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 Echange 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 9-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

Digitalise it – Training course on digital storytelling

Our Digital adventure “DIGITALISE IT” (KA2 Strategic Partnership – Exchange of Practices) continued in the beginning of July when 11 young people from 6 different countries gathered in Strasbourg. During 10 days, they learned together how to use digital storytelling and ended this powerful journey by telling their own story.

The training course for young people “Digitalise it” was the second activity of the long-term project of the same name. A first training, created for youth workers, had taken place in April. It aimed at getting familiar with tools and methods of digital storytelling in order to implement them in youth projects developed at local level.

This time addressed to Young People, the training course aimed at:

– Creating a safe space for young people with fewer opportunities to reflect on their own life story, training them to storytelling techniques and media literacy and empowering them to show their potential;
– Informing young people with fewer opportunities on their rights, empowering them to stand for these and helping them to find motivation to change;”

Our expert – also film director and coach – Leo Zbanke gave the participants the tools and technics to compose, write, record and film a story of their choosing, inspired by their own life experiences. Through the training, the participants got to learn about: the definition and theories of classical storytelling, photo, audio and video storytelling, script writing, storyboard, filming and editing. They also got the opportunity to experience VR storytelling (virtual reality) thanks to the intervention of Brigitte Wild. During the whole day, they got to try: theory, filming, editing and watching their own VR stories!

Virtual Reality expert

“DIGITALISE IT!” will continue until 2019 with a mid-term evaluation meeting of the partner organisations and 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 

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 Commission

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.