French-German projects of the Network

Apart from the crossborder seminars and exchanges with Germany and Switzerland, Youth Express Network cooperate also with Germany at national level for projects financed by the French-German Youth Office (OFAJ / DFJW)

It is in collaboration with Arbeit und Leben that Y-E-N welcome groups of young Germans in vocational training all throughout the year in Strasbourg for thematic visits according to their field: hospitality, catering, business etc.

During those projects, young people get the chance to discover the French professional world and the different techniques related to their future job. This window on the other side of the Rhine often lead them to come for a short- or long-term internship in the alsatian capital.

 

Photos from the last group of young people in vocational training for hospitality and catering that came in the region from 30th of May to 3rd of June 2016. On the programme: visit of the biggest restaurants and hotels in Strasbourg, visit of a foie-gras making farm, of a cheese making factory, of a wine cave and even of Colmar!

Y-E-N General Assembly 2016

Y-E-N General Assembly 2016 took place on May 22nd in Strasbourg (France) and was animated by Ahlame Boubazine, volunteer from our member organisation L’Etage and social worker in Strasbourg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The GA welcomed 4 new organisations in the Network:

  • League for Youth Voluntary Service (Belarus)
  • Alternative-V (Ukraine)
  • Active Bulgarian Society (Bulgaria)
  • Youth for Understanding (Turkey)

Welcome and we hope for a long collaboration!

 

 

 

 

 

And the GA also elected a new Board:

  • Mirela LUPU (still in mandate), President
  • Valentina AULISO (re-elected), Vice-President
  • Vasil TANEV (newly elected), Secretary
  • Mariam SAHAKYAN (re-elected), Treasurer
  • Ramiz ALIYEV (newly elected), Board Member
  • Katarina VUCKOVIC (still in mandate), Board Member

See you all in 2017 🙂

“Dream it loud” Study Session in Strasbourg, by Ioana Dudila

From 22nd to 29th of May 2016, Y-E-N organized a Study Session entitled “Dream it Loud” together with Rural Youth Europe and in collaboration with the Youth Department of the Council of Europe.

Read about the experience from the inside, with a testimony from a participant:

22-29th. May 2016 European Youth Center Strasbourg, France

”Inclusive society”, “social exclusion”, ”youth rights”, these are all words we are very used to hearing, words we nevertheless understand thoroughly, but they are also concepts we are very unaccustomed to actively or efficiently pursuing in our immediate realities. Because of how deep their meaning is, because of the uncountable obstacles that arise on our paths when fighting this battle, whether set by individuals or groups of individuals who are resistant to the changes th
at are urgently needed to follow.

13235099_10154187715669210_6862493717718496568_o13220860_1081779131861530_4241908448690065364_n

In an effort to identify and share the challenges in the process of social inclusion and young people’s access to social rights in European urban and rural areas, to open us, Europeans, from all the corners of the continent, to sharing experiences, examples of good practices and existing mechanisms of social inclusion in young people’s local realities, to explore the European tools and policies for access to social rights and how they can be applied locally to promote access to them, to increase the capacity to advocate for improved access to social rights and last but not least to provide participants with the opportunity to create appropriate tools, adjustable to their respective local realities, Youth Express Network and Rural Youth Europe came together for the 3rd time and taught us about the importance of ”dreaming it loud” and pursuing it assiduously.

We were taken on an13260274_1081779198528190_8505134113538009416_n elaborate six-day journey, aimed at enclosing the multitude of facets that embody the vast topic that is ”social inclusion”. We started by building our team on Monday, continued with defining our terms and discussing good practices, tools and mechanism on Tuesday. On Wednesday we were given some mind bending examples of true activism and ”stubbornness” to carry on, during the visits we received and the visits we made ourselves to see people and places who refuse to take society`s no for an answer and give up this toughest of fights. Thursday we took part in the very creative workshops prepared by the organizers and on Friday we took our first steps into the creation of tools to bring home and consume in our challenging endeavors. Saturday was the day we drew our conclusions, a great day to enjoy the harvest of our joint effort, but also a sad day, to say good-bye to the beautiful pack of dreamers that arose from our ”struggle”.

