We were there!

17-19 April: EU Youth Conference

Youth Express Network is part of the European Working Group of INGOs. At the beginning of the year, the network took part in a wide consultation process and asked its members and young people to answer a survey. The aim of this survey was 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+.

The 2nd EU Youth Conference of the VI cycle of structured dialogue took place in Sofia, Bulgaria from the 17-19 of April. It was dedicated to discovering the results of this wide European consultation, to which more than 50 000 young people answered, and to create, according to these results, Youth Goals that would feed into the next EU Youth Strategy. Our President Mirela Lupu represented the network at this event.

As a result of this conference, 11 Youth Goals were created. We are glad to have contributed in the social inclusion of marginalised youth topic by creating together the “Inclusive societies” goal which is as well our networks vision for 2020. The next step is discussing and deciding the implementation of this goals and that will be done in the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union until the end of 2018.

27-28 April: COMEM of the YFJ

From 27th to the 28th of April, our Vice President Ramiz Aliyev represented Youth Express Network at the Council of Members of the European Youth Forum.

On the programme: debates on the next EU Budget, Brexit, sustainable development, sharing of good practices and ideas, as well as the YFJ’s new Advocacy Toolkit for youth organisations.

15-16 May: Consultative meeting on the CoE Youth Sector Strategy 2020-2030

In the middle of May, Y-E-N participated in a Consultative Meeting of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe. The aim was to discuss on the « Council of Europe Youth Sector Strategy from 2020 to 2030 ». The meeting took place at the European Youth Centre of Strasbourg.

1-2 June: European Youth Event

We also went to the European Youth Event! On the first day, Youth Express Network took part in a panel organised by the Youth Department – Council of Europe. The topic was « Is access to rights the key to tackling Populism? ».

19 June: ENTER Evaluation Seminar

In June, we were invited to present our work in link to the ENTER Recommendation at the ENTER Evaluation Seminar.

20 June: World Refugee Day

On World Refugee Day, Youth Express Network took part in a meeting organised by the city of Strasbourg.eu and the organisation Makers For Change to develop and implement together inclusive local projects. The group of work came up with a project: a contest on campaign videomaking.

26-29 June: Youth Forum Academy

Later this month, Youth Express Network took part in the Youth Forum Academy organised by the European Youth Forum in Brussels, Belgium. This training aimed at strengthening the organisational and advocacy capacity of the YFJ’s Member Organisations, and was more specifically addressed to their executive bodies (secretariats and administrative offices). The programme was built around 3 specific profiles of participants: senior management, policy/project officers and communication office.

9 July: Contest “Au boulot à Vélo” (Biking to work!)

Y-E-N’s office won the photo challenge Auboulotavelo thanks to the numerous votes of its online community!!

During the month of June, Y-E-N’s office participated in the biking challenge « Biking to work », a challenge organised by the organisation CADR 67 and the city of Strasbourg to promote biking as a daily means of transportation! Though we didn’t manage to win the kilometres this time, we DID win the photo contest with our team picture!!! Our online community supported us and we gathered more than 190 votes! Y-E-N’s office will try again next year! 

Action Day #6: Housing

We continue our 25th year celebration, with a closer look to a sixth ENTER Recommendation, the recommendation on Housing of Young People.

One of our French member organisations, the Association l’Etage, works every day towards the support of young people in difficult situations. The access to Housing is one of their main actions.

Strasbourg, FRANCE – Member organisation

L’Etage, club de jeunes

For 30 years now, the “Étage, club de jeunes” has been supporting young people with difficult backgrounds through various types of actions: day care, social restaurant, postal domiciliation, access to health care, parenting support, individual support and counsel…

The cafeteria, opened all day, and the social restaurant, opened from 8:00 to 20:00, allows the organisation to create and keep a human contact with the youth population in difficult situations, often homeless young people. Each year, a thousand people come to the Etage for help and support.

