Youth Embassy
of Slovak Republic

Interview with Marius Ulozas


Marius Ulozas, director of Institute for policy research and analysis (Lithuania)

about the project Advocate- make yourself heard”

The purpose of this project is to empower/build the capacities of local youth NGOs in Turkey, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania in advocacy in order to effectively influence local and national policies.

The results we are aiming to achieve are:

Youth NGOs in the these countries have skills and knowledge to actively engage in decision making processes at national and local level; 2. Increased knowledge/understanding of youth NGOs with regards to national/European laws and policies concerning youth; 3. Established contacts/networks between youth NGOs at international level; 4. Advocacy actions implemented and run by youth NGOs locally; 5. Increased awareness among general public on relevant youth issues, especially with regards to marginalized groups. 6. Increased communication between public authorities and youth NGOs with regards to relevant youth policies.

  • Since you have experience with projects, when did you start to think about this one? Concrete, in which period did you begin to write it, and how many people are involved?

I am involved in youth NGO work for almost a decade now, and last few year have concentrated on youth policy development in Europe and building capacity of youth NGOs to become vocal representatives of youth needs.

  • Who all helped in terms of finances?

Training course has been financed by Lithuanian National Agency of European Commission programme Youth in Action, which supports youth mobility and non-formal education activities. More about the programme:

  • From which countries do you have partners?

This project pulled together 9 partners from different European countries: Lithuania, Turkey, Latvia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and Poland. Some of the organizations are National youth councils – representatives of youth on the national level in Bulgaria, Slovenia, Romania. Other organizations are working in different youth related fields and were interested to build capacity to advocate effectively.

  • In how many projects did you participate? Or been a teamleader?

It is very difficult to answer this question I participated in couple of seminars back in 2003 and got inspired to continue learning, raising public awareness about youth related issues. This led me to become active within International youth organization Youth for Exchange and Understanding, later – European youth forum and Lithuanian National Youth council. Now working as a trainer, I run around 70 educational activities every year.

  • Which countries did you visit just because of partnership of projects?

With youth work and training related activities I have visited more than 40 countries in Europe and beyond, have moderated conferences from China to Ethiopia. This helped to meet a lot of interesting and inspiring people, thought to be culturally sensitive and aware of global issues. International cooperation is a great way to learn about world, others and first and foremost- yourself.

  • What do you want to reach through these projects?

I have started my international youth work mainly in cultural exchange and conflict resolution areas, but now mainly concentrate in youth policy development, youth research, and youth NGOs capacity building areas. The main aim is to support youth friendly policy development and strengthen dialogue between decision-makers and young people.

  • What piece of advice would you offer to someone starting with YEU now?

Dare to dream big, make the most of your time, take up the challenges coming your way, and enjoy it!