Our journey was not long but it was arduous. For almost 7 days we were given the opportunity to grasp Utopia, a place where cooperation is capable of superseding any language barrier, and more importantly any cultural frontier we tend to sometimes build between each other. We learnt so much and we dreamt so far, each of us might be having a hard time readjusting to life outside of the land of no hate and eternal spiritual summer. But what we take with us is far more important than any momentary joy or sadness. It`s desire, no, need, to try our best in winning this battle.

Written by Ioana Dudila from the Centrul de Voluntariat Resita, Romania.

Click here to know more about the organisation: https://voluntariat-resita.ro/2016/06/06/dream-it-loud/

13260038_10153574534438244_6788795113954202675_n

And here are the videos that result from this amazing week!

 

European Youth Event 2016

On the 20th and 21th of May, around 7 000 young people from all over Europe were expected in Strasbourg, France for the second edition of the European Youth Event (EYE 2016) with one motto “Together, we can make a change”.

In total 18 young Y-E-N people coming from 7 european countries had the opportunity to  discover the life of an european decision makers, while attending different seminars organised inside the Parliament. They could meet european politician and ask their questions, get inspired but also participate to open discussions. This was not all, hubs took place all around the Parliament in the YO! Village where participants could get information, discuss, debates about different big topics in which they were interested such as;

  • War and Peace, talking about migration, refugees, peace-building, tolerance and respect, social cohesion.
  • Youth Participation with topics such as youth participation to vote, youth empowerment, gender equality, non formal education, citizenship education etc.
  • Exclusion or Access with topics such as quality jobs, youth guarantee, social inclusion, students unions, mobility, volunteering and disability rights.
  • Stagnation and Innovation with topics such as youth entrepreneurship, creativity or even green jobs.
  • Collapse or Success with topics such as climate change, sustainable development goals, fair trade, food waste etc.
  • Health and well-being with topics such as mental health, diet, drugs and alcohol, sport and physical activities.

This week-end under the sun of Strasbourg, was also the possibility for those young people to meet each other, spend 2 days with friends in a different place, discover a new city, get inspired and hopefully get fresh ideas for the future.

“Localise it” Study Visit in Dordrecht

P1080166On this last week of March, “ Localise it: Study visit on local youth initiatives”, first activity of this year Y-E-N Work Plan “Angle it right” took place in Dordrecht in the Netherlands. A total of 26 participants coming from 13 different European countries gathered for a study visit on local youth initiatives in the Netherlands. It focused on the access to social rights of young people and their active participation in their communities and in particular with the use of innovative technologies.

During this study visit, youth workers as well as young people with fewer opportunities from very different horizon got the chance to:

  • share about the situations of young people in their own countries
  • meet youth workers from Dordrecht who work on radicalisation
  • meet the Municipality which works on storytelling with people in the streets through a project called « Generation/D »
  • meet the National Youth Council with its project « Extraordinary Me » financing young people’s initiatives to help someone else
  • workshop with a partner organisation Roots & Routes which works on cultural and social diversity through arts
  • workshop with the member organisation The Exchangeables which works on social media with youngsters in order to convey a message : we took videos and pictures in the streets of Dordrecht to spread the message « Dordrecht is youth friendly » (see below)
  • self-reflection on the participants’ lives and input on the storytelling method
  • reflection on an Action Plan to implement in their communities back home

All in all, this week was an interesting opportunity for those 26 participants to discover new cultures, new people, to share their experience (their difficulties but also their wonderful achievements) and to consider their lives and work from a new perspective.

Read the pedagogical report here!

P1080228

Have a look at the video that results from the creative workshop led by our member and host organisation The Exchangeables thanks to the expertise of Pathos Studios & Quine Brown:

Internship at Y-E-N, by Elia Saettler

Hello everyone,

My name is Elia SAETTLER, I’m 14 years old, I’m in 9th Grade and I live in Strasbourg.

I did an observation internship at Youth Express Network from 30th November to 4th December 2015.

I chose to do my internship at Y-E-N because I really like speaking English and this internship could help me to improve my English.

During this internship, I discovered the aim of the organisation and the projects organised throughout Europe.

I helped to write e-mails, to translate texts, to organise future projects (EYE 2016) and to evaluate past projects (Inclusion Train).

I also photocopied many documents (boarding passes, invoices and receipts) and helped to prepare the greeting card for 2016.

I ate at “Club de Jeunes L’Etage”, a Y-E-N member organisation.

I really liked to do my internship at Y-E-N because I’ve learnt many things, I improved my English and I wasn’t bored all the week. I could see many different things.

