Action Day #11: Promoting Gender Equality

To celebrate our 25th year acting and networking towards Social Inclusion of Young People, we wanted 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.

ENTER Recommendation #11:
Improving gender equality (…)

The ENTER Recommendation developed by the Council of Europe suggests various measures allowing more access to social rights for young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods. A part of this Recommendation focuses specifically on improving gender equality of young people living in these disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

To demonstrate that it CAN be done, we chose to tell about Active Youth Association, our partner organisation for Lithuania, and their project SURF: Stand Up for Rights of Females.

SURF Project: Empowering Women

With this project, Active Youth aims at empowering women by boosting gender equality across communities in the participating countries/regions: Lithuania, Senegal, India and the Honduras. Using a training programme on “women protection & development”, the activities gathered/will gather youth workers & young leaders from EU & Partner countries for the different phases of the projects: a kick-off meeting, 3 job shadowings, 3 training courses and a final conference.

The objectives of the project are to:

  • Identify the main threats and obstacles for gender equality within the participating countries.
  • Develop skills and tools for the protection and development of women´s rights.
  • Transfer these skills/tools to relevant groups (e.g. youth workers).
  • Strengthen partnership between European and non-European organizations.
  • Improve the capacity of the partners to protect and develop women´s rights.
KNOW MORE ON THIS PROJECT

 

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

Action Day #10: supporting youth work

To celebrate our 25th year acting and networking towards Social Inclusion of Young People, we wanted 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.

ENTER recommendation #10:
Supporting non-formal education (…)

For 25 years now, our member organisations and us have been using non-formal education/learning to help young people overcome their disadvantages and become active in their communities. This form of education, although being proven efficient, is poorly recognised socially and politically.

The ENTER Recommendation developed by the Council of Europe lists several measures governments and youth organisations can implement to increase the recognition and support of youth work and non-formal education/learning. Here’s how we implement these measures:

ENTER MEASURES
⇒ Encouraging the exchange of expertise between professionals working with young people
⇒ Supporting youth work professionals and youth organisations that provide non-formal education/learning in the promotion of best practices
Encouraging responsible authorities to recognise and value youth work as an important measure in supporting community cohesion

With this strategic partnership project, our member organisations get the opportunity to meet other partners and learn from an expert and each other’s practices on innovative digital tools. The first training course on Digital Storytelling allowed youth workers form each organisation to learn technics on digital storytelling from our expert film director and coach, Leo Zbanke. Another phase of the project (which will take place in 2019), will consist of 3 peer learning study visits of some of the organisations to discover each other’s implementation of digital tools in the frame of Youth Work.

During the process, the participating NGOs also get to share their good practices to the general public. The topic, digital storytelling, allows all parties of the project to share the video results and reach, through social media, both society and responsible authorities, thus demonstrating their expertise and the impact that youth work has on young people with fewer opportunities.

“Digitalise it” is financially supported by  and 

Digitalise it – Video Results!!

Take a look at the results of our long-term project “Digitalise it”, a selection of videos that were made by the young people and youth workers during our two training courses on Digital Storytelling, which took place respectively in Italy and France, in April and July 2018!

This strategic partnership aims at allowing young people and youth workers to experiment, share and confront practices on innovative, digital and creative methods and tools to foster youth empowerment and social inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities / in vulnerable situations.

Alessia Ashes from the Middle-East Brian
Haunted Hazem Juan
Kostas Mirela Pablo
Tsveti

These videos were made by the participants from start to finish, thanks to the guidance and workshops of our partner and expert Leo Zbanke, film director and coach. Find here below a video of the second training course we organised this year.

The partners of “DIGITALISE IT!” will meet again in December of 2018 for a mid-term meeting during which they will evaluate the past activities and plan the next phase of the project: 3 peer learning study visits to observe and learn from the implementation of some of the practices learnt during the project!

Partners: Active Bulgarian Society (Bulgaria), Youth Express Network (France), United Societies of Balkans (Greece), Affabulazione Associazione Culturale (Italy), The Exchangeables (The Netherlands), Youropia (Spain)

This project is financially supported by  and 

Action Day #9: Preventing Discrimination

To celebrate our 25th year acting and networking towards Social Inclusion of Young People, we wanted 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.

ENTER recommendation #9:
Preventing discrimination

Discrimination is a barrier to active citizenship. Many young people with fewer opportunities experience discrimination because of social prejudice and isolation. As explained in the ENTER Recommendation, measures promoting cohesion and positive relations between people from different backgrounds can be implemented by organisations, municipalities, governments… In this article, we wanted to show you two examples of those successful measures, implemented by the Eurometropole of Strasbourg and our partner organisation Volunteers for All Association.

