Take a Way Box! – Day 2

Second and last day of our evaluation meeting “Take a Way Box!”: time to look back at what happened, reflect, evaluate the work plan, and plan for the future!

Back to the future

During the first session of the day, the participants were split in 6 different groups in order to reflect on their participation to the work plan “Shake the Box!”. Through a World Café, they were invited to answer 6 questions and share their experiences and conclusions on Youth Participation: What impact did your action have on the community? How was the collaboration between youth/youth workers/stakeholders? ; What advice would you give to a person/team working on a similar activity?; How did the action impact you in a personal/professional level?; What are you most proud of?; What are the future plans of your NGO?

Opportunities

In order to give the participants informations on financial opportunities and help them concretize their ideas of Youth Participation, the second session focused on presenting two of our financial supporters. Céline Guth for the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe introduced the Foundation and the various grants and opportunities that are available to fund youth initiatives. The team of facilitators then introduced several opportunities delivered by the European Union such as the Erasmus+ programme or the European Solidarity Corps.

Advocacy and Communication

The afternoon started with a session on the different communication tools that can be used as a way to advocate for young people. Margaux Dos Santos, Communication Officer of Youth Express Network, shared with the group the communication strategy of the network. She also gave a recap of the various communication strategies that were used during the work plan “Shake the Box!”, by the network and the various youth organisations involved in the project. At the end of the session, the participants shared their own tips and good practices on communication, creating together a Communication Toolbox.

Evaluation and closing

The last session aimed at evaluating the meeting and the work plan through various forms and methods. Certificates were given in a warm closing ceremony and the participants shared a Farewell evening.

The evaluation meeting “Take a Way Box!” marked the end of our year-long work plan “Shake the Box! – Alternative ways of participation”.

Thanks to the work and involvement of 22 different youth organisations coming from 16 different countries, we proved together that youth participation is happening right now, all over Europe, and that it can take many forms: 21 youth initiatives were implemented and 2 are currently in progress; the actions addressed major issues and topics such as the environmental crisis, social inclusion or education!

This work plan succeeded in showing the issues that young people feel concerned about and the will they share to have a positive impact on their community and change their realities! Youth participation IS real, efficient and promising!

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

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Take a Way Box! – Day 1

Our evaluation meeting “Take a Way Box!” will be happening in Strasbourg, France, for the next 2 days! Gathering 64 people, this meeting is the third and last activity of the work plan “Shake the Box! – Alternative ways of Participation“.

Young people, youth workers and external stakeholders are attending this event to share their experiences of Youth Participation in the frame of our work plan and to evaluate its whole process and impacts. 

Opening and (re)connecting

During the first session of the day, the team of facilitators introduced the programme and aim of the 2-day evaluation meeting “Take a Way Box!”. The group of participants was shown the videos made during the two previous activities of the Work Plan: the seminar “Participation out of the Box!” and the training course for young people “Participation Toolbox!”. They then got to know each other better thanks to an icebreaker activity.

Time to present

The next session allowed each of the delegations (1 young person, 1 youth worker and 1 external stakeholder) to present to the rest of the group the local action they had implemented at local level in the frame of the long term project. In total, 23 actions were developed in 16 different countries over the past months.

These actions tackled issues and topics such as: environment, social inclusion of vulnerable groups, gender issues and discrimination towards/within the LGBTQIA+ community, non-formal education, youth participation and youth empowerment, health and mental health, intercultural learning and European mobility opportunities…

Meeting with European Stakeholders

During the afternoon, the group recieved the visit of representatives of European institutions and stakeholders: 

  • Patricia Gaspar, General Consul of Portugal in Strasbourg
  • Lucille Ehrhart, assistant of MEP Anne Sander
  • Joao Pereira, Programme Adviser at the CoE Unit on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  • Emma Smith, Assistant at the CoE Unit on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

To present their work on Youth Participation, the group was divided in three thematic groups according to the topic of their local actions: Environment; Development of soft skills for young people + access to public spaces; Access to health + inequalities and fundamental rights.

Each group got to present their initiatives to the stakeholders, explaining the challenges and successes they had faced during the whole process. Following these presentations, the participants were invited to ask questions to the representatives, share their realities and hear their advices on how to reach decision makers and involve them in their actions.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

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ENTER Youth Week: a message from the Youth

In July, Youth Express Network took part in the Enter Youth Week organised by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, at the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe.

During 4 days, hundreds of young people and youth workers from all over Europe reviewed and worked on the ENTER recommendation, evaluating its implementation at local, national and European level.

As a result of this meeting, the young people and youth workers crafted a message, delivered at the end of the gathering and transmitted to the European decision makers

READ THE MESSAGE HERE

Watch the daily vlogs of the ENTER Youth Week here!

Crossing Borders: youth exchange on the Camino

Aside from our work plan activities and the final seminar of our long-term project EU4YOU, Youth Express Network also took part in a unique Youth Exchange: “Crossing Borders”.

In June, Youth Express Network sent 5 participants to the “Crossing Borders” youth exchange, coordinated by our Spanish partner Xeración.

This Youth Exchange focused on tackling current topics such as migration, integration, identity and solidarity in a unique and original way: a mental and physical journey of 9 days on the English Camino to Santiago.

The project also included Storytelling as a tool to connect people and to tackle prejudices. It ended with an exhibition of the creations of the participants, testimonies of their experience on the Camino: stories, pictures, videos and various work of art.

This project was supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 7

Last day of our training course “Participation Toolbox!”: time for harvesting the fruits of a week of work on Alternative youth participation, planning the next steps, and saying goodbye.

