Democracy and participation, Communities

Voices of Change


Who is behind this?

Natalia Smolentceva

Voices of Change


Who is joining forces?

EU-Russia Civil Society Forum


B-East Production


Idea Sketch


Idea pitch

In Eastern Europe, where democracy is at struggle and political power is in hands of unchangeable old leaders, young generation has a say. “Voices of Change” is a project about and for young change-makers: those who step to the streets and bring change to their communities. It is a platform that tells inspiring stories of young and brave. It is a lab that brings them together to foster dialogue and exchange. It is a media project that reframes the image of Eastern Europe.

Where will your idea take place?

The stories will be published online on our platform. The lab will most likely take place in Berlin.

Why does Europe need your idea?

VoC aims to strengthen democracy in the countries where it is currently at struggle — Hungary, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, etc. Through collaboration with grassroots initiatives in these countries we support democracy from the bottom instead of influencing from the top.

What is your impact?

ENGAGE. Stories will engage heroes and readers in the dialogue about the role of youth in the change in the region.
EMPOWER. The lab will empower participants to continue their work with new skills, knowledge and support of the network.
INSPIRE. The project will inspire others to follow.

How do you get there?

1.(now) 10 journalists are on the grounds reporting stories of young change-makers.
2.(Feb—March) Production and publication of the stories on VoC webpage and with partners.
3.(March—May) Preparation for VoC Lab: developing the program, spreading the word, making an open call, selecting participants.
4. (Aug) VoC Lab in Berlin, Germany: workshops and discussions with participants, visits to local initiatives, producing stories about the participants of the Lab.

What is your story?

Originally from Russia, when talking about my home region, instead of discussing difficulties, I like to highlight solutions, young and fresh initiatives and grassroot ideas. I am sure this constructive, empowering and solution-based dialogue has a potential to strengthen democracy in Eastern Europe

Who are you doing it for?

1. Young change-makers: members of the NGOs and social movements, active citizens, independent journalists and anyone who wants to bring change to their community.
2. Broader public interested to learn about young people in Eastern European countries and their struggles .

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

Any kind of advice and feedback is welcome! Tips for potential partners or similar initiatives to learn from are appreciated.


Natalia Smolentceva


Idea created on Jan. 15, 2018
Last edit on Jan. 15, 2018

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