ACTION DAY #3: It’s in the Works!

This year, in the frame of our big anniversary project, we wanted to put a spotlight on some of ENTER Recommendation by, each month, initiating or communicating on 1 action related to 1 recommendation. 1 month / 1 recommendation / 1 action. This month, we take a look at Employment and Occupation!

ENTER recommendation #3:
Employment and Occupation.

For 25 years now, Youth Express Network has organised more than 100 projects focused on all kinds of issues and topics. Employment and Occupation has been one of them. We thought that this Action Day could be an opportunity to present two examples of projects we did focusing on this topic.

2011-2012: You(th) are the Champions!

“You(th) are the Champions: Strategies for youth employment” was a multi measure project aiming at changing the situation of youth employment in Europe. The project gathered 153 participants, representing 22 partners organisations and coming from 15 different countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

One topic: YOUTH EMPLOYMENT!

The objectives or the project were:

  • To support young people’s access to employment
  • To provide tools to empower young people
  • To assess the transferability of competencies acquired or developed through volunteering
  • To promote young people’s sense of initiative and entrepreneurship

18 monts to inspire Young People

The project lasted 18 months and was composed of 5 different actions. All activities were based on non-formal education methods and on the needs and contributions of the participants. Some methods used were: individual work, small discussion groups, plenary work, group dynamics, co-operative games and personal challenges (outdoor education), Open space technology, theoretical inputs, practice (coaching), experiential learning and artistic workshops.

The 5 actions were:

  • Feasibility Visit « In the Starting Blocks! », Spain, September 2011: building the partnership
  • Training Course « Coach Me If You Can! », Portugal, November 2011: working on knowledge, skills and attitudes in the field of coaching towards empowerment and employment of young people
  • Seminar « Jump In! », Romania, April 2012: identifying key competencies developed during volunteer activities and how these competencies can improve young people’s employability
  • Training Course « Take a Risk! », Lithuania, August 2012: using experiential learning and Outdoor education to show how taking risks can be a motor for personal and professional development
  • Evaluation Meeting: « Cross the Finishing Line! », Croatia, October 2012: measuring and disseminating the results

Motivated Young People and an institutional recognition

This project had beautiful results:

Y-E-N’s own working culture was improved;

  • 53 participants trained, skilled and motivated to work on coaching young people towards employment and therefore actively fight for youth employment in Europe;
  • Links with new organisations and opportunities for new European cooperation between youth organisations;
  • Recommendations made at European youth policies level for training young people to have more social, interpersonal skills and practical competencies in order to help them reduce the education gap between school and labour market, or recommendations for more mobility opportunities for young people in Europe and for more recognition of non formal education;
  • Recognition as a best practice by the European Youth Forum and its Youth Employment Action platform (where Y-E-N was an active member): www.youthemploymentaction.org, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

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2018-2019: “EntreprenEUrship for CultYOUre” (EU4YOU)

This year, Youth Express Network and our 8 partners will embarked on an international project for 2 years. Together, we will share good practices and develop innovative complementary pathways for boosting employability of young people through social youth entrepreneurship. We will also provide each other with tools for cultural entrepreneurship.

This project gathers social workers from 8 different organisations coming from Argentina, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. We had our first meeting in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, at the end of January.

READ MORE ON THE FIRST SEMINAR

EU4YOU will be composed of several phases of work and collaboration (see timeline bellow for more detail):

  • Kick off meeting merged with a Capacity building seminar on Social and Cultural Entrepreneurship in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.
  • Seminar on cultural management education and development of learning tools in Cancun, Mexico.
  • For a period of 2 or 3 weeks – Job shadowing mobility aimed developing toolkit on Cultural Entrepreneurship.
  • Development of a toolkit
  • Final seminar in Strasbourg, France, to evaluate results and present toolkit to public.

EU4YOU is supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission

Digitalise it!: Kick-off meeting

On February 24th and 25th, the 6 partner organisations of Y-E-N long-term project « DIGITALISE IT » (KA2 Strategic Partnership – Exchange of Practices) gathered in Strasbourg for the kick-off meeting!

