ACTION DAY #3: It’s in the Works!

This year, in the frame of our big anniversary project, we wanted to put a spotlight on some of ENTER Recommendation by, each month, initiating or communicating on 1 action related to 1 recommendation. 1 month / 1 recommendation / 1 action. This month, we take a look at Employment and Occupation!

ENTER recommendation #3:
Employment and Occupation.

For 25 years now, Youth Express Network has organised more than 100 projects focused on all kinds of issues and topics. Employment and Occupation has been one of them. We thought that this Action Day could be an opportunity to present two examples of projects we did focusing on this topic.

2011-2012: You(th) are the Champions!

“You(th) are the Champions: Strategies for youth employment” was a multi measure project aiming at changing the situation of youth employment in Europe. The project gathered 153 participants, representing 22 partners organisations and coming from 15 different countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

One topic: YOUTH EMPLOYMENT!

The objectives or the project were:

  • To support young people’s access to employment
  • To provide tools to empower young people
  • To assess the transferability of competencies acquired or developed through volunteering
  • To promote young people’s sense of initiative and entrepreneurship

18 monts to inspire Young People

The project lasted 18 months and was composed of 5 different actions. All activities were based on non-formal education methods and on the needs and contributions of the participants. Some methods used were: individual work, small discussion groups, plenary work, group dynamics, co-operative games and personal challenges (outdoor education), Open space technology, theoretical inputs, practice (coaching), experiential learning and artistic workshops.

The 5 actions were:

  • Feasibility Visit « In the Starting Blocks! », Spain, September 2011: building the partnership
  • Training Course « Coach Me If You Can! », Portugal, November 2011: working on knowledge, skills and attitudes in the field of coaching towards empowerment and employment of young people
  • Seminar « Jump In! », Romania, April 2012: identifying key competencies developed during volunteer activities and how these competencies can improve young people’s employability
  • Training Course « Take a Risk! », Lithuania, August 2012: using experiential learning and Outdoor education to show how taking risks can be a motor for personal and professional development
  • Evaluation Meeting: « Cross the Finishing Line! », Croatia, October 2012: measuring and disseminating the results

Motivated Young People and an institutional recognition

This project had beautiful results:

Y-E-N’s own working culture was improved;

  • 53 participants trained, skilled and motivated to work on coaching young people towards employment and therefore actively fight for youth employment in Europe;
  • Links with new organisations and opportunities for new European cooperation between youth organisations;
  • Recommendations made at European youth policies level for training young people to have more social, interpersonal skills and practical competencies in order to help them reduce the education gap between school and labour market, or recommendations for more mobility opportunities for young people in Europe and for more recognition of non formal education;
  • Recognition as a best practice by the European Youth Forum and its Youth Employment Action platform (where Y-E-N was an active member): www.youthemploymentaction.org, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

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2018-2019: “EntreprenEUrship for CultYOUre” (EU4YOU)

This year, Youth Express Network and our 8 partners will embarked on an international project for 2 years. Together, we will share good practices and develop innovative complementary pathways for boosting employability of young people through social youth entrepreneurship. We will also provide each other with tools for cultural entrepreneurship.

This project gathers social workers from 8 different organisations coming from Argentina, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. We had our first meeting in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, at the end of January.

READ MORE ON THE FIRST SEMINAR

EU4YOU will be composed of several phases of work and collaboration (see timeline bellow for more detail):

  • Kick off meeting merged with a Capacity building seminar on Social and Cultural Entrepreneurship in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.
  • Seminar on cultural management education and development of learning tools in Cancun, Mexico.
  • For a period of 2 or 3 weeks – Job shadowing mobility aimed developing toolkit on Cultural Entrepreneurship.
  • Development of a toolkit
  • Final seminar in Strasbourg, France, to evaluate results and present toolkit to public.

EU4YOU is supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission

Structured dialogue: sharing our experience

We were invited last Monday to take part in the Seminar “Shaping European Youth Policies in Theory and Practice”, co-organised by the French and Croatian agencies and supported by the EU-CoE youth partnership.

There, we presented our annual Work Plan of 2017 “TOG(AE)THER EUROPE : Living, working and shaping Europe together”, its challenges and results. The interaction with the participants allowed us to give them advices on how to implement European projects in link with Youth. We also got to hear about other local and national realities concerning the development of these projects in other countries.

