Why should young people talk to you? Why should they share their stories with your organisation specifically? What are you doing for them in return?
Codebreakers is a storytelling initiative based on identity, belonging, and race which is broadcast on social media. We understand that young people are the experts in their own lives, and therefore it is our job to provide them with the resources, support, and platform to share their expertise.
But as we champion lived experiences as valid data in the world of policy creation and program delivery the question remains: What work has Codebreakers done to foster a safe environment that not only lets young people share their stories but helps them build meaningful connections?
“I really enjoyed this event and am so glad that I found it! I felt so welcomed and am excited for more events like this.”
“I’m very optimistic about the impact we’re going to make, thank you for involving me.”
So, we asked young people directly what they needed from us — and their answers became Codebreaker’s Social Contract.
What is a social contract?
Usually, a social contract refers to the roles and responsibilities between a government and its citizens. But we expanded the idea to work for the relationship between the project and its participants.
Our social contract is an informal document, built with our participants. It outlines the rules of engagement, considering everyone’s needs and what they expect/are able to give. A social contract provides the opportunity for everyone to buy into the broader project by ensuring that there are known parameters and expectations of behaviour and respect that they have had a hand in creating. It is an active exercise in building trust.
“I appreciate the dedication of every organisation, worker and facilitator who clearly put their hearts and souls into making today happen.”
How We Built the Social Contract
Codebreakers is all about empowering young people — while a key part of the social contract is ownership. So, we invested in a peer-led model to achieve both.
Building off the work of the Youth Engagement and Empowerment Program, youth facilitators worked in small groups to create a multi-modal document featuring quotes, phrases, GIFs and images that express what our participants need from us and each other.
In creating a social contract, Codebreakers has baked the needs of its participants in the very makeup of the project.
All future activities can refer to the document to make sure we are aligned with our participants’ vision and the commitments we have made to them.
To learn more about Codebreakers and our process of building a social contract, contact Izabella Antoniou.