This meeting was the occasion for the partners to recall the aim, objectives, steps and expected results of the project, but also to set important management and financial rules in order to launch the project for good!

The partners also had the chance to meet with Leo Zbanke, expert in digital storytelling, who will be in charge of the pedagogical content of the 2 trainings on digital storytelling that will occur in 2018: the first one will be a training for youth workers which will take place in April 2018 in Ostia-Rome (Italy), and the second will be a training for young people that will take place in July 2018 in Strasbourg (France).

The project will go on in 2019 for more international activities but also experimentations at local level with the digital storytelling tool!

Stay tuned!

Project supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission

Dear MEPs and PACE members, this is our Open Letter

In 2017, we coordinated the project “TOG(AE)THER in Europe: Living, working and shaping Europe together” financially supported by the Erasmus + programme of the European Commission and the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe. The project aimed at advocating and lobbying for the social inclusion and access to social rights of young people in Europe, by empowering them and providing them a space to meet and dialogue with policy-makers.

During this project, we confirmed once again that young people are ready and willing to share their ideas and needs of the present and future. Unfortunately, we were disappointed to find out that no member of the European Parliament came to meet with them to listen to their needs and ideas or engage into dialogue with them. The invitation was sent 2 months prior to the event to 60 European decision-makers (MEPs and PACE members).

We decided to send them an Open Letter. Here’s that letter.

EU4YOU – Kick-off meeting in Bulgaria

Our first meeting of the year took place in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, at the end of January. It was the Kick-off meeting of our Capacity Building project “EntreprenEUrship for CultYOUre” (EU4YOU), hosted by Active Bulgarian Society (ABS). This seminar gathered social workers from 8 different organisations coming from Argentina, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam.

This international project will last for 2 years. It will allow its 8 partners to share good practices in order to develop innovative complementary pathways for boosting employability of young people through social youth entrepreneurship, as well as to provide them with tools for cultural entrepreneurship.

During this 7 days meeting, the participants got to know each other, the various organisations involved and the ins and outs of the project.

Together, they developed an action plan for the future months. Find here bellow a timeline of the chronological timeline of the project EU4YOU.

They also got to share some Team Building activities, meet with guests from Blagoevgrad region, visit the city and surroundings. As an introduction exercice, they developed in small groups five ideas for social enterprises which were later presented to all the partners and discussed in detail.

One of the result of the 2-year-long project will be a Toolkit on social entrepreneurship and cultural management, giving practical directions to young people on how to create, manage and sustain an enterprise.

Watch the video that was made by ABS volunteers during the seminar:

READ MORE ON ABS’ ARTICLE

EU4YOU is supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission

Joint venture for ENTER ADVocacy!

Between the 13th and 17th of November, Youth Express Network and Youth Social Rights Network met at the European Youth Centre of Strasbourg to hold the study session: “ADV-ENT-ure: Joint venture for ENTER ADVocacy!”. This Study Session, supported by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, gathered 28 young people coming from 19 different countries!

The objective of the Study Session was to reach Youth Councils and Youth Organisations working closely with authorities at local and national level and to increase their capacities to improve the access on social rights of young people and the implementation of the ENTER Recommendation.

Day 1 – Getting to know each other and building a team

During DAY 1, the participants got to discover and get familiar with the programme and each other. Answering various questions, the group was able to understand the main aim and different objectives of the Study Session and reflect on various relevant topics such as inclusion, social rights, youth work and non-formal education. They also had the opportunity to express their fears, expectations and contributions regarding the programme and 5 days to come. The afternoon was dedicated to Team Building and the young people were challenged by the team of facilitators to accomplish an Impossible Mission, which they did! Later this day, they were invited to present their youth organisation or youth councils to the others and get to know each other a bit more. The day ended with the traditional intercultural evening during which the 19 attending countries were presented!

