Young Cities supported three up-and-coming youth groups in Antwerp to empower young people who felt excluded in their community.
In 2022, Young Cities expanded its programming into Belgium, launching its efforts in Antwerp to support young activists’ local initiatives to promote social cohesion and peace. While Antwerp is a city with a vast and active youth-focused civil society space, there were many gaps we identified that had been weakening community relations over time. Some of these included the city failing to reach marginalised youth through its initiatives, divides along ethnic and neighbourhood identities, and mistrust towards the media, political leaders and the police.
Young Cities was able to work with three teams of young people in Antwerp to develop social change projects that addressed the unique vulnerabilities youth face due to discrimination, anti-social behaviour, and weakened youth-city relations. The programme was also able to connect them to municipal leaders who offered them tangible support throughout their project delivery period.
The youth teams completed their initiatives in November 2022, while one of the teams had the opportunity to further its impact through Young Cities’ Ambassador Programme in 2023.