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! 

2018 General Assembly

Yesterday was our General Assembly! The member organisations, partners, friends, board and office of Youth Express Network gathered in rainy Strasbourg to talk about the past and future of the organisation.

There were in total 23 people attending the meeting, among which 19 represented member organisations and 3 observers. The meeting was kindly hosted by our French member organisation, l’Association l’Etage!

2017: Living, Working and Shaping Europe Together

The agenda of the meeting started by a presentation of all of the activities organised or attended by the Network last year. At the end of this presentation, the General Assembly approved the annual activity report for the year 2017. You can fin this report here bellow!

Finances and Budgets

Finances were also part of the agenda: the board presented the financial report of 2017 and provisional budget for 2018, which were both approved by the voting members. Another important point was the presentation of a new membership fees calculation, aiming at rebalancing the financial participation of the member organisation and individual participants. This new membership fees calculation has also been approved by the member organisations.

Upcoming projects and YFJ

Among the other topics on the agenda, Youth Express Network also presented to its General Assembly all of its current projects: EU4YOU, Digitalise it and The Art of Togetherness. An update was also given concerning the launched process to become a full member of the European Youth Forum.

25th Anniversary and Crowdfunding

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Youth Express Network is currently telling online its story and the stories of the people who helped build the Network to what it is today! We explained to the General Assembly the “25 years project” with more detail. A quick update was also given concerning our online crowdfunding campaign through the search engine Lilo.

Welcome “Parcours le Monde – Grand Est”!

This year, we welcomed one new member organisation: Parcours le Monde – Grand Est!

This French organisation founded in 2015 works in the field of international mobility. Its aim is to promote, develop European and international mobility, intercultural dialogue and youth participation through formal and non-formal education.

Their activities are mostly dedicated to young people, but also to the general public who don’t have access to mobility. Through these new opportunities, they can develop their autonomy, social link and access social and professional inclusion.

Election of a new Board!

Like every year, the General Assembly elected a new Board. 4 people obtained the required numbers of vote and joined the 3 board members still in mandate to form a new board. Here is the new board’s composition:

  • Mirela LUPU – President
  • Ramiz ALIYEV – Vice-President (re-elected)
  • Sirarpi MANYAN – Treasurer (newly elected)
  • Iasmin SCUNDEA – Secretary
  • Gaia Ciccone – Board Member
  • Nino TSULAIA – Board Member (newly elected)
  • Olya KRAVCHENKO – Board Member (newly elected)

News from our General Assembly 2017

This week, the whole Network is gathering in Timisoara: member organisations, board members, coordination office, participants… The program for this week is FULL with events : 2 board meetings, 1 GA, and the second activity of our Work Plan “TOG(AE)THER EUROPE“: the partnership building activity “Working Together for an Inclusive Europe”.

The General Assembly of Youth Express Network was held on the 25th of June in Timisoara, Romania. Overall, the event gathered 16 Representatives of Member Organisations. It was hosted by our friends from FITT and facilitated by Ghita Petrus from the organisation Butterfly Dreamer Network.

Among other little things, Y-E-N presented to its member organisations its Activity Report, accounts and results for the year 2016. The network also welcomed 3 new members and elected a new board!

WELCOME !

3 NEW MEMBER ORGANSATION

UNITED SOCIETIES OF BALKANS

In May 2017, we had the opportunity to be hosted in Thessaloniki by the local youth organisation United Societies of Balkans (USB) for our last activity, the Youth Seminar “Living in Europe Together“. USB is a Non-Governmental Organisation which was founded in 2008. It promotes youth mobility, youth involvement in volunteering and their further awareness around social issues. Its objective is to create a better social environment in the Balkan and Eastern European region.

YOUTH VISION

We met Youth Vision through a few of our participants who, after participating individually in our project and discovering the network, decided to join the adventure with their own organisation! Youth Vision is an NGO based in Romania and whose mission is to improve the quality of life of people at social risk by offering educational opportunities and socio-professional integration. The Association aims to carry out information and awareness raising activities on the issue of people at social risk.

YOUROPIA

Since 2011, Youropia has been a close partner of Youth Express Network, sending participants, hosting events and sharing projects. Youropia is a spanish NGO which works everyday to raise awareness on learning opportunities, promote non-formal education and respect, create a safe-space to encourage participation. Its main fields of actions are Youth and participation, childhood, mobility and cooperation, non-formal learning and cultural animation.

A NEW BOARD

Another big announce is the New Board! Elected by the GA, it welcomed two new members, both long time participants of Y-E-N’s activities and more recently facilitators on our Youth Seminar “Living Together“. Another board member was elected, or more accurately re-elected: Mirela starts her third and last mandate this week! Congrats to the three of them!

Here is the new board and their respective new roles, as decided during their very first Board Meeting, held on the 26th.