Day 2 – ENTERing Dignityland

DAY 2 started with a game of ENTER Dignityland! This cards game of Human Rights education was created by the Youth Sector of the Council of Europe. It helped the participants get more familiar with social rights and the process of decision-making. The participants were then divided in nationalities to create in groups a portrait of their national/local realities. Some of the issues mentioned were common to the majority of the represented countries. These main fields of action were identified: employment, right to organise, movement of people, non-discrimination, education, fair work conditions and collective rights. For each of these topics, the participants were then asked to share and exchange good practices. After that, the group had the visit of Rui Gomes, Head of Education and Training at the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, who kindly came to present the Council of Europe and the ENTER project. The second day ended with a Quizz evening with the No Hate Speech Movement.

Day 3 – Participation, digital storytelling and local Youth Councils

The team of facilitators started DAY 3 by introducing the Ladder of Citizen Participation of Sherry R. Arnstein. With this illustration of the eight recognisable types of participation in mind, the participants were invited to reflect on Youth Councils and their scope of action depending on their local/national context. The following activity required all of the creativity and ideas of the young people. In little groups, they filmed short videos on the access to Social Rights. On the afternoon, the group welcomed representatives of the Youth Council of the Municipality of Strasbourg. The teenagers presented their work at local level and answered the questions of our participants. In the evening, all of the members of the Study Session went out in the city centre of Strasbourg to have dinner in a typical Alsatian restaurant.

Day 4 – Advocacy: taking action

The morning of DAY 4 allowed the participants to go deeper on the definition of Youth Councils. With a Fishbowl discussion, they reflected on what is a youth councils and shared on their local practices. The rest of DAY 4 was focused on Advocacy and how to actually take action to make a change. The facilitating team first presented the various steps towards Advocacy, thus giving to the participants a concrete direction for their future plans of action. The group then had the visit of two representatives of the European Youth Foundation who explained to them how to finance their future youth projects. On the last part of the day, the group divided in 3 to start the development of their final tools destined to Young People, Youth Councils and Youth Organisation.

Day 5 – Three tools for a better access of Social Rights

Our Study Session ADV-ENT-ure ended here with the 5th day. This last day was dedicated to the realisation and final presentation of the tools created by the participant to help Youth Councils and Youth Organisation support their local authorities and convince them to implement the ENTER Recommendation, increasing therefore the access on social rights of young people. The tree tools created were: an open letter, a more youth-friendly version of the Recommendation and an online assessment tool destined to youth organisations and youth councils. The day ended with an evaluation of the 5 days of work.

The young people who participated in this Study Session will continue working on these 3 tools and deliver them to the Council of Europe once they’re finished. This Study Session was the first joint project of Youth Express Network and Youth Social Rights Network and we are happy to have united our strength and worked together towards a better access to Social Rights for Young People.

Full photo album here

This Study Session was supported by
the Youth Department of the Council of Europe

Proni: working against violent extremism

Our member organisation Proni Center for Youth Development, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is currently working against violent extremism. To do so, they’re taking part in a campaign called CAT (Citizen against Terrorism) and now launching a training for Youth Workers called Youth Workers Countering the Violent Extremism.

CAT (Citizens Against Terrorism)

CAT (Citizens Against Terrorism) is an online campaign aiming at raising awareness against radicalism and extremist ideologies by peacefully engaging local youth with various tactics. Its target groups are: local youth submissive to radicalism and exposed to hateful and extremist speech, post war youth coming from different nations and religions, medias and citizens.

The campaign consists of a facebook page through which the organisation communicates via memes with CATs,inviting facebook users to stand against terrorism and radicalism! Alongside the online campaign, Proni is also organising events, promoting the movement against terrorism.

This year, Proni already implemented a few activities:
Block terrorism: Beach Volleyball Tournament that gathered 20 teams and a total amount of 250 people, public included
– Street actions to collect signatures. 450 signatures were collected to make the 24th of March the International day of fight against terrorism. The petition was then sent to Proni’s ambasador in UN.

