A countryside where young people want to live

Photo Mats Engfors/Fotographic

The municipality of Boden is one of three municipalities collaborating in the Youth Up North project. It will strengthen young people’s influence and participation in a vibrant countryside. Olivia Steen is the project manager here in Boden.

Youth Up North shall be characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and innovations and work co-creatively based on young people’s visions, ideas and with young leaders as a force. Project leader in Boden is Olivia Steen who graduated at Björknäsgymnasiet this spring and grew up in the village Svartlå here in Boden municipality.

– I have a very fresh memory of what it is like to, for example, try to combine life with logistics and time for both school and football training. As a young person in the countryside, you grow up quickly and learn to prioritize and plan, she says.

During school time, she became involved in the school’s student council and the municipality’s Youth Council with a desire to be involved and influence, while she was active in both football and martial arts. Now it is her role to give more young people in the municipality of Boden the possibility to influence their everyday lives.

Youth Up North is run by the association Youth 2030 Movement which collaborates with Bodens, Arjeplog and Dorotea municipalities. Behind the initiative are the Family Kamprad Foundation and the Stenbeck Foundation. Fanzingo also participates in the project.

Actively contribute

In short, it is about strengthening young people’s influence and participation in order to create a vibrant countryside where young people want to live. The municipality’s young people must not only like, but also play an active role in developing the municipality and contributing to the development of society.

For Olivia, the role is still new from the autumn of 2020. For the first time, she has met colleagues who work within the project, shared experiences and ideas and gathered inspiration and knowledge about how the work should be set up here in Boden municipality.

– It is a very exciting assignment and I will move a lot among young people around the municipality to listen and capture what they want and think, says Olivia.

Olivia works together with the Culture, Leisure and Youth Administration, which is located in the former Vårdhögskolan / Lärcentrum’s premises. She will be a unified link between the various administrations that affect young people, everything from education to business, culture and leisure. But also collaborate with ongoing rural projects, youth projects and more.

Olivia Steen is responsible for giving young people an active role in the work of creating a countryside where young people want to live and contribute to the development of society within the framework of Youth Up North.

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