For the past 15 years, the organisation has widened its services to new publics such as families or remote populations of all ages, but the young people are still the main beneficiaries.

Access to housing in numbers

Each year, the organisation implements various measures to support young people with housing:

  • 10 stabilisation spots: with this measure, the organisation gives an individual social support and counsel to remote young people, allowing them to access stability and facilitate their future orientation towards structures adapted to their situations;
  • 29 spots in Accommodation Shelters;
  • 50 spots of “renting inter-mediation” : with this measure, the organisation contributes to give guarantees to the landlords, allowing the access of young people to a stable renting solution;
  • 70 spots for the European Resettlement Programme for Refugees: this measure in linked to the commitment of the French government to welcome 10 000 people in the frame of the European Resettlement Programme.

Since December 2013, the organisation l’Etage also helps families “with uncomplete rights”. The Family Accommodation Center has developed considerably since this date. The center’s agreements have allowed the hosting and support of 518 people, including a majority of children.

Public registered at the day care

The “Lézard au soleil” event, an art sale for the organisations

The association l’Etage organises each year an art sale called the “Lezard au Soleil”. The profits of this sale goes to a different association each year. On the 30th of June, 60 artists will paint on the docks of Strasbourg.

The profits of this 22th edition will go to a collective of associations of people hosting and supporting Syrian and Iraqi refugees to help them with their inclusion in France. Musical animations, drinks and food will also be proposed during the event. Link to the event on the image (French)!

Sources (French)

EU4YOU – Second seminar in Cancun, Mexico

The participants of our KA2 “EU4YOU – Entrepreneurship for cultYOUre” met again in June for the second seminar of this Capacity Building project. This time, they gathered in Cancun, Mexico, in order to continue the development of the various workshops to be implemented at local level.

The aim of this long-term project is to develop innovative complementary pathways for boosting employability of young people through social youth entrepreneurship and providing them with tools for cultural entrepreneurship in particular. Youth Express Network developped this project together with partners from 3 different continents:

  • Fundación Sustentabilidad, Educación y Solidaridad (Argentina)
  • Active Bulgarian Society (Bulgaria)
  • Business & Innovation Center of Serres (Greece)
  • Active Youth Association (Lithuania),
  • Iniciativas Internacionales para la Cooperación (Mexico)
  • Brigada De Voluntarios Bolivarianos del Peru (Peru)
  • Center for Sustainable Development Studies (Vietnam)

During this second seminar, the participants created 4 workshops about social entrepreneurship, cultural management, strategic planning and fundraising. They also drafted the content of a toolkit on cultural entrepreneurship and discussed together the upcoming job shadowing in each others organisations.

The job shadowings will take place during the winter, in Europe, South America and Asia. The objective of these will be to test the workshops and the toolkit before the dissemination in 2019. Stay tuned!

SEE MORE PICTURES

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

ACTION DAY #5: The Art of Togetherness!

This year, Youth Express Network celebrates 25 years of work and action towards Social Inclusion of Young People. We wanted to take this celebration as an opportunity to put a spotlight on some of the ENTER Recommendation, a tool we often use to teach Young People about the Access of Social Rights.

Our #12actions project aims at dedicating each month to one of the ENTER Recommendation by doing, initiating or communicating on various ways to implement these recommendation and by doing so, contribute to a better access of Social Rights for young people.

ENTER recommendation #5:
Education and training.

Youth Express Network has organised several trainings during the past 25 years! As a matter of fact, we did one of those this month! We thought it would be an interesting example of what can be done at local, European and International level, to provide youth and social/youth workers with education and training on Social Rights and how to access them.

Training of trainers

The training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” was the first activity of our work plan of 2018: “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion”. It took place at the European Youth Center of Strasbourg between the 11th and 17th of May 2018 and was supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Aim of this training was to grow and train a new generation of Y-E-N trainers and facilitators, able to make an impact on young people’s lives using artistic expression to promote empowerment, full access to social rights and a sense of Togetherness.

