As children and young people play an important role in the future of heritage at the very beginning of this years European Heritage Days celebrations, young "Ambassadors of heritage" were invited to discover the cultural heritage that surrounds them and share their experience with the rest of the world. The young storytellers in two age groups had a chance to give their definition of heritage and to put a spotlight on Europe's numerous more or less known cultural treasures. Their stories are now part of the invaluable compilation of Young Europeans cultural values. 

How it was organised? 

What started as a national heritage education project in Finland in 2013 has now grown into a European initiative open to young people from all across Europe. Young European Heritage Makers activity aims to give voice to the youngest, encourage them to explore their history and heritage, and get involved in the European-level celebrations of European Heritage Days.

Any group of young people or young individuals who live in the participating countries, who are under 18 years of age at the time of submission and who are interested in observing, exploring and participating in the environment and heritage that surrounds them were invited to take part in the competition. 

Entries were open to two age categories – age 6-11, and age 11-17.

Only entries by groups were eligible to be selected for the prize. Individuals could submit their work, but the initiative ultimately intends to encourage the development of shared heritage communities. 

Guided by mentores in their group work, children and young people were to answer the question:   

What is your European heritage?    

The competition resulted in over 100 inspiring stories from Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine. 

Their stories are now published and you can discover them on the dedicated page, together with the testimonies from previous years. 

The stories eligible for the competition were considered by the jury pannel and an inspiring selection was made by the following criteria:

- Originality and creativity;

- How well the story addresses the following questions:

  • What does heritage mean to you?
  • What do you know about European heritage?
  • What story of Europe can you see in the heritage around you?
  • What is the most interesting feature of your local heritage and is it unique to your cultural environment or shared with other countries?
  • How do you present the story in pictures and words?

And the winners are

First selection was made on the national level, after which the national winners were evaluated by the European panel of judges. And now the time has come to discover the European level winners:

Age category 6-11 years old

 Penkule Parish Researchers (Latvia) Penkules pagasta pētnieki ( Penkule Parish Researchers) 
 The Mäntylä preschoolers visions of their cultural heritage (Finland) Mäntylän ryhmän eskarilaisten näkemyksiä omasta kulttuuriperinnöstään 
 Pupils of the Primary school subsidiary in Vrtovin discover the cultural heritage of their village (Slovenia) Pupils of the Primary School Subsidiary in Vrtovin discover the cultural heritage of their village 
 And now what?  (Spain)
 Visiting Kula Redzepagica museum (Montenegro) 

Age category 11-17 years old 

 Apple (Slovenia) Jabolko
 Chernikiv is European city without barriers and borders in time and space (Ukraine) Чернігів – європейське місто без бар’єрів та кордонів у часі та просторі
 Brigene Manor (Latvia) Briģenes muiža - Kultūras mantojums
 Memories Movie (Montenegro)  
The family of a reindeer herder from the village of Kazim (Russia) Портрет семьи оленевода из поселка Казым  

The Latin Alphabet - Latinalaiset aakkoset (Finland)