Tog(AE)ther Europe, when young people meet policy makers

Co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission and the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe, our long term project of 2017, “Tog(AE)ther Europe“, aimed at promoting social inclusion for young europeans and their access to social rights, as well as giving them the opportunity and space to meet and interact directly with policy makers.

Some of the results of this project were:

  • the development by the young people of 9 Action Plans to implement at local level
  • the concrete implementation (to this day) of 2 of their Action Plans, in Italy and in Spain
  • the development by the young people of 5 examples of concrete actions to suggest to the policy makers
  • the candidacy of one of the young people to the municipal elections of his city, Dordrecht (The Netherlands)
  • several meetings between our young participants and policy makers: 7 in total.

Our difficulty : reaching the European policy makers!

During this project, we faced a major issue: out of 60 invitations sent directly to the MEPs and PACE members, we were concerned to see that none of them came to meet our young participants. This observation convinced us to write and address them an open letter in order to inform them of their passiveness towards young people involved and willing to take part in the decisions of Europe.

Our advice on Structured Dialogue projects

We were able to advice the participants of the seminar to focus their attention and efforts on local policy makers (as opposed to European policy makers who don’t always show enough interest).

Local policy makers are often willing to meet with European young people and hear their suggestions. We hope our advice will help other organisations to find success with their projects.

Cross-border activity in Strasbourg

This week, Youth Express Network hosted its first cross-border project of the year. This German-French thematic visit was organised in collaboration with our long-time partners Arbeit und Leben in Bayern and the OFAJ-DFJW.

The group of young people was composed of 13 vocational school students from Weiden, Germany. Aspiring to become specialised educators, they spent 5 days in Strasbourg were they met with french young people studying in the same field.

During these 5 days, they were given the opportunity to visit Strasbourg and its museum and European Parliament. They also visited the IFCAAD – a french school dedicated to social and educational work – a French-German kindergarden and our member organisation Association l’Etage.

Next week, we will welcome another group for a thematic visit on the food profession.

Tell your Y-E-N Story [Facebook Challenge]

At the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of Youth Express Network, we wanted to tell our story. Above all, we want to hear the stories of the people who joined us through our exciting adventures towards Youth Inclusion!

To give to our online community the opportunity to share bits of their Y-E-N stories, we launched a Facebook Challenge. Through it, we hope to read lots of anecdotes throughout the year: the stories of how they met Youth Express Network? The stories of their best memories with the Y-E-N family? The most memorable projects they participated to..

If you would like to take part in this online storytelling experience, here’s how the Youth Express Challenge works:

– Write your little story as a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post. Don’t hesitate to add pictures or videos
– Tag your Y-E-N friends and invite them to tell their story as well
– Use the #youthexpresschallenge on your post. It will allow us to collect all of your testimonies afterwards
– Copy these instructions somewhere on your post for your friends to continue the chain

We can’t wait to read your stories!

READ THE STORIES HERE!

Digitalise it!: Kick-off meeting

On February 24th and 25th, the 6 partner organisations of Y-E-N long-term project « DIGITALISE IT » (KA2 Strategic Partnership – Exchange of Practices) gathered in Strasbourg for the kick-off meeting!

This meeting was the occasion for the partners to recall the aim, objectives, steps and expected results of the project, but also to set important management and financial rules in order to launch the project for good!

The partners also had the chance to meet with Leo Zbanke, expert in digital storytelling, who will be in charge of the pedagogical content of the 2 trainings on digital storytelling that will occur in 2018: the first one will be a training for youth workers which will take place in April 2018 in Ostia-Rome (Italy), and the second will be a training for young people that will take place in July 2018 in Strasbourg (France).

The project will go on in 2019 for more international activities but also experimentations at local level with the digital storytelling tool!

Stay tuned!

Project supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission

Dear MEPs and PACE members, this is our Open Letter

In 2017, we coordinated the project “TOG(AE)THER in Europe: Living, working and shaping Europe together” financially supported by the Erasmus + programme of the European Commission and the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe. The project aimed at advocating and lobbying for the social inclusion and access to social rights of young people in Europe, by empowering them and providing them a space to meet and dialogue with policy-makers.

During this project, we confirmed once again that young people are ready and willing to share their ideas and needs of the present and future. Unfortunately, we were disappointed to find out that no member of the European Parliament came to meet with them to listen to their needs and ideas or engage into dialogue with them. The invitation was sent 2 months prior to the event to 60 European decision-makers (MEPs and PACE members).