The training gathered 25 youth and social workers coming from 18 different countries! 24 youth organisations from all over Europe were represented.

READ MORE ON THE TRAINING PHOTO ALBUM

Regional Youth Exchanges

The work plan “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion” will continue its work through 3 regional youth exchanges between the months of July and September. During these Youth Exchanges, the participants of our training of trainers will become youth leaders and facilitate the activities.

Together, they will put to practice the knowledge, skills and competences they got from the training and guide the young people through topics such as: youth expression, peacebuilding and conflict transformation, social inclusion of young refugees and their transition from childhood to adulthood, youth expression, intercultural dialogue and social inclusion of minorities.

Work Plan supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Art of Togetherness – Days 6 & 7

Our training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” is now over! For 7 days, it gathered 25 social/youth workers in the European Youth Center of Strasbourg. This activity was the first activity of our work plan The Art of Social Inclusion, supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

DAY 6

Practice day

The Sixth day was entirely dedicated to practising everything the participants had learnt the previous days. The 25 participants were divided in 3 groups and then paired up with a colleague. In duos, they had to facilitate one of the 4 sessions of the day: getting to know each other, team building, social inclusion or access to social rights and evaluation.

The practising phase was closely followed by one of the trainer who would give each pair and participants their feedbacks, together with the other participants who participated to the sessions.

DAY 7

Preparing the next phase of the work plan

On Day 7, the participants, in groups of region, prepared together the upcoming regional youth exchange which they will be facilitating in July, August and September. The regional youth exchange will each gather about young people from the member and partner organisations and will take place in Georgia for the Caucasian region, Kosovo for the Balkan region, and Poland for the western Europe countries.

European Youth Foundation

On the next session, the participants were introduced to the European Youth Foundation, supporter of the project. They were explained how the foundation works and the different ways to be supported in the development of their activities.

Evaluation of the training of trainers

For the rest of the day, the participants were invited to think about the week of training, remember the things they have learnt and evaluate the whole training. They shared their emotions with each other and shared on the things they will take with them from this experience.

This week of training will for sure initiate new projects, new partnerships, friendships and a new generation of trainers for the projects of Youth Express Network!

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Art of Togetherness – Days 4 & 5

Our training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” is continuing in Strasbourg! It will gather 25 social/youth workers until the 17th of May, for 7 days of training on the Art of Social Inclusion.

DAY 4

Social Inclusion

The 4th day of our training of trainers started with an activity on social inclusion. The group experienced exclusion based on a visible criteria and analysed together their individual and group reactions. The participants were allowed to reflect on the differences between the concepts of Exclusion, Segregation, Integration and Inclusion. They also brainstormed on how to make an inclusive project.

Project Management

The next session was on project management and the cycle of project. The group reflected on how a Project should be, and the team explained to them various theories of project management such as the the tree of Root-Problem-Effects, the project life cycle and triple constraints and the 4 steps of project management (aim, objectives, activities, impact).

Field Visit

The group of participants had then the opportunity to go on a field visit: “Libre Objet“, a French non-profit organisation based in Strasbourg, welcomed them in their facility. “Libre Objet” started as a rehabilitation project for people in jail. “Libre Objet” is now a sewing and wood workshop, recycling overused/broken objects to turn them into new handmade design objects and give them a second life. Economic, good for the environment and social, this organisation gave our participants a good example of using Art with a social purpose.

DAY 5

Being a trainer and case studies

What does form a team of facilitators? The group was invited to brainstorm on the Knowledges, Attitudes, Abilities and Values that a trainer should have in order to be a good trainer. They then reflected on a few case studies and had to identify solutions for 5 different tricky situations: what to do if a trainer gets sick, or if a participants is often late to sessions… They ended the session with tools on risk prevention.

