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:

 

 

Shaping Europe Together – Day 3

Day 3 is already over and today was a very busy day! Thanks to our kind guests’ interventions and our planned field visits, our participants were introduced to a great number of institutions, financial supporters and local/national/European initiatives.

During the morning, the participants learn a little bit more about Advocacy and Lobbying. In groups, they were invited to start a brainstorming on the ENTER Recommendation highlighted the day before during their country profiles: education and training, employment and occupation, social inclusion/segregation, participation opportunities, and youth work and non-formal education.

Each of the groups imagined an advocacy and/or lobbying campaign to promote/raise awareness on their chosen topic. The ideas were numerous: videos, petitions, elevator pitches, social media campaigns, face-to-face with decision-makers…

After this collaborative exercise, we had the great pleasure to welcome 3 guests to hear about European institutions and initiatives:

  • a representative of the European Youth Foundation introduced the foundation to our participants. The European Youth Foundation is providing Youth Express Network with financial support for our Work Plan “Tog(AE)ther Europe” and it was very interesting for the group to get a clearer idea of the process of funding European projects.
  • Hervé Moritz, President of JEF France (Young European Federalists), came and presented the European Youth Convention, an European event which gathers each year more than 100 representatives of youth organisations from 38 countries to develop and write together an European Convention.
  • Nafsika Vrettaki, Board Member of the European Youth Forum, talked about youth councils around Europe and shared with the group about the YFJ and its structure.

After lunch, the group split into two and left the European Youth Centre to go visit two different sites: one group went to the European Parliament and the other participated in the “Weeks for equality and against discrimination”, an event organised by the municipality of Strasbourg proposing workshops to children in order to teach them the various types of discrimination.

During the evening, we all went to our traditional night out in the hosting city. The participants were invited to eat at a local and typical restaurant and discover Alsatian specialities.

This project is supported by:

 

Shaping Europe Together – Day 2

During Day 2, our participants had the opportunity to do the first step towards our final aim: meeting with decision-makers and proposing their suggestions and recommendations to them.

The morning was dedicated to the ENTER Recommendation and Youth Work. Our team of facilitators invited the participants to take part in a simulation game on decision-making and social rights. During the activity, they became council members and had to decide on policies tackling various issues. Each of the “councils” had a different budget to invest in social projects, an inequality that raised dilemmas, strategies and reflections: which issue should be prioritised, and which should be put on the side? How to agree on a decision? Is it fair?…

The group was then joined by Alice Barbieri, member of the Advisory Council of the Council of Europe in charge of the Youth Sector. She shared her expertise on the ENTER recommendation, and explained the relation between youth and the Council of Europe. The participants were able to ask Alice their questions, from how to disseminate the ENTER Recommendation at local level, to suggestions on how to concretely have an impact on decision-making processes.

During the afternoon, the participants were gathered in groups of nationalities and invited to share with the others the issues of their country. Thanks to this exchange of facts and good practices, everyone was able to get a better idea of the distinct and common realities of the European territory. They finished this session with a clearer map of the problems that need to be solved all over Europe, but also, hopes and ideas on how to start solving them now.

The last session of the day focused on labels and stereotypes. While walking in the Strasbourg “wilderness”, the participants discussed with each other, wearing new identities on their foreheads. Homeless person, president, alcoholic… How do people interact with me? Why is their behaviour toward me different now? Why and how is it affecting me?…

Day 2 ended on a free evening exploring Strasbourg together and making friends.

This project is supported by:

 

Shaping Europe Together – Day 1

This week, Youth Express Network is gathering 45 people in the European Youth Centre of Strasbourg to participate in our final activity of the year: “Shaping Europe Together!”.

This youth seminar marks the end of our work plan “Tog(AE)ther Europe“. During these 4 days of work, our participants will have the significant task of developing together propositions on youth inclusion and access to social rights to present to decision-makers. They will also evaluate the impact of the whole Work Plan 2017 on our participants and the organisations involved.

On Monday, first day of the meeting, the participants were introduced to all of the essential aspects of the project: Youth Express Network and its values, the aim and objectives of “Shaping Europe Together!”, the work plan as a whole and its past two activities and their programme for the 4 days to come.

Together, they took part in various Icebreakers and Team Building activities to help them get to know each other and become a strong and collaborative Team. They shaked their names, wrote their feelings, mimed birthdays, planted trees, they accomplished the impossible and climbed spider webs!

The focus of the afternoon was on the past two activities: “Living Together: Our challenge!” and “Working Together for an Inclusive Europe“. Among the participants, a dozen of young people who took part in those activities back in May and June were invited to share about their experience and explain to the others what the seminars consisted of. Some of them had great news and presented to the group the projects they were able to implement at local level during the last months.

The day ended, as tradition demands, with a beautiful intercultural evening. A lot of work awaits, and we’ll enjoy every minute of it!

This project is supported by:

 

Shaping Europe Together: Youth Seminar in Strasbourg

In a few days, Youth Express Network will be welcoming 45 young people from 15 European countries in Strasbourg for the third and last activity of our Work Plan: “Tog(AE)ther Europe: Living, Working and Shaping Europe Together”.

This activity, supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission, will focus on:

  1. Evaluating the impact of the whole Work Plan 2017 on participants and organisations involved (including the 2 previous activities: “Living Together: Our challenge!” and “Working Together for an Inclusive Europe“);
  2. Giving advocacy and lobbying tools for young people to claim for their rights;
  3. Encouraging youth participation at local, national and European levels;
  4. Raising awareness, among decision-makers, on access to Social Rights of young people;
  5. Promoting the role of young people and youth/social workers to participate to policy-making fostering social inclusion for youth;
  6. Presenting and disseminating the ENTER Recommendation of the Council of Europe.

During this 4-day seminar, the participants will have the opportunity to draft policy recommendations together. Youth Express Network invited representatives of European organisations, authorities and institutions to attend the seminar and listen to the recommendations of our group of Young People and Youth/Social Workers.

Our pan-European Team will be composed of 4 facilitators coming from Bulgaria, France, Italy and Romania. Once again, our adventures will be drawn by Coline Robin, Graphic Reporter.

“Shaping Europe together”
Evaluation seminar

in STRASBOURG (France)

from the 2nd to the 5th of October 2017