with the opportunities to develop their talent in an academy, organization, dance school, ... in their neighborhood. The young newcomers work together with their peers during an art project (which can focus on visual art, but also on dance, music, theatre, …), supervised by an artist who is also a newcomer.


Combating discrimination and poverty through cultural activities

In December 2016, The Minister of Youth Sven Gatz launched a project call called Bridge-builders within and to youth work”. The call aimed to realize youth work for children and young people in vulnerable situations. The intention was to provide financial support to organizations or groups of organizations that offer a youth work that better reflects the diversity of society. The Minister of Youth decided to subsidise twelve 'bridge builders' projects. The selected projects focus strongly on reaching children and young people in vulnerable situations or with a different cultural background and show them the way to youth work. This way, these young people can also get to know the youth work and enjoy a suitable leisure time. The selected projects were evaluated by the jury as very strong, innovative, realistic and feasible. Also a couple of cultural projects received a grand, such as the  'Caravan Project' of the Circusplaneet.

See also sections above.