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Strasbourg Municipality, France

Each year, the City of Strasbourg and its partner organisations organise “The Weeks of Equality and Fight against Discrimination”, 3 weeks of events aimed at educating and raising awareness among children, young people and the general public on equality and discrimination.

These equality weeks offer to its visitors various workshops, games, and creative activities, developed to raise awareness and allow people to reflect and understand the other with their differences.

Whether related to sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, disability or religion, all discrimination is represented and deconstructed during this event!

We had the opportunity to visit this interactive exhibition with our participants in 2017, during our Structured Dialogue activity “Shaping Europe Together”. This year, the equality and anti-discrimination weeks will be held from September 24th to October 20th.

 

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Volunteers for All Association, Romania

At the beginning of September, Youth Express Network took part in the Youth Exchange “Don’t be afraid to show your true Colours”, organised by Volunteers for All Association in Milcoveni, Romania.

During 8 days, 40 young people coming from 7 different countries gathered to work together towards fighting against LGBTIQ+ discrimination and promoting LGBTIQ+ Rights. Thanks to a non-formal education based programme, they learned more about each other’s realities and the situation of the LGBTIQ+ community in several countries of Europe. Together, they thought about solutions and ways to fight against discrimination at local level.

As a result of this work, the group had the opportunity to actively raise awareness on LGBTIQ+ Rights in the city center of Resita, Romania. The young people got to make their voices heard through various artistic and informative means such as: a dance performance, impactful posters, a live and online survey and an info point.

This youth exchange was born from an idea developed during our Partnership Building Activity “Working Together in Europe“, in 2017. It was financially supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

 

All inclusive 2, Poland – Youth Exchange

From the 20th to the 30th of August 2018 in Poronin (Poland) was held “All Inclusive 2”, the second youth exchange of our Work Plan “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion“. This activity was the second follow up activity of our Training of Trainers “The Art of Togetherness”, which took place in May 2018, in Strasbourg.

“All Inclusive 2” gathered 41 young people and young migrants/refugees coming from 6 different countries (France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain) and 8 organisations (most of them being member organisations of Y-E-N). The aim of the youth exchange was to empower young people from Western and Central European countries through artistic expression on social inclusion of young migrants and refugees.

During this 9-day activity, the participants got to deepen the topics of social inclusion, intercultural learning, migration/refugees and discover different ways to express through art, with artistic workshops led by the facilitators and the participants themselves.

The main result of this youth exchange was a public performance that the participants had to create. They defined a common message that was the red thread of the performance: “Borders are only in our thoughts” and “Union brings love and joy”. The finale result combined theatre, dance and music, that they presented on the main square in Krakow: they also invited the audience to react to their message and performance on banners that they prepared.

Partner organisations: Affabulazione, Fundacja Instytut Innowacji, Parcours le Monde – Grand Est, Plus East, Rota Jovem, The Exchangeables, Youropia.

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Graphic Reports “The Art of Togetherness”

HERE IT IS!

The graphic report on our last Training of Trainers “The Art of Togetherness” is here! It was made by Coline Robin, graphic facilitator, who has been following and drawing our activities since 2017. Enjoy!

This year programme was supported by:

Don’t be afraid to show your true Colours – Youth Exchange

Youth Express Network took part in the Youth Exchange “Don’t be afraid to show your true Colours” that took place in Milcoveni, Romania, from the 31st of August to the 7th of September 2018. 

This colourful youth exchange was developed and coordinated by the Romanian organisation Volunteering for All Association. It was financially supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. Y-E-N FACT: it was during our Partnership Building Activity “Working Together in Europe“, in 2017, that was born the first draft and idea of the Colours Project 😉

During 8 days, 40 young people coming from 7 different countries gathered to work together towards promoting LGBTIQ+ Rights and fighting against discriminations. Through activities based on non-formal education, they were able to learn more about the Erasmus+ programme, LGBT Rights in their countries and through Europe and the No Hate Speech Movement.

This exchange was also an opportunity for the participants to learn more about themselves and their role inside the LGBT community, to hear and share personal stories and reflect together on ways to make a change at local level. In groups, they got to exchange ideas and tools to fight against discriminations and develop ideas of projects or events to implement in their cities.

As a result of this work, the group came up with a beautiful public event to raise awareness on LGBT Rights in the city center of Resita, Romania. This event took place on the 5th of September. The young people got to make their voices heard through various artistic and informative means such as: a dance performance, impactful posters, a live and online survey and an info point.