We decided to send them an Open Letter. Here’s that letter.

ACTION DAY #2: Think Healthy!

Youth Express Network uses the ENTER Recommendation as a tool for advocacy on access to Social Rights for Young People. This year, and to celebrate our 25th year of successfully working towards youth inclusion, we wanted to put a spotlight on some of those recommendations by, each month, initiating or communicating on 1 action related to 1 recommendation. 1 month / 1 recommendation / 1 action.

ENTER recommendation #2:
Promoting healthy lifestyle.

In February, we wanted to focus on the Recommendation on Health: « Promoting Healthy Lifestyle ». We asked our Azerbaijani member organisation Common Sense Youth Organisation (CSYO) to be part of this challenge!

Think Healthy!

CSYO has been involved in awareness campaigns on the risks of smoking for years now, a cause that has more recently been addressed by the Azerbaijani Government which passed a law against smoking in public spaces. For theses reasons, CSYO made their Action Day a Movie Day, and invited their Young People to a projection and debate around the film “Thank You for Smoking”, a satirical comedy on the Tobacco Lobby.

PHOTO ALBUM HERE

This action day is part of the 25 years project. Learn more on this project here: http://youthexpressnetwork.org/25-years-project/
Have a look on the ENTER rec. here: https://www.coe.int/en/web/enter/the-recommendation

EU4YOU – Kick-off meeting in Bulgaria

Our first meeting of the year took place in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, at the end of January. It was the Kick-off meeting of our Capacity Building project “EntreprenEUrship for CultYOUre” (EU4YOU), hosted by Active Bulgarian Society (ABS). This seminar gathered social workers from 8 different organisations coming from Argentina, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam.

This international project will last for 2 years. It will allow its 8 partners to share good practices in order to develop innovative complementary pathways for boosting employability of young people through social youth entrepreneurship, as well as to provide them with tools for cultural entrepreneurship.

During this 7 days meeting, the participants got to know each other, the various organisations involved and the ins and outs of the project.

Together, they developed an action plan for the future months. Find here bellow a timeline of the chronological timeline of the project EU4YOU.

They also got to share some Team Building activities, meet with guests from Blagoevgrad region, visit the city and surroundings. As an introduction exercice, they developed in small groups five ideas for social enterprises which were later presented to all the partners and discussed in detail.

One of the result of the 2-year-long project will be a Toolkit on social entrepreneurship and cultural management, giving practical directions to young people on how to create, manage and sustain an enterprise.

Watch the video that was made by ABS volunteers during the seminar:

READ MORE ON ABS’ ARTICLE

EU4YOU is supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission

ACTION DAY #1: Your voice matters!

Youth Express Network uses the ENTER Recommendation as a tool for advocacy on access to Social Rights for Young People. This year, and to celebrate our 25th year of successfully working towards youth inclusion, we wanted to put a spotlight on some of those recommendations by, each month, initiating or communicating on 1 action related to 1 recommendation. 1 month / 1 recommendation / 1 action.

ENTER recommendation #1:
Promoting meaningful participation opportunities in the planning & management of their living environment.

2017 gave us a taste of structured dialogue, but in 2018 we want to take it a step further. As part of the European Working Group on structured dialogue with young people, Youth Express Network is running an online consultation to find out what matters to young people and to give them space to have a direct say in the future of the EU youth policies & the EU Youth Strategy 2019+.

Young people! Make your voice heard!

FILL THE FORM HERE

This action day is part of the 25 years project. Learn more on this project here: http://youthexpressnetwork.org/25-years-project/
Have a look on the ENTER rec. here: https://www.coe.int/en/web/enter/the-recommendation

2018 will be special!

In a few days, Youth Express Network will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of its creation! A quarter of a century! To make it count, we planned great surprises, and the show starts Today!

For 25 years now, Youth Express Network has been working with youth organisations from all over Europe. Since its creation, the network has developed more than a hundred international, European and local projects together with its member organisations and partners.

To mark this special anniversary, we wanted to tell our story. The story of a network and how it all started, the stories of the young people who contributed to build the network, family stories, stories of our projects, sometimes crazy ones, stories of Youth, from 1993 until now.

2018 will be a year to remember. Stay tuned on all of our social medias where we will post videos, pictures, challenges and action days every months.

Watch the 1st Chapter of our video project here:

Brigitte_Ludmann

All of the stories