Logo Competion ! Inclusion Express, by Mirela Lupu

During “Mind the Gap” seminar, which was designed in order to prepare and relaunch the “Inclusion Express” campaign, we thought of creating a day of workshops where participants had to take the lead and to use their own skills in creating campaign tools that we can use during 2015. After assessing the present situation of “Inclusion Express”, participants proposed a series of workshops which included a visual workshop on creating a logo for the campaign.

At the end of the day there were 14 logos created ready to be voted by the group of participants at “Mind the Gap”. After the vote, the group decided to choose the first 3 ranked logos and to launch an online vote on the final version of the logo.

The logo competition took place during 2 weeks in may on facebook and asked all people interested to vote using 1 “like” on the logo that they liked the most for the campaign. Martin Harutyunyan, participant in “Mind the Gap” from Armenia, designed the winning logo, which now has become the logo of “Inclusion Express” campaign.

Here’s the photo of the official logo voted for our campaign:

11329980_836714703088563_3111879361200192964_n

Written by Mirela Lupu, Reporter of Mind the Gap! Seminar

A special meeting with local authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina

In the beginning of our first Board Meeting of the year, Y-E-N crew was kindly invited to visit the Department of Administrative Affairs of Brcko District Government and meet its representatives.
Mr. Tomislav STJEPANOVIC, Head of the Department, welcome us. Local media were also there. We presented Youth Express Network, the work we do, and we shared values on youth/social work. Mr. Tomislav was very interested in Y-E-N, and promised to visit Y-E-N again during the seminar “Mind the Gap”, that will take place in Brcko, in April 2015.
Our president Katarina VUCKOVIC attended the meeting and was in charge to mediate the reunion. During the meeting Katarina also presented the work done by PRONI, Bosnian member organization of Y-E-N, and very committed grassroot youth organization from Brcko. We hope that, after this meeting, a stronger cooperation between PRONI and local authorities will arise as well as with Y-E-N.

1962745_870731316299647_6631263836015087269_n

During the meeting with local authorities in Brcko, we presented Y-E-N, we spoke about our member organizations and their daily work at local level. Mr. Tomislav STJEPANOVIC was really interested to know about our story, values and future ideas.

All present  guests were interested to know more about the international dimension of the network.

10355899_870731449632967_4380805045320950644_n

How social exclusion looks like in Bosnia today? Which are the main challenges? What local organizations and representatives are doing together to promote inclusive practices?

Exchanging ideas and approaches:  this discussion made this meeting very interesting. Mostly because, in some areas it is hard for international organizations to go there and meet representatives from the government. A big THANK YOU to our President Katarina VUCKOVIC who organized the meeting with all media present to record the discussion. This is also Y-E-N making waves!!!!

The (Mobile) Board Meeting, March 2015

Why to have the Board meeting only in one place if in few hours we can visit three countries? Last Board Meeting happened in Vukovar, Croatia on 28th 29th of March 2015 but not only…

This time the Board landed in Belgrade (Serbia), worked  in Vukovar (Croatia) and visited  PRONI, Y-E-N Member Organization in Brcko (Bosnia Herzegovina). The idea to hold the meeting in this area was also to meet the Croatian organisation  “Youth Peace Group Danube” who are interested in getting to know Y-E-N better and maybe apply for a membership. The experience was surely interesting: Even if we had a very busy agenda, we had the opportunity to visit the neighboring countries, to learn about their culture and history, to meet youth leaders from the region and, most of all, we had the chance to see the social work on spot in the field – Brcko, which will also be our hosting place for the next activity, the seminar “Mind the Gap”. Definitely, the idea of having a mobile board meeting was very useful! As usual, the Agenda was very busy, but we managed to work hard and finish all the work! We even had a working group session inside the mini van while going from Brcko to Vukovar!

Are you curious to know what was discussed in meeting? Follow this snapshot of the working  days…

1508098_810987595607353_2302078011559908262_n

We started the meeting reviewing activity report, so many events in only year!