It was super!

Elia.

FullSizeRender (1)

“Inclusion Train” Mobile Seminar, by Francesca Vinciguerra

“A really inspiring human experience”

“From the 14th to the 20th of November 2015, took part in Strasbourg and Brussels the “Inclusion Train” mobile seminar, fourth and last step of the “Inclusion Express” campaign about Social Inclusion and Social Rights. The first study session and the other two seminars of the same campaign were in Milcoveni (Romania, on July 2014), Brčko (Bosnia et Herzegovina, on April 2015) and Budapest (Hungary, on July 2015). During these days have been involved 25 people from many and different realities and countries inside and outside Europe: Armenia, Azebaijan, Belarus, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Spain and Turkey. The participants were young people (members of a specific association), youth social workers, or individuals, and everyone was already active in the local reality about this kind of topics and inclined to the sensitization and diffusion of these ones.

From the first beginning the main aim was to include everyone of us in an atmosphere of sharing and connection that has kept us together till the end of the project. Among us there were people who had already participated to one of the others three steps, so it has been our task to inform the new members about all the activities and all the primary aims which had been reached in the past. Another interesting and important part of the project was the one dedicated to the visit fields of local organizations, such as Community Center “Elsau”, in Strasbourg, which works on educating and helping disadvantaged people or refugees to find a job. The center is situated in one of the most sensitive neighborhood of the city. In Brussels, we visited the organization “Cultureghem”, where has been developed a great idea about the creation of a total free market for people with fewer opportunities and created some activities for the children who live there or outside that neighborhood.

I think that the most important aim of the project “Inclusion train” was to spread information and develop awareness, interest and knowledge about social inclusion and to reflect on how we can work all together to support it and make it possible. We shared many personal experiences and I have to thank everyone of them for have been an important part for my personal human, cultural and work experience of life. At the end of the seminar we discussed about the creation and planning of new ideas which can be important for spreading information at local level and for helping the diffusion of new local and international projects. All together we can do more than we expect, so don’t be afraid by the violence and corruption of this world, because we’ll be more powerful than it. Our humanity is what makes us different, and we will fight to defend it.”

Written by Francesca Vinciguerra  from the organisation Affabulazione (Ostia, Italy) and participant to the activity.

Discover the three videos telling the experience of the participants during this project (movies from Audrey COECKELBERGHS)

Important news from Affabulazione, Ostia Lido!

Youth meeting in High school: learning on Youth mobility and intercultural learning in Ostia

“Affabulazione and High School Paolo Toscanelli met together to exchange experience on international youth projects and life’s expectation.

Last week Valentina Auliso and I (Gaia Ciccone) did a meeting in a local high school to spread information about European mobility. In this meeting, there were about 30 young people, even with difficult family conditions and informed about of international opportunities.

The school’s name is Paolo Toscanelli, it is located in front of the seaside and when the bell rings, the chaos is the king! However, as soon as you enter the class, everyone is very respectful and full of good energy: the atmosphere is vibrant.

We started with an “ice breaker” to know each other better: the game was to write on a piece of paper one thing they love doing, one thing they hate doing and the first thing they think about “Europe”; (It was a success and the atmosphere became soon more informal and familiar);

Then we continued explaining something more about mobility in Europe for young people and telling them our experiences in this “world”.

Everyone was so excited to discover these possibilities and to travel in this way!

In fact, an opportunity as youth projects are very precious for everyone interested to know more about different culture, discover new habits and learn how co habit all together respectfully. Moreover, it is also very insightful and learning experience.

After the meeting, we were very happy to give back our experience to other young people; we really hope everyone can beneficiate from these great life opportunities.

The feedback was great: they wrote us many emails after the meeting to learn more about and, why not, to take part in future projects!

We are thinking at future meetings and we are working with a group of young people to organize activities at local level!

The meeting is the first of a long series that we planned during the school year: in fact, we will go to visit other High Schools here in Ostia and will bring our experience to all young people, we believe in creating a bridge between local and international cooperation.

Our aim, is to inform on youth mobility, intercultural learning and to gather new young people interested to join our group in Affabulazione, we will also promote local activities such as art workshops, digital communication and we will raise the awareness about social rights at local and international level.

“Work, ideas and enthusiasm”, our motto!!!”

Written by Gaia Ciccone, Affabulazione (Ostia, Italy)

“Light your Rights” Seminar in Mollina, by Natalia Militello

“We have the light. You have the rights!”