Partner organisations: United Societies of Balkan (Greece), Asociacion Mundus (Spain), CoEfficient (Hungary), Youth Express Network (France), Balkan LGBTQIA (Belgium), RROMA (Macedonia), Semper Avanti (Poland)

Project supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

Action Day #8: Boosting Social Inclusion

To celebrate our 25th year acting and networking towards Social Inclusion of Young People, we wanted 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.

ENTER recommendation #8:
Breaking down segregation and the promotion of social inclusion.

Young people living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods often experience isolation and segregation. As explained in the ENTER Recommendation, measures can be implemented to ensure the access of social inclusion to young people with fewer opportunities, for example: reaching out directly to some of the most isolated and disenfranchised young people, offering them opportunities and addressing their specific needsIn this article, we will focus on examples of projects Youth Express Network and its member organisations have recently developed to facilitate the social inclusion of refugees and Roma people.

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Resita, Romania – Member Organisation

Our member organisation Nevo Parudimos association focuses its work on the Social Inclusion of the Roma communities, mainly young people. From August 2017 to May 2018, Nevo Parudimos implemented the project “Boosting Roma Youth Employment – B.R.Y.E.“, a mobility project for Roma young people and youth workers, supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

The project tackled the issue of youth employment by both improving the experience and knowledge of youth/social workers and young people in the field of youth employment and career guidance. It was composed of 3 activities:

  1. Mobility of Youth Workers: Training for Professional Career Councelling implemented in 23-30.09.2017 in Valaská-Piesok, Slovakia
  2. Youth Exchange: Choice Is Yours! implemented in 23-30.10.2017 in Milcoveni in Romania
  3. Youth Exchange: Start & Succeed! implemented in 13-21.04.2018 in Milcoveni Romania

“Boosting Roma Youth Employment” gathered 6 youth organisations coming from 6 European Countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. The project involved 30 participants for the training, and 60 young people + 12 group leaders for each of the youth exchanges. As a result, this initiative efficiently increased capacity of all 150 participants to the labour market.

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Our youth exchange “All Inclusive2” started this week and is currently taking place in Poronin, Poland. Financially supported by the European Youth Foundation and the Erasmus+ programme, it is the third activity of our work plan for this year: “Art.S.I: The Art of Social Inclusion“. It is hosted by our partner organisation Fundacja Instytut Innowacji

This Youth Exchange is gathering 42 people from 6 different countries and 8 organisations. Together, they will learn how to express themselves through art on the topic of social inclusion of migrants and refugees!

Amongst the various workshops and sessions that will be facilitated through the several days of activity, the young participants will get the opportunity of creating and performing a street event in order to raise awareness on Social Inclusion of migrants and refugees. They will address their message of inclusion directly to the inhabitants of Krakow, through art and the various tools they will have learned.

All inclusive 1, Georgia – An ArtS.I. Youth Meeting

From the 20th to the 29th of July 2018 in Rustavi (Georgia) was held “All Inclusive 1”, the first Youth Meeting of our work plan “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion“. This activity was the first follow up activity of our Training of Trainers “The Art of Togetherness”, which took place in May 2018, in Strasbourg. 

“All Inclusive 1” gathered the active youth of 6 countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, and Turkey. 7 of our member organisations took part and sent their Young People. More than 23 participants stayed together and had sessions and workshops on topics such as: intercultural learning, stereotypes, no hate speech, conflict and peacebuilding.

During the 8-day activity, participants also practiced how to use Arts to transmit messages to society, to promote peacebuilding and deconstruct stereotypes, among many other practices. During the Youth Meeting, the participants also had the opportunity to reflect on how to adapt these tools and implement them at local level within their work with young people. 

This event was full of events to promote intercultural learning and communication. During one of the sessions participants had a chance to meet Youth Workers that came from another project, on another day participants also had a possibility to go out to meet with locals in Rustavi. And of course there was a time to learn, feel and taste Georgian culture in Tbilisi. It was a great experience because, as it is said: “Better to see once rather than hear hundreds of times”. 

The meeting ended but the participants had passion for future actions, they were ready to take actions on themselves. So in the future, we will stay tuned and observe their own projects at local and regional level. 

Partner organisations: Common Sense Youth Organization, Falcogroup, Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia, Institute for Democratic Changes, League of Youth Voluntary Services, New Faces, and Youth for Understanding.

– By Mirismayil Rzayev

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

Action Day #7: Culture, Leisure and Sport

To celebrate our 25th year acting and networking towards Social Inclusion of Young People, we wanted 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.

ENTER recommendation #7:
Culture, Leisure and Sports.

This month, we asked our member organisations and friends to tell us about the various measures they implement at local level to help young people access Culture, Leisure and Sports. Here are their answers!