Debriefing the action

In the morning, the group shared about their Action day. They reflected on what went well and what went wrong, shared what made them proud, listed the things they learned from this experience.

 

My Action Plan…

The next session was about reflecting and laying on paper an Action to implement at local level. Art, mental health awareness, environmental issues, social inclusion… many ideas were shared during this inspiring time.

 

Evaluation and closing

An online evaluation form, a round of emotional last words and a certificate ceremony finally closed this 7-day training course. This week open new ideas on our young participants’ minds and from here will continue our work plan, “Shake the Box! – Alternative ways of participation”. Stay tuned for the next phases of the project: the implementation of Actions at local level and a final seminar gathering all stakeholders of the project.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 6

After 5 days of learning theories, techniques and methods on Alternative ways of participation and advocacy, the participants of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” had the opportunity to put their knowledge in practice: time to implement an actual Action, in the heart of Berlin.

Last preparations

During the first half of the day, the group divided into 4 teams in order to prepare the Action that was to take place later on, in the city centre. The 4 teams and activities were: the train trash (performance), the trash dinner (performance), the quizz (live survey), and the communication team (posters, online communication, hashtags and trends).

And… ACTION!

The Action took place in Alexanderplatz. It was entitled “The solution is less pollution” and composed of 4 different activities. The first one was the “train trash”, a performance aiming at raising awareness on the harmful habit of throwing trash on the streets. The second performance was called “trash dinner”. It highlighted the issue of plastic waste ending up in our food chain. The third activity consisted in a innovative survey on climate change, good and bad environmental habit: Berliners were invited to give their opinion and answers by putting a piece of trash in “Yes” and “No” garbage bags. Finally, the whole Action was illustrated by colourful and impactful posters.

You can find pictures of the event on our Facebook page!
Video to come!

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 5

Our training course “Participation Toolbox!” entered its final phase on this fifth day of training. After sharing the last examples and results, the group started planning their very own group Action!

Debriefing and sharing experience

The first part of the day consisted in debriefing the visit day in a plenary session. The participants could share their thoughts about the two initiatives they discovered on day 4. They also had the opportunity of sharing their own local experiences, and talk about the organisations or initiatives they are involved in back in their cities.

Tackling the local issues

The next session focused on closing the group reflections on the participant’s local issues and challenges. In groups, they presented the solutions they came up with, solutions that they will work on implementing at local level.

Start the action!

The whole afternoon was dedicated to start the planning of the group’s action which would take place on the next day (DAY 6). The group brainstormed to choose together a cause to raise awareness on: they chose Environment (specifically the diminution of trash and waste) and called their action “The solution is less pollution”. They imagined various actions to be implemented in the city centre of Berlin: posters, two separate performances, and a survey. To be continued…

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 4

Day 4 of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” was visit day! Our participants got the visit of an international environmental movement, and went to meet with an inclusive local initiative: the first Anti-cafe of Berlin.

Extinction Rebellion

The group got the visit of Extinction Rebellion, an international group of activists who use non-violent actions to raise awareness on the urgency of climate change. They introduced the movement, their values and explained the current climate urgency. They shared about their actions and organised a workshop to share with the group their useful took aiming at planning an action.

be’kesh 

After that, the participants went to the center of Berlin to meet with one of the co-founders of be’kesh, the first anti-café of Berlin. This cosy place has different purposes: vegan and vegetarian café, coworking space, and cultural venue hosting inspiring events such as concerts, discussion groups… An inspiring and alternative place that gave the participants an example of yet another form of participation.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 3

Day 3 of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” was entitled “Open the Participation Toolbox”. It focused on learning more about vulnerable groups and imagining solutions together to the participants’ local problems.

Participation of Vulnerable groups

The first session of the day allowed the participant to map and reflect on their identity. Religion, citizenship, economic situation, sexual orientation, ability, gender, migration… they were able to think privately about the privileged and less privileged aspects of their background.

They then played a simulation games which allowed them to put themselves in the shoes of people with fewer opportunities, and think more deeply about how society sees them.

Thinking about solutions

During the next session, the participants got back into the groups they had formed the day before. After having identified the roots and causes of their local issues, they worked together on imagining various solutions to tackle these challenges.

Workshops

On the afternoon, the group had the opportunity to take part in 4 different workshops: digital tools, storytelling, performance, and advocacy/activism. These workshop gave them a taste of the many forms an action can take and gave them some tool to use later in the week, when implementing an action in Berlin.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 2

Day 2 of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” was entitled “99 challenges about participation”. The aim of the day was to understand participation and identify the challenges youth face in their regions.

Understanding participation

At the beginning of the day, the participants had to evaluate on a scale of 1 to 10 their own experience of Participation: How much are you involved in your society? Do you feel you have an impact on society?

The group then reflected on the forms participation can take through a world café. Together they defined: digital participation, individual participation, political/institutional participation and alternative participation.

Experiential activity

Divided in 4 groups, the participants had to put themselves in the shoes of different stakeholders of society: the company, the financial power, workers and civil society. They had to come up with a strategy and action to suggest to a fictive government and experience the difficulties of communication between entities with conflicting interests.

Brainstorming

In the afternoon, each participant were asked to answer on paper questions on their local challenges. During this silent Brainstorming, they highlighted the problems faced by young people in their countries. From the group’s answers were isolated a dozen of different issues and each participant could decide on the cause they felt the closest to.

Design thinking

On the last session, the team of trainers explained the principle of Design Thinking. The participants then had to put this technique into practice, identifying the roots of the problems they chose to work on.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.