Last year we had :

– 10 international activities;

– 300 young people involved;

– 3 new member organizations (Azerbaijan, Russian Federation and Georgia);

– New project at local level: introducing non-formal education in universities;

– 30 volunteers involved in Y-E-N activities;

– 73 organisations

– 150 participants in our local cross-border activities (France-Germany-Switzerland);

– finally yet important: the launch of the “Inclusion Express” campaign.

11083890_870731379632974_6729009748808701789_n

After the morning session we left PRONI, our member organization who hosted the meeting in BRCKO, to have an inspiring meeting with local authorities. The meeting was a success! (learn more about it here)

In the afternoon, we got back to work in order to plan future activities and find ways to improve internal procedures (political and administrative decisions were taken during the rest of the day).

1003444_592428290778262_430664231_n

On the second working day we were hosted by the youth organization “Youth Peace Group Danube”, established in Vukovar, Croatia. They kindly offered to us their centre and offices to work.

It was great to share values and methods on social work (we hope for the future, a synergetic cooperation!)

1511026_870993276273451_7754224368398812860_n

We had a great Teamwork: discussion, creativity and decision-making! It was inspiring!

1467309_892170027470752_9011708357955244793_n

We finalized the meeting with an evaluation, to do list and a great dinner!

Who knows where will be the next Board Meeting? What we know for sure is that it will happen where it makes a fruitful connection with our member organization!

Hope to see you all in Milcoveni for the General Assembly of Youth Express Network!

Interview of a member organization: Affabulazione

In 2014, Affabulazione took part in 6 international activities organized by Youth Express Network.  Gaia Ciccone, was representing the organization in most of the Event, as a youth worker at local level. She comes from Ostia, Rome, where our Member Organization is based since 1991.

For our internal newsletter, we decided this year to interview her and know more about the work Affabulazione does on Social Inclusion.                                                                                                                                                  

 Enjoy reading!

                               

Y-E-N: Hello Gaia! You are From Affabulazione and Ostia; tell us a bit about yourself!

Gaia: Hello all the members of Y-E-N.  Ok, some information about myself… I am 20, studying law, at the first year, in the biggest university of Rome… To be honest I live in Ostia, a little quartier of the capital and sometimes I can find many different problems in my reality. Ostia is a periphery and it presents difficulties, especially with young people! We do not have many places to meet each other and to improve ourselves…

Y-E-N: Yes is understandable, in this sense, how do you see Affabulazione?

Gaia: I found a solution: I am a member of Affabulazione, a beautiful place that tries to improve the cultural level in the little Ostia. It is also a theatre that presents many plays. I discovered this place thanks to my mum who knew one of the founders, Filippo, very well and I was stuck by the beautiful activities of Affabulazione, to “help” people, young and not only!

Y-E-N: Sounds inspiring, when you first met Affabulazione? Have you ever travel for attending its international activities?

Gaia: I met Affabulazione for the first time when I was younger, 15 more or less, because I went to see shows there; yes! Thanks to Filippo Lange and this good place, I have started to travel and to attend at these beautiful international activities

Y-E-N: You participated in the seminar in Armenia “Or-YE-N’t yourself” and Final DesT-Y-E-Nation!” in Strasbourg last year, is it right? What is the memory you have most? Tell us one thing that marked your travels!

 Gaia: I can affirm with conviction that this two travels changed my life… If I have to find a special thing… well it is the different and useful information learned by the others, how other people work with the youngsters and , of course, the strong friendship that I have made

 Y-E-N: How do you see yourself today after the exchanges?

 Gaia: I can say that now I am working with other youngsters like me, trying to help them and I am more aware about my reality and more positive and active

 Y-E-N: Sounds interesting, would you like to say something to YEN Members

 Gaia: I want to thank all the yen members to give me the possibility to be a participant in the projects

 Y-E-N: Thank you very much Gaia for this brief of yourself and of Affabulazione, we are curious to follow you and your inspiring work! Hope to see you soon in Y-E-N!

SDS

 Want to know more about Affabulazione? Check this out!