(from left to right)
President :
Mirela Lupu
Vice-president : Ramiz Aliyev
Treasurer : Mariam Sahakyan
Secretary : Iasmin Scundea
Board members : Vasil Tanev & Gaia Ciccone

Here’s to beautiful future projects all together !

Y-E-N’s Diary – Winter 2017

2017 started well at Y-E-N. It was full of beautiful local projects, new friends and a few work meetings under the mediterranean sun…

Local actions

Y-E-N’s first trimester of 2017 was specially productive at local level in Strasbourg, where it co-hosted four events around several topics: youth mobility, inclusion of the refugees and cross-border student exchanges.

The regional platform Alsace Mobility Crossroads, which was co-funded by Y-E-N, held the first of event of the year, an information evening which took place on the 28th of February. Six of our local partners involved in Youth Mobility were present to answer young people’s questions and doubts about cross-border, European and International mobility. Local French television was also here to film the event and interview the hosts, Fabienne Orban, associative organisational consultant at the House of Organisations of Strasbourg and Brigitte Ludmann, Mobility Projects Coordinator at Y-E-N. The event was a success and many young people left with a clearer view on the opportunities they could seize and the benefits of mobility, whether it be to study, work, help organisations…

On the 6th of March, Y-E-N and Eurodistrict organised together a cross-border « Project Market » gathering around 50 French and German youth workers and youth organisations to create a network around youth projects. As the event also closed Eurodistrict’s Fund for young refugee 2016, the focus was on projects benefiting the inclusion of young refugees. 5 organisations were invited to present their integration projects in little groups and 17 projects in favour of refugees were presented graphically. The participants were then able to share about their experiences on implementing cross-border and integration projects. Organisations could also gather information about external and internal fundraising.

Still in March, Y-E-N also coordinated 2 cross-border student exchanges between Germany and France. 2 groups of German students came to Strasbourg to meet French students and do vocational trainings or individual work placements. As part of this experience, they had the opportunity to have a language workshop and discover for the first time the french language thanks to non-formal education. Their first contact with the french culture was followed with a visit at the ICEI (Information Center of European Institutions) to learn about Europe, its institutions, its economical and political reality and the importance and future of the Franco-German relationship.

New faces

  • In January, Y-E-N’s Coordination Office welcomed Arbenita, young intern in Administration Management. Meet Arbenita!
  • In February, Margaux joined the team as a Communication Officer, the first ever in Y-E-N’s history! Meet Margaux!

Y-E-N says no to Hate Speech

In March, some members of the Coordination Office took part in a the local Training Course in Strasbourg for the No Hate Speech Movement: “Connections and alternatives: Populism, Sexism, Hate Speech, Discriminations – Training Course for Human Rights Education”. The training was co-held by the Municipality of Strasbourg, the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and the French No Hate Speech Movement. The purpose of the training was to gather people from different backgrounds (youth and social workers, high schoolers, college students, activists, organisations…) and encourage them to brainstorm together and implement actions to celebrate World Refugee Day on the 20th of June in Strasbourg.

Under the Greek sun

Also in March, Y-E-N visited Greece and our local friends there, TWICE! First, for the first Board Meeting of the Year, and secondly, for the Preparation Meeting of the first activity of the Year Work Plan: Living in Europe Together. More about this one soon 😉

 

Board Meeting Postcard: with love from Thessaloniki

In march 2017, the Board (almost all of them!) and the Coordination Office (almost all of them!) met in Thessaloniki.

Brainstorming, overview on the annual activities, team reconnecting, excitement, enthusiasm, energy..! Under the mediterranean sun, we worked hard and planned a lot of beautiful projects to come.

We also had the opportunity to meet our friends organisations United Societies of Balkans and Youth Social Rights Network. USB was our host for this Board Meeting in Thessaloniki and we had the pleasure to stay at the same hotel where they were having a 10 day Youth Exchange with 56 young people from all over Europe. The place in question will also be our home during the first activity of our work plan for 2017, “Living in Europe Together: Our Challenge”, which will take place in May. It was very inspiring to work in the middle of such a dynamic and enthusiastic atmosphere and we can’t wait to be back. Our time spent with Youth Social Rights Network allowed us to share experiences and ideas on future projects to create together! We are eager to join forces with this network!

You can find the photo album of this productive meeting here on our Facebook Page.

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 🙂

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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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).

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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!)

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

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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!

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.

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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.

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3 NEW ORGANISATIONS JOINED Y-E-N IN 2014

welcome youth express network

Y-E-N’s last General Assembly took place in Kyustendil, Bulgaria, in June 2014.

The event gathered representatives of Y-E-N member organisations, Y-E-N old friends, staffs from the coordination office and the Board. The General Assembly elected 3 new organisations who applied and became members of Y-E-N:

« Common Sense » youth organisation, Azerbaijan

Institute for Democratic Changes, Georgia

NGO « Scientific Advisory Center « Consciousness », Russian Federation

Welcome to Y-E-N!!!!!!