This initiative was introduced to our group of participant during our Partnership Building Activity “Working Together for an Inclusive Europe” by Dejan Rađen, one of our participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Youth Workers Countering the Violent Extremism

Youth workers countering the violent extremism is a project aiming at empowering and supporting existing youth workers’ skills and competences and giving them new tools in order to notify, act and report on radicalism behavior of young people in digital and real world.

The initiative came from the realisation that youth workers sometimes need to change their approches and adapt their knowledge when working with young people who are directly harmed by radical ideologies, sometimes leading to violent extremism behavior. There is a new need to create new tools and to use new methods.

In order to achieve this, Proni will focus on 3 activities:

  1. An advanced youth work training for 30 youth workers, focused on: dealing with conflicts and violent behavior, working with individuals (counseling skills), street youth work and “cyber youth work”;
  2. The creation of an online web platform collecting: information about youth radicalisation and violent extremism, positive examples of new tools and methods in youth work and other relevant information;
  3. The promotion of youth work and youth workers as relevant partners to local and international institutions dealing with issues of human security, radicalism and violent extremism behavior.

Using existing networks, PRONI will disseminate the idea of Youth Workers countering the violent extremism and involve more members and organisation to join the movement.

The project activities will take place in three municipalities/cities in North-East Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bijeljina, Brcko and Tuzla.

To learn more about Proni and their project, go to Proni.ba or their Facebook page.

Article written thanks to the contribution of Dejan Rađen.

HOP: fundraising for a documentary on migration

Our friend organisation HOP based in Ostia, Italy, is supporting the making of a documentary on migration: “Earth and Skin”. At the occasion of its fundraising campaign, HOP facilitated an action aiming at breaking stereotypes and invited the audience to participate in interactive games. The event was hosted at the Teatro del Lido (Ostia), on the 27th of October. 

“Earth and Skin”

Can a man, leave his native country, feel belonging to another strange land?

In search of an answer, two documentarists headed to Calabria in Sant’Alessio in Aspromonte, finding themselves in a suspended reality in time, among uses and customs typical of the Calabrian tradition and new foreigners, who also bear a tradition, far away from a continent.

Sant’Alessio is a village almost uninhabited: it has about 150 inhabitants, 35 of which are migrants. In order to manage the problem of Italian depopulation, the Sant’Alessio Municipality, in collaboration with COOPSIA, has launched a SPRAR project through which the country has become a second reception center for migrants. Some of the houses abandoned by Sant’Alessioti are now home to the beneficiaries of the SPRAR project, thus promoting the development of the country’s micro-economy.

However, our question is still unanswered. Can a coexistence not always chosen, be free, spontaneous and jovial?

How can native and migrant inhabitants feel themselves belonging to a place where tradition and new culture coexist?

Breaking Stereotypes

HOP decided to support the creation of a documentary that reveals this microcosm, internal dynamics, but above all the difficulties faced when leaving a place to reach another, yet capable of not only welcoming us as individuals, but also, above all, as human beings.

For HOP, it was the chance to play role-games to break stereotypes and use non formal education for a creative purpose. This helped everyone to really understand the ideas behind the project and in fact everyone participated with enthusiasm and was full of questions after all.

The games were proposed by Gaia and Andrea, from HOP and it was a fundamental participation to make the event a success for the community.

The event proposed were:

• A photographic exhibition on Sant’Alessio and its inhabitants accompanied by an audio track with interviews made to SPRAR operators

• The vision of the documentary teaser;

• Non-formal role-playing activities related to the theme of the documentary in collaboration with HOP @humanityoverpeople

• Crowdfunding collection for documentary production;

Author: Valentina Auliso

Graphic Reports “TOG(AE)THER EUROPE”

HERE THEY ARE!

The graphic report on our last activity “Shaping Europe Together” is here! It was made by Coline Robin, graphic facilitator, who has been following and drawing our activities during the whole length of our 2017 work plan “Tog(AE)ther Europe“. Enjoy!

You can also read the graphic reports made earlier this year on our first two activities: the youth seminar “Living in Europe Together, our challenge!“, and the partnership building activity “Working together for an inclusive Europe“.

This year programme was supported by:

 

Help the Network with Lilo!