Crossborder projects (FR/DE/CH)

In 2014, Y-E-N organised a big crossborder project with 5 seminars and 3 field visits for youth workers of the Upper Rhine region. These activities took place between February and December 2014 in France, Germany and Switzerland.

  • 5 seminars
  • 3 field visits
  • 150 participants from 3 different countries
  • 73 organisations

The goal of this project is to emphasize the cooperation and exchange of good practices between French, German and Swiss youth workers and their organisations based in the Upper Rhine region.

The 5 seminars had the theme “Diversity and youth work”, “Youth policies”, “Partnerships”, “Intercultural skills” and “Evaluation”.

On top of these seminars, 3 field visits were organised:

  • “Stadtjugendring” (Freiburg, Germany) – with the presentation of youth policies in Germany
  • “Jugendzentrum” (Kehl, Germany) – presentation of the social and cultural centre and its collaboration with local youth organisations
  • “Jugendhaus Galaxy” and “Robinson Park” (Binningen, Switzerland) – presentation of the social and cultural centre and its current challenges, visit of the park and discussion on education and youth autnomy

This crossborder project was financed by the Conférence du Rhin Supérieur and the Euro District.

“Final DestY-E-Nation” Seminar in Strasbourg

The seminar “Final DestY-E-Nation” was the third and last activity of the long-term project “ITINERAR-Y-E-N: On the Roads of Social Inclusion of Young People”, which started in May 2014. The seminar Final DestY-E-Nation gathered 28 participants coming from 13 different countries: Armenia, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey.

The long-term project “ITINERAR-Y-E-N: On the Roads of Social Inclusion of Young People” is a so-called “Work Plan”, financed by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe. The seminar Final destY-E-Nation was co-financed by the Erasmus +programme of the European Commission.

The aim of Final DestY-E-Nation was to get a final result out of the previous 2 activities of the Work Plan and to promote an Inclusive Society.

The objectives were:

  • To analyse the data collected in the precedent seminars;
  • To share, learn and collect good practices on social inclusion of young people based on experience and expertise of the young people and youth workers;
  • To raise awareness on the impact of youth work as a tool to actively promote social inclusion;
  • To Equip participants with knowledge, tool and info on Social Rights;
  • To launch the campaign “Inclusion Express” as a possible follow up.

During 4 working days participants shared about their local activities on social inclusion of young people, got input on social rights and Human rights and participated in a public conference with local and European authorities, a member of the European Parliament and representatives of the Council of Europe. Moreover, participants had the opportunity to visited 3 organisations local organization who are working to foster social inclusion of young people in Strasbourg.

During this activity, Y-E-N launched the campaign “Inclusion Express” that will be the main mission of Youth Express Network for 2015 willing to empower young people to become social inclusion activists in the society.

Read the report here

H.O.M.E Seminar in Mollina, Spain

higher opportunities for migrants in europe

The seminar “H.O.M.E: Higher Opportunities for Migrants in Europe” was a joint activity from the Youth Express Network (Y-E-N) and Voice of Young Refugees in Europe (VYRE). It gathered 23 participants from 9 different countries in Mollina, Spain from 21st to 28th September 2014.

This activity occured within the University on Youth and Developpement from the North-South Center of the Council of Europe. The goal of this seminar was to improve the situation and the opportunities of young migrants and refugees in Europe.

 

By Empowering young migrants and refugees and raising awareness on their life-stories and daily realities, we created a safe space for participants to express, to develop their competencies and to learn different topics on migration issues. Once more Y-E-N made waves in Mollina! Great activity with meaningful outcomes!

Board Meeting 2014 in Fossanova, Italy

After the election of the new Board for the period 2014-2016, the first meeting was held in Fossanova, where one our oldest Member Organization is based: Kamaleonte, an Italian Ngo which works for social inclusion by using the methods of Experiental Learning.

They organized for the new Board, a teambuilding activity. The aim was get to know each other’s better and learn how to work together in a new team.

fn2

THE MEETING

On 21 of August the Board and the Coordination office met in the small village of Fossanova to start our work. We had an amazing experience!