Evaluation, programme flow and session outline

The following session was on evaluation. The participants discussed what makes a successful evaluation and saw the different types of evaluations. They explored the process of evaluation: preparing, designing, collecting informations, assessment and conclusions, implementing results and interpreting. They then got more familiar with the programme flow and what different phases a project should be composed of, from the welcome evening to the farewell party. The group ended this theory session with a description of the session outline, its purpose and what informations it should contain.

Practice phase: preparation

Day 5 marked the beginning the practice phase! The participants were put into duos/trios in order to facilitate together a session for their colleagues! The 4 sessions to facilitate would be: Getting to know each other, Team building, Social Inclusion/Access to Social Rights and Evaluation. The rest of the afternoon and evening was dedicated to prepare the sessions to be facilitated on the next day!

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Art of Togetherness – Day 3

Our training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” is progressing well! During the third day, our participants went over European institutions, active listening, debriefing, feedback and methodology! They ended this programme with their first practising session and proposed artistic activities to each other!

European institutions and active listening

Day 3 started with a presentation of the Council of Europe and a tool often used within our projects: the ENTER Recommendation. The participants were then able to take part in two activities on active listening. On the first one, they had to communicate without seeing each other, sited back to back! On the second one, they had to tell a story to a distracted receiver. These exercises made them aware of the importance of body language, non-verbal communication, feedbacks, adaptation and an open mind.

Debriefing, feedback & methodology

The next part of the day was dedicated to learning more on debriefing, feedback and different methods and methodologies.The participants were introduced to the 6 steps of debriefing after an activity and different techniques of debriefing. They also talked and reflected on the importance of feedback and gave a few examples of feedback techniques such as the sandwich feedback or the behaviour feedback.

Practice

The day ended with a phase of practice. Participants were invited to facilitate their first workshop of the training. They could choose an artistic method to share with their colleagues and 4 workshops were held: Greek dances, digital storytelling, comic strips and forum theatre. After the facilitators prepared and hosted their own workshops, they were able to put into practice the debriefing and feedback techniques they had learnt earlier. The results were presented to the other participants during the evening and the group was able to reflect on the whole session.

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Art of Togetherness – Day 2

The second day of our training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” is now over! The day focused on learning, social inclusion and getting to know other European organisations!

Learning and Youth Work

The day started with a session on learning and youth work. The aim of the session was to reflect on the concepts of formal learning, non-formal learning and informal learning and to then link those with youth work and how it each of them can be useful or present challenges.

Learning to learn

On the second part of the morning, the youth/social workers got to experience various ways of learning through two different activities. The first one consisted of learning a choreography all together and put a spotlight on the processes of learning something by hear and having to unlearn something. With the second activity, a class on a Japanese technique of t-shirt folding, the group had to practice peer to peer learning and discovered the numerous styles of learning: manual, audio, visual, group, verbal, individual…

Social Inclusion and Togetherness

During the afternoon, the group took part in a big simulation game called “Scramble for Wealth and Power”. Divided in three groups of different wealth classes, they had to come up with a common plan to manage a fair distribution of their wealth in order to decrease the gap between them. This activity demanded for them to communicate with each other, negotiate, debate and find a fair solution.

Getting to know partners’ organisations

The day ended with a NGO fair where all of the participants had the opportunity to present their local organisation and hear about the others’. This evening allowed them to learn about their European neighbours’ realities and, hopefully, start lots of new European partnerships 😉

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

 

The Art of Togetherness – Day 1

Our training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” has officially begun! For 7 days, 25 youth/social workers will be gathered at the European Youth Centre of Strasbourg.

This training of trainers is the first activity of the work plan “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion“. The objectives of the work plan are:

  • to develop the competences of youth workers, facilitators and social workers in facilitating local and European activities for social inclusion
  • to understand the process of social inclusion
  • to try out and experiment different tools and methods to work on social inclusion
  • to support and valorise young people’s actions at local level
  • to learn/become inclusive and active

During this week of work, the trainers will get to explore various ways and good practices to empower young people to take action towards social inclusion.

