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+.
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.
Between the 13th and 17th of November, Youth Express Network and Youth Social Rights Network met at the European Youth Centre of Strasbourg to hold the study session: “ADV-ENT-ure: Joint venture for ENTER ADVocacy!”. This Study Session, supported by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, gathered 28 young people coming from 19 different countries!
The objective of the Study Session was to reach Youth Councils and Youth Organisations working closely with authorities at local and national level and to increase their capacities to improve the access on social rights of young people and the implementation of the ENTER Recommendation.
Day 1 – Getting to know each other and building a team
During DAY 1, the participants got to discover and get familiar with the programme and each other. Answering various questions, the group was able to understand the main aim and different objectives of the Study Session and reflect on various relevant topics such as inclusion, social rights, youth work and non-formal education. They also had the opportunity to express their fears, expectations and contributions regarding the programme and 5 days to come. The afternoon was dedicated to Team Building and the young people were challenged by the team of facilitators to accomplish an Impossible Mission, which they did! Later this day, they were invited to present their youth organisation or youth councils to the others and get to know each other a bit more. The day ended with the traditional intercultural evening during which the 19 attending countries were presented!
Day 2 – ENTERing Dignityland
DAY 2 started with a game of ENTER Dignityland! This cards game of Human Rights education was created by the Youth Sector of the Council of Europe. It helped the participants get more familiar with social rights and the process of decision-making. The participants were then divided in nationalities to create in groups a portrait of their national/local realities. Some of the issues mentioned were common to the majority of the represented countries. These main fields of action were identified: employment, right to organise, movement of people, non-discrimination, education, fair work conditions and collective rights. For each of these topics, the participants were then asked to share and exchange good practices. After that, the group had the visit of Rui Gomes, Head of Education and Training at the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, who kindly came to present the Council of Europe and the ENTER project. The second day ended with a Quizz evening with the No Hate Speech Movement.
Day 3 – Participation, digital storytelling and local Youth Councils
The team of facilitators started DAY 3 by introducing the Ladder of Citizen Participation of Sherry R. Arnstein. With this illustration of the eight recognisable types of participation in mind, the participants were invited to reflect on Youth Councils and their scope of action depending on their local/national context. The following activity required all of the creativity and ideas of the young people. In little groups, they filmed short videos on the access to Social Rights. On the afternoon, the group welcomed representatives of the Youth Council of the Municipality of Strasbourg. The teenagers presented their work at local level and answered the questions of our participants. In the evening, all of the members of the Study Session went out in the city centre of Strasbourg to have dinner in a typical Alsatian restaurant.
Day 4 – Advocacy: taking action
The morning of DAY 4 allowed the participants to go deeper on the definition of Youth Councils. With a Fishbowl discussion, they reflected on what is a youth councils and shared on their local practices. The rest of DAY 4 was focused on Advocacy and how to actually take action to make a change. The facilitating team first presented the various steps towards Advocacy, thus giving to the participants a concrete direction for their future plans of action. The group then had the visit of two representatives of the European Youth Foundation who explained to them how to finance their future youth projects. On the last part of the day, the group divided in 3 to start the development of their final tools destined to Young People, Youth Councils and Youth Organisation.
Day 5 – Three tools for a better access of Social Rights
Our Study Session ADV-ENT-ure ended here with the 5th day. This last day was dedicated to the realisation and final presentation of the tools created by the participant to help Youth Councils and Youth Organisation support their local authorities and convince them to implement the ENTER Recommendation, increasing therefore the access on social rights of young people. The tree tools created were: an open letter, a more youth-friendly version of the Recommendation and an online assessment tool destined to youth organisations and youth councils. The day ended with an evaluation of the 5 days of work.
The young people who participated in this Study Session will continue working on these 3 tools and deliver them to the Council of Europe once they’re finished. This Study Session was the first joint project of Youth Express Network and Youth Social Rights Network and we are happy to have united our strength and worked together towards a better access to Social Rights for Young People.
From the 8th to the 10th of November, Y-E-N was at the Council of Europe for the 6th edition of the World Forum for Democracy on the topic « Is populism a problem ? » ! This event takes place each year in Strasbourg (France) and is organised by the Council of Europe in collaboration with the Municipality of Strasbourg (France), the Region Grand-Est (France) and the French Governement.
« The objective of the World Forum for Democracy 2017 is to review new initiatives and approaches which can enhance democratic practices and help parties and media, but also other political and function optimally in 21st century democracy. » (source : https://www.coe.int/en/web/world-forum-democracy/home)
For 3 days, around 2000 participants and 200 speakers from 80 countries gathered to address the challenge of populism around the world. Different plenary sessions focused particularly on the role of political parties and the media and Labs explored practical initiatives that are implemented in some countries.
The winner of this year’s Democracy Innovation Award went to Russian investigative newspaper « The Insider ».
« The Insider is an investigative newspaper that seeks to provide its readers with information about the current political, economic and social situation in Russia, while also promoting democratic values and shedding light on issues related to human rights and civil society. In addition, the Insider implements the “Antifake” project, with the objective of systematically debunking fake news in Russian media, and to help its audience to distinguish relevant information from fake news and propaganda. » (source : https://www.coe.int/en/web/world-forum-democracy/home)
The World Forum for Democracy will be held in 2018 again, on the topic « Citizenship on the move ». More about the Forum
Our member organisation Proni Center for Youth Development, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is currently working against violent extremism. To do so, they’re taking part in a campaign called CAT (Citizen against Terrorism) and now launching a training for Youth Workers called Youth Workers Countering the Violent Extremism.
CAT (Citizens Against Terrorism)
CAT (Citizens Against Terrorism) is an online campaign aiming at raising awareness against radicalism and extremist ideologies by peacefully engaging local youth with various tactics. Its target groups are: local youth submissive to radicalism and exposed to hateful and extremist speech, post war youth coming from different nations and religions, medias and citizens.
The campaign consists of a facebook page through which the organisation communicates via memes with CATs,inviting facebook users to stand against terrorism and radicalism! Alongside the online campaign, Proni is also organising events, promoting the movement against terrorism.
This year, Proni already implemented a few activities:
– Block terrorism: Beach Volleyball Tournament that gathered 20 teams and a total amount of 250 people, public included
– Street actions to collect signatures. 450 signatures were collected to make the 24th of March the International day of fight against terrorism. The petition was then sent to Proni’s ambasador in UN.
This initiative was introduced to our group of participant during our Partnership Building Activity “Working Together for an Inclusive Europe” by Dejan Rađen, one of our participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Youth Workers Countering the Violent Extremism
Youth workers countering the violent extremism is a project aiming at empowering and supporting existing youth workers’ skills and competences and giving them new tools in order to notify, act and report on radicalism behavior of young people in digital and real world.
The initiative came from the realisation that youth workers sometimes need to change their approches and adapt their knowledge when working with young people who are directly harmed by radical ideologies, sometimes leading to violent extremism behavior. There is a new need to create new tools and to use new methods.
In order to achieve this, Proni will focus on 3 activities:
An advanced youth work training for 30 youth workers, focused on: dealing with conflicts and violent behavior, working with individuals (counseling skills), street youth work and “cyber youth work”;
The creation of an online web platform collecting: information about youth radicalisation and violent extremism, positive examples of new tools and methods in youth work and other relevant information;
The promotion of youth work and youth workers as relevant partners to local and international institutions dealing with issues of human security, radicalism and violent extremism behavior.
Using existing networks, PRONI will disseminate the idea of Youth Workers countering the violent extremism and involve more members and organisation to join the movement.
The project activities will take place in three municipalities/cities in North-East Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bijeljina, Brcko and Tuzla.
To learn more about Proni and their project, go to Proni.ba or their Facebook page.
Article written thanks to the contribution of Dejan Rađen.
Our friend organisation HOP based in Ostia, Italy, is supporting the making of a documentary on migration: “Earth and Skin”. At the occasion of its fundraising campaign, HOP facilitated an action aiming at breaking stereotypes and invited the audience to participate in interactive games. The event was hosted at the Teatro del Lido (Ostia), on the 27th of October.
“Earth and Skin”
Can a man, leave his native country, feel belonging to another strange land?
In search of an answer, two documentarists headed to Calabria in Sant’Alessio in Aspromonte, finding themselves in a suspended reality in time, among uses and customs typical of the Calabrian tradition and new foreigners, who also bear a tradition, far away from a continent.
Sant’Alessio is a village almost uninhabited: it has about 150 inhabitants, 35 of which are migrants. In order to manage the problem of Italian depopulation, the Sant’Alessio Municipality, in collaboration with COOPSIA, has launched a SPRAR project through which the country has become a second reception center for migrants. Some of the houses abandoned by Sant’Alessioti are now home to the beneficiaries of the SPRAR project, thus promoting the development of the country’s micro-economy.
However, our question is still unanswered. Can a coexistence not always chosen, be free, spontaneous and jovial?
How can native and migrant inhabitants feel themselves belonging to a place where tradition and new culture coexist?
HOP decided to support the creation of a documentary that reveals this microcosm, internal dynamics, but above all the difficulties faced when leaving a place to reach another, yet capable of not only welcoming us as individuals, but also, above all, as human beings.
For HOP, it was the chance to play role-games to break stereotypes and use non formal education for a creative purpose. This helped everyone to really understand the ideas behind the project and in fact everyone participated with enthusiasm and was full of questions after all.
The games were proposed by Gaia and Andrea, from HOP and it was a fundamental participation to make the event a success for the community.
The event proposed were:
• A photographic exhibition on Sant’Alessio and its inhabitants accompanied by an audio track with interviews made to SPRAR operators
• The vision of the documentary teaser;
• Non-formal role-playing activities related to the theme of the documentary in collaboration with HOP @humanityoverpeople
• Crowdfunding collection for documentary production;
Dear young people, friends, member organisations, we need your help! And the good news is, you can now help us, one click at the time!