“Light your rights: Reveal the social value of Youth Work” is a seminar organized by Youth Express Network (Y-E-N) and Roots and Routes (R&R) during the 16th edition of the University on Youth and Development. It took place between the 20th and the 27th of September in Mollina (Spain), where 22 young youth/social workers and young artists (coming from 9 different countries) gathered together to discuss about Social Inclusion, Social rights, the social value of youth work, and eventually, to promote all these topics through artistic tools. Being part of the UYD also meant that the participants had the opportunity to meet and discuss with other 150 participants coming from all over the world and who were participating in other trainings taking place at the same place.

The programme of “Light your rights” dedicated the first three days in exploring Social Inclusion, Social Rights and youth work, and then provide the participants with artistic tools.

First of all, through a simulation exercise, these young people tried 1) to define what social inclusion means to them and, 2) which are the elements necessary to reach social inclusion. It has to be said that during this activity the importance of social and youth work was already highlighted spontaneously by participants. Therefore the next step for everybody was to think about the most important moments on their roads to youth work. While sharing their stories (all of them emotional and powerful), the group suddenly realized that youth work is important for social inclusion not because a book says so, but because through youth work they were able to find the place where they belong to.

The day after, it was time also to explore Social Rights, because we have understood that being given only money and a roof above our heads is not enough to feel part of a community. Through the game “Enter Dignityland!”, participants understood better how social rights and policies work. Despite the fact of being playing in a “fictional country”, all of them immediately related the social rights and their policies to their own countries, sharing and comparing the different realities. Another important finding was also that youth workers and youth NGOs need to cooperate with other actors (teachers, lawyers..) in order to promote and fight for Social Rights. During the fourth day, it was time for creativity! Artistic workshops were organized and the participants explored different ways to express: drawing, theatre, music… To put in practice what they had learnt, each one was asked to think about an episode of social exclusion they have experienced and to represent, in a one-minute performance, the feeling engendered by being excluded. And they did it! They showed how one minute can be meaningful, rich of emotion but especially, how such short time can be enough to transmit a powerful message.

The fifth day was another opportunity to become even more creative, but this time as a group. Task of the day: to create ways and tools to promote Social Rights and social inclusion in artistic ways. Participants were able to show the results in the evening, in front of all other participants of the University on Youth and Development and the local community. Excellent slam poetry and dance, but above all, the message was clear to all and gave everybody the opportunity to think about social inclusion and Social Rights. Motto of the performance: “We have the light. You have the rights”.

Well, all good things come to an end and the last day arrived (for someone even too fast): time for “see you soon again” and to catch the flight back home. But even though the name on the ticket was the same as on the way to Spain, something inside was not the same any longer. The participants for sure left enriched with a new experience, new contacts, new friends or maybe more tired. But they also left with a new awareness: how meaningful social/youth work has been in their lives and what a powerful tool it is to promote social inclusion and social rights. Because as one of them said: “Knowing the social rights and their policies by heart may be up to lawyers. But caring about Social rights and helping people fight for it, is up to us!”

Written by Natalia Militello, team member of the seminar.

LYR_Teamwork

LYR_DignitylandLYR_TimelineLYR_Closing performance
LYR_CommunityNight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inclusion LAB II: Training for Trainers (T4T)!

Beginning of July 2015: 28 young people and youth workers coming from 19 different countries gathered in the South-Est of Romania, in a village called Milcoveni. Why for?  To reflect on the importance of Human Dignity, to share experience on youth work and to develop competencies on the organisation of activities related to social inclusion of young people and access to social rights in their communities.

7 working days above 40°C in a community of 300 inhabitants – welcome to the T4T! The activity was dedicated to explore the concept of dignity and its application in everyday life. Participants had the opportunity to express their feeling of “indignation” related to situations of unfaireness, to reflect on the danger of “putting people inside boxes” (stereotyping/prejudice/discrimination), to learned skills on group facilitation and put in practice what they’ve learnt: each one run a 45-minute workshop on the topic of social inclusion of young people.

As a result, according to the evaluation, participants improved their knowledge on Social Rights, developed skills on group dynamics, improved their self-esteem, got inspired by the life story of other participants and the way of living of Milcoveni.

It was an intense week of learning processes. Bravo to all participants who crossed the finishing line of this challenging week!