Learning and practising

The programme will go over various aspects of youth work. During the first days, the trainers will work together and reflect on different theories, values and tools such as: non-formal education, social inclusion, active listening, facilitating techniques and methodologies. A practice phase will then allow the participants to use their skills and competences through art. At the end of the week, the trainers will work together on planning the upcoming linked activities: 3 youth exchanges that will took place during the summer.

DAY 1

Welcome and introduction of the project

The first day of the training was dedicated to getting to know the project and each other. In the morning, the participants were invited to reflect on the objectives of the project, their expectations and contributions. They expressed their hope to share experiences, knowledge and examples of good practices, learn new methods, get feedbacks, help and inspire each other and create new friendships and partnership.

After that, they got to know each other as individual and youth/social workers, share on their common interests, all of that in a beautiful and friendly atmosphere!

Team building and group dynamics

Under a beautiful spring sun, the group got to develop their team spirit with 2 outdoors activities! The first one was a game of chairs that helped them develop their active listening, strategy, and non-verbal communication. For the second one, the team had to cross a field of “lava” and make sure that nobody got left behind! Together, they managed 4 different techniques and learned to listen to each other’s sensibilities.

The last part of the day aimed at understanding and reflecting on group dynamics. What is the difference between a group and a team? They went over the Tuckman’s model, the PPP model and the 5 steps of group dynamics.

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

2018 General Assembly

Yesterday was our General Assembly! The member organisations, partners, friends, board and office of Youth Express Network gathered in rainy Strasbourg to talk about the past and future of the organisation.

There were in total 23 people attending the meeting, among which 19 represented member organisations and 3 observers. The meeting was kindly hosted by our French member organisation, l’Association l’Etage!

2017: Living, Working and Shaping Europe Together

The agenda of the meeting started by a presentation of all of the activities organised or attended by the Network last year. At the end of this presentation, the General Assembly approved the annual activity report for the year 2017. You can fin this report here bellow!

Finances and Budgets

Finances were also part of the agenda: the board presented the financial report of 2017 and provisional budget for 2018, which were both approved by the voting members. Another important point was the presentation of a new membership fees calculation, aiming at rebalancing the financial participation of the member organisation and individual participants. This new membership fees calculation has also been approved by the member organisations.

Upcoming projects and YFJ

Among the other topics on the agenda, Youth Express Network also presented to its General Assembly all of its current projects: EU4YOU, Digitalise it and The Art of Togetherness. An update was also given concerning the launched process to become a full member of the European Youth Forum.

25th Anniversary and Crowdfunding

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Youth Express Network is currently telling online its story and the stories of the people who helped build the Network to what it is today! We explained to the General Assembly the “25 years project” with more detail. A quick update was also given concerning our online crowdfunding campaign through the search engine Lilo.

Welcome “Parcours le Monde – Grand Est”!

This year, we welcomed one new member organisation: Parcours le Monde – Grand Est!

This French organisation founded in 2015 works in the field of international mobility. Its aim is to promote, develop European and international mobility, intercultural dialogue and youth participation through formal and non-formal education.

Their activities are mostly dedicated to young people, but also to the general public who don’t have access to mobility. Through these new opportunities, they can develop their autonomy, social link and access social and professional inclusion.

Election of a new Board!

Like every year, the General Assembly elected a new Board. 4 people obtained the required numbers of vote and joined the 3 board members still in mandate to form a new board. Here is the new board’s composition:

  • Mirela LUPU – President
  • Ramiz ALIYEV – Vice-President (re-elected)
  • Sirarpi MANYAN – Treasurer (newly elected)
  • Iasmin SCUNDEA – Secretary
  • Gaia Ciccone – Board Member
  • Nino TSULAIA – Board Member (newly elected)
  • Olya KRAVCHENKO – Board Member (newly elected)