Since 1993, Youth Express Network organises trainings, study visits, seminars, youth exchanges and a lot of other local, cross-border and European projects designed for youth/social workers and young people with fewer opportunities. In a few months, Y-E-N will be celebrating its 25 YEARS of experience in the matter, 25 years of intercultural work and exchanges!
We would like for this year to count and to be remembered, with videos of testimonies and memories, events and beautiful projects!
To be able to do so, and more, we decided to launch in September 2017 our very first fundraising campaign. For that, we chose Lilo.
What is Lilo?
30 euros. A lot can be done with 30 euros. It can represent a few meals, one night in a hostel, a train ticket in some countries, one year of membership in an organisation, a donation maybe… What if we told you that 30 euros is also, in average, the amount of money you generate yearly thanks to your internet researches.
Some people decided to make something of that interesting fact and created search engines which allow you to participate in something useful. Some are focused on tree planting, sustainability… as for Lilo, it is specialised in organisations.
How does Lilo works?
Lilo is a search engine that finances social and environmental projects. You can download it and use as your default search engine. So how does it generate money exactly?
To explain it simply: each research you do in Lilo generates 1 “drop of water”. The drops of water are cumulated at the right top of your screen. You then can decide in the Lilo page to which associative project you can give your drops. Thanks to advertising, the drops are turned into money. It is not much, but with a lot of people, a lot can be done !
Here is a video that explains a little bit how the search engine works.
How can I donate?!
Our Lilo Campaign is now online! Donating is Really simple!
STEP 1: Install Lilo as your default search engine.
STEP 2: Surf on the internet, as you do usually. Your drop count should now be raising, search by search!
STEP 3: When you reach 50 drops or more (required limit for the first donation), go on the Youth Express Network campaign page Hereand donate your drops.
STEP 4: To donate, select the amount of drops you want to give by sliding the cursor. Click Ok! Et voila: you’ve just donated your drops 😉
STEP 5: Share. Share! SHARE! Talk to your friends, send emails, share the campaign on your social medias!
Start gathering your drops NOW! We’ve been using it at Y-E-N coordination office for 7 months now, and we’ve just donated 2080 drops! Can you beat our record? 😀
Our participants had the opportunity to meet with decision-makers and present to them their advocacy and lobbying ideas. During the morning, they developed their propositions around 5 different themes: education and training, employment and occupation, social inclusion/segregation, participation opportunities, and youth work and non-formal education.
The meeting with decision-makers consisted in a world café and our 4 experts were able to listen to the young people’s recommendation on youth issues and give them their opinion and advices. Our guests were Abdelkarim Ramdane, elected counsellor of the municipality and urban community of Strasbourg, Marie-Julie Fayard, assistant of the Member of the European Parliament Anne Sander, Nerea Santisteban Lorences, elected at the municipality of Oviedo (Spain), and Pedro Serra, elected at the municipality of Cascais (Portugal).
The last part of the day was focused on evaluations. The participants were asked to evaluate the day and their afternoon meeting with decision-makers, the activity “Shaping Europe Together!” and the overall Work Plan.
Day 3 is already over and today was a very busy day! Thanks to our kind guests’ interventions and our planned field visits, our participants were introduced to a great number of institutions, financial supporters and local/national/European initiatives.
During the morning, the participants learn a little bit more about Advocacy and Lobbying. In groups, they were invited to start a brainstorming on the ENTER Recommendation highlighted the day before during their country profiles: education and training, employment and occupation, social inclusion/segregation, participation opportunities, and youth work and non-formal education.
Each of the groups imagined an advocacy and/or lobbying campaign to promote/raise awareness on their chosen topic. The ideas were numerous: videos, petitions, elevator pitches, social media campaigns, face-to-face with decision-makers…
After this collaborative exercise, we had the great pleasure to welcome 3 guests to hear about European institutions and initiatives:
a representative of the European Youth Foundation introduced the foundation to our participants. The European Youth Foundation is providing Youth Express Network with financial support for our Work Plan “Tog(AE)ther Europe” and it was very interesting for the group to get a clearer idea of the process of funding European projects.
Hervé Moritz, President of JEF France (Young European Federalists), came and presented the European Youth Convention, an European event which gathers each year more than 100 representatives of youth organisations from 38 countries to develop and write together an European Convention.
Nafsika Vrettaki, Board Member of the European Youth Forum, talked about youth councils around Europe and shared with the group about the YFJ and its structure.
After lunch, the group split into two and left the European Youth Centre to go visit two different sites: one group went to the European Parliament and the other participated in the “Weeks for equality and against discrimination”, an event organised by the municipality of Strasbourg proposing workshops to children in order to teach them the various types of discrimination.
During the evening, we all went to our traditional night out in the hosting city. The participants were invited to eat at a local and typical restaurant and discover Alsatian specialities.