Dear young people, friends, member organisations, we need your help! And the good news is, you can now help us, one click at the time!

Since 1993, Youth Express Network organises trainings, study visits, seminars, youth exchanges and a lot of other local, cross-border and European projects designed for youth/social workers and young people with fewer opportunities. In a few months, Y-E-N will be celebrating its 25 YEARS of experience in the matter, 25 years of intercultural work and exchanges!

We would like for this year to count and to be remembered, with videos of testimonies and memories, events and beautiful projects!

To be able to do so, and more, we decided to launch in September 2017 our very first fundraising campaign. For that, we chose Lilo.

What is Lilo?

30 euros. A lot can be done with 30 euros. It can represent a few meals, one night in a hostel, a train ticket in some countries, one year of membership in an organisation, a donation maybe… What if we told you that 30 euros is also, in average, the amount of money you generate yearly thanks to your internet researches.

Some people decided to make something of that interesting fact and created search engines which allow you to participate in something useful. Some are focused on tree planting, sustainability… as for Lilo, it is specialised in organisations.

source: https://www.lilo.org/en/

How does Lilo works?

Lilo is a search engine that finances social and environmental projects. You can download it and use as your default search engine. So how does it generate money exactly?

To explain it simply: each research you do in Lilo generates 1 “drop of water”. The drops of water are cumulated at the right top of your screen. You then can decide in the Lilo page to which associative project you can give your drops. Thanks to advertising, the drops are turned into money. It is not much, but with a lot of people, a lot can be done !

Here is a video that explains a little bit how the search engine works.

How can I donate?!

Our Lilo Campaign is now online! Donating is Really simple!

STEP 1: Install Lilo as your default search engine.

STEP 2: Surf on the internet, as you do usually. Your drop count should now be raising, search by search!

STEP 3: When you reach 50 drops or more (required limit for the first donation), go on the Youth Express Network campaign page Here and donate your drops.

STEP 4: To donate, select the amount of drops you want to give by sliding the cursor. Click Ok! Et voila: you’ve just donated your drops 😉

STEP 5: Share. Share! SHARE! Talk to your friends, send emails, share the campaign on your social medias!

 

 

Start gathering your drops NOW! We’ve been using it at Y-E-N coordination office for 7 months now, and we’ve just donated 2080 drops! Can you beat our record? 😀

“Give meaning to your searches”
– Lilo

 

Shaping Europe Together – Day 4

Today was the last day of our youth seminar “Shaping Europe Together!”, a day focused on realising the aim of our youth Seminar and Work Plan, the structured dialogue “Tog(AE)ther Europe: Living, Working and Shaping together“.

Our participants had the opportunity to meet with decision-makers and present to them their advocacy and lobbying ideas. During the morning, they developed their propositions around 5 different themes: education and training, employment and occupation, social inclusion/segregation, participation opportunities, and youth work and non-formal education.

The meeting with decision-makers consisted in a world café and our 4 experts were able to listen to the young people’s recommendation on youth issues and give them their opinion and advices. Our guests were Abdelkarim Ramdane, elected counsellor of the municipality and urban community of Strasbourg, Marie-Julie Fayard, assistant of the Member of the European Parliament Anne Sander, Nerea Santisteban Lorences, elected at the municipality of Oviedo (Spain), and Pedro Serra, elected at the municipality of Cascais (Portugal).

The last part of the day was focused on evaluations. The participants were asked to evaluate the day and their afternoon meeting with decision-makers, the activity “Shaping Europe Together!” and the overall Work Plan.

The week is now over and our Work Plan of the year “Tog(AE)ther Europe: Living, Working and Shaping Europe together!” ended on the realisation of our objectives. Our 4 days of work were once again followed and reported by Coline Robin, graphic recorder, who will compose with her drawings a graphic report, to be published here in the next weeks.

Our next activity of the year will be the Study Session “ADV-ENT-ure!” jointly organised by Youth Express Network and Youth Social Rights Network. It will be held in November, in Strasbourg, France.

This project is supported by: