The Youth Association of Terceira Island (AJITER) is a non-profitable organization, created in April 2003. Its main objective is to promote the youngsters’ integration and active participation in their own communities. We aim to fight the generalized indifference among our youth.
A lot has been done since 2003. We have had a social and community intervention in the most varied youth-related areas, ranging from citizenship education, education, and health, risk-behaviour prevention, social exclusion prevention, environmental education, among other things. In 2009 we adopted a new institutional strategy which gave us the opportunity to grow and to raise the importance and impact of our work in the community. First of all, we changed our institutional image and communication methods to much more modern ones, which allowed us to connect in a different way and became closer to young people.
With this change, we became more able to overcome the challenges of this new era. Furthermore, in this particular year, we launched the AJITER CARD, which is inspired by the European Youth Card, working, however, at the local level. This project has a social and entrepreneurial dimension, greatly marked by its solidarity goals. This project was designed with the objective of raising AJITER’s institutional dimension, gathering, in 2017 about 1.500 members.
As a result of the new approach, in 2010, we have been declared a public interest institution by the Portuguese authorities. Since then, AJITER has become an important agent for the development of Youth. In 2016, AJITER joined the international network for the information of young people, Eurodesk, joining the founding group in Portugal. In 2017, a partnership with the Portuguese National Comite of UNESCO resulted in the creation of the UNESCO Center “Jovem Insula”.
About our motivation and our social context, we can say that it is very particular because we are situated in a region composed of 9 islands located right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This means that we are in a disadvantaged area, mainly if we consider that the unemployment levels are above the national medium and also considering that we have a very fragile and small economy where poverty and social exclusion risks are at high level.
In order to fill this gap, AJITER has a close relationship with the two City Halls of Terceira Island, the City Hall of Praia da Vitória and the City Hall of Angra do Heroísmo. These organizations are crucial to the development and support of AJITER’s activities. AJITER also cooperates with the Azores Government, especially with the Education and Youth Regional Directions, with the local sports clubs, local parishes, Secondary and High schools of Terceira Island, local radio and Television networks.
Since 2003 AJITER, has promoted a large number of youth activities, with local, regional, but also international scope, namely:
. Youth Exchanges and Youth Workers mobility’s;
. Workshops, Training Courses, Partnership Activities;
. European Voluntary Service;
. National and International Conferences, Round Tables, Lectures;
. Structured dialogue activities between youth and politicians/decision-makers;
. Seminars and congresses with youth organizations;
. Democratic youth projects;
. Info-sessions in local schools/libraries, promoting Erasmus+ and European Values.