We decided to dedicate the whole first day to Team building as it was the very first time the whole group gathered together for a Board meeting since the last election. Some of us we didn’t know each other really and taking some quality time to have some activities was a reveal!

Thanks to our member organization Kamaleonte we were using experiential learning to try to understand WHO we are in the team, WHAT we would like to give as our personal resources, HOW we would like to implement it within the team and above all: respect each other as a team! It was a success!

We would like to thank again Giuseppe ROSSI, Domenico di NUZZO, Mario D’AGOSTINO and all Kamaleonte team for this useful and very well organized experience.

 

The next day we started quite energetic discussing first legal responsibilities of the Board members and responsibility of the Board as an employer (very good to understand before in what our role consists in the legal framework). Following this role and responsibilities line we also played a small quizz on NGO’s Governance. We also used the “quiz method” to review the financial issues of our network: because it is never too much to remember incomes and expenses.

The next step was to review how do we take decisions as a Board and for this we will prepare a single document with rules and procedures accessible to everyone.

We took time to discuss and review the previous Y-E-N projects: first and second activities of the Work Plan in Armenia and in Poland (we managed to collect material on the situation of social Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities in different countries; two different approaches were used in the two seminars and it gave the chance to see the topic of social Inclusion from different perspectives); we discussed about the European Youth Event (EYE 2014) held in Strasbourg in May 2014 in which Y-E-N brought 38 young people who took part actively in the event with some frustration, but also good moments: it was the very first experience for some of them. We reviewed also the Partnership Building Activity (PBA) in Bulgaria this past June and the Study session “Social Rights are Human Rights II” in the European Youth Center of Budapest which was a success for many participants as well: the mood was very good and the expectations about a follow-up are quite high! Good Job guys! You can see pictures of all of these events on our Facebook page or on this website.
Later in the afternoon we discussed about future events such as the last activity of the Work Plan in November, the event in UYD Mollina “H.O.M.E” about migration, the strategic partnership KA2, the new Work Plan and the T4T 2015. We will be working until the next Board meeting to set up strategies and finalize what is needed!

Next step was to work on the yearly Board strategy; also because there were new members in the Board. We reviewed our Vision 2020 and the results of the General Assembly 2014 and came up with 5 objectives for our work as a Board. We also established the Activity Plan for 2015.
“SAY procedures” was a very important topic in our discussion, we had a roundtable of exchanging ideas for improvements and changes, it took a lot of time and final decisions will be taken after working separately. We will come up with new defined proposal by the next Board meeting, to be clear with rules.

per bloh

“Zoom In” Seminar, Poland

The seminar “Zoom In” was the second activity of our Work Plan “ItinerarY-E-N: On the Roads of Social Inclusion of Young People”. It gathered 22 participants from 15 different countries.

The goal of this seminar was to continue collecting definitions by young people on social inclusion/exclusion.

The objectives were: to develop a common definition of social inclusion; to share about good practices and experience; to draw attention on the impact of youth work as a tool of promotion for social inclusion.

During these 4 days, young people, social/youth workers shared their experience, worked on the feeling of exclusion through a simulation game, learned a new creative technique “Living Library”. Finally, the participants wrote letters addressed to social inclusion, very inspired “Dear Social Inclusion…”

10535650_762606470445466_7033628235200917405_o

SOCIAL RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS II (TOO)!

social rights are human rights too

The Study Session « Social Rights are Human Rights II (too)! », organized by Y-E-N and the Youth Department of the Council of Europe gathered 35 participants from 17 different countries at the European Youth Center in Budapest Hungary. The aim of this activity was to raise awareness about social infusion of young people and reaffirm the political dimension of Youth Express Network: Social Rights for all young people!!!

The French Illustrator Loren ZODANZO was invited to run a workshop on the topic, and participants made street art in Budapest!

In November 2014 an evaluation meeting of the Study Session was organized in Strasbourg, France, as a follow up. The results of « Social Rights are Human Rights II (too)! » will be the kick off of Y-E-N’s next campaign on social inclusion of young people: Inclusion Express!