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Oviedo, Spain – Member Organisation

Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities through sports in nature & youth exchanges.

“The combination of outdoor sports and young people with fewer opportunities is definitely worth to take into consideration for youth organizations working towards social inclusion. Outdoor sports in nature open up a space for new possibilities, where we can explore limits in different levels. Firstly, in terms of self knowledge, every youngster has the chance to understand the boundaries that have an effect on his/her social, physical, psychological condition and how he/she wants to relate to them (what are the boundaries that affect me the most, am I willing to extend/break these limits, do I have any help to do so, etc).

The second level is connected to teamwork, playing sports in nature is a chance to improve group cooperation as it fosters peer-to-peer learning. Both play & nature are two elements that help to overcome individual prejudices towards a better group cohesion. Finally, the last level is re-discover nature that offers a place free of labels & boundaries, a place where young people with fewer opportunities can get out of closed spaces where they usually have to be (physically and psychologically speaking). In this sense, nature in a perfect context for young people to connect with their most authentic self.

If you add to this combination a third ingredient, youth intercultural exchanges, the experience can be even more enriching & transformative in different ways. Gathering together groups of young people coming from different cultural background is an opportunity to grow through intercultural dialogue. Being in a diverse group gives youngsters the chance to think beyond their cultural frame, but also to share their difficulties and challenges with persons with whom they have many things in common, thus developing a strong sense of belonging and inclusion. In this framework of youth exchanges, working through sports in nature also boosts youth empowerment, as they are invited to cross beyond their comfort zone with the support of other youngsters and youth workers.

In Youropía we have been developing these type of projects over the last years, hosting youth exchanges within the frame of Erasmus+ in our region. The main purpose of these intercultural meetings is to foster inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities through outdoor sports. Projects such as Lost in translation, Lost in nature & Lost again have been a very inspiring and high impact experience as regards personal & group development. Thanks to these exchanges we have witnessed how young people became active agents in inclusion after developing a strong awareness of social & group cohesion.
We are actually so motivated with this topic that In two weeks we will host another youth exchange called BEAST (Better energy and social thrive) in which we will gather 24 youngsters from Helsinki, Krakow and Oviedo. Hopefully the combination of sports in nature, young people with fewer opportunities and intercultural youth exchange will be again a learning and life changing experience for all of us!”

YOUROPÍA team

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IDC

Tbilisi, Georgia – Member Organisation

In July 2018, the Institute for Democratic Changes, our member organisation from Georgia, implemented a Youth Exchange called “The Sound of Culture”. This project supported by the Erasmus Plus programme aimed at deepening co-operation among young people, intercultural dialogue and encouraging the inclusion of young people with disabilities in international projects. The Youth Exchange gathered a total of 34 young people from Georgia and Estonia.

Through activities based on non-formal education, the group got to learn more on various topics such as inclusion, youth cooperation, and intercultural dialogue. But another big part of the project was the sharing of Culture and Traditions. Throughout the 9 days of the Youth Exchange, the young people got to discover the culture and traditions of the country of their fellow participants, as well as the inclusion of young people with disabilities in cultural and international youth projects. They also got to express themselves through art and finished the Youth Exchange with a public presentation of their musical numbers and theatrical performances.

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Porto, Portugal – Friend Organisation

“Okna: /ˈɔk.na/ center of east european culture, open space of multiculturality, community experience, window of the east in Portugal, also known as Plus East”

“In times when getting people together is more and more important, Plus East appears by the end of 2016 with the clear aim of promoting East European culture in Portugal, building bridges between the two sides of the continent.

And what better way to promote a contemporary, modern idea of the East than through cinema? Films have always been moments of togetherness, sharing emotions and stories, this is why we organise BEAST – International Film Festival, a big scale event representing 21 countries in Porto during 5 days of pictures, workshops, masterclasses, meeting between directors and the audience, roundtables, music and parties. The festival creates a strong connection between the New East and the community of Porto, involving volunteers, students, businesses and institutions.

On our year long activity OKNA is the home of Plus East, more than an office it is a window to the East, a gallery, a screening venue and the place where our EVS work, helping us on the development of several projects as the festival, but also the cinema cycles, as the Romanian Film Nights and also where their projects become reality – as Isabela’s ArtAmalgam, an illustration exhibition with 3 artists from the 3 Baltic countries, or Mona’s monthly book club and Alexandru’s Night Photography exhibition. Since its inauguration in April 2018, with an exhibition of a Portuguese photographer in Ukraine, OKNA has received over 500 people.

Plus East and its team is dedicated to promote culture and art as a way of creating a more tolerant and open society across Europe where young people feel empowered to create and exchange.”

Plus EAST team