ACTION DAY #5: The Art of Togetherness!

This year, Youth Express Network celebrates 25 years of work and action towards Social Inclusion of Young People. We wanted to take this celebration as an opportunity to put a spotlight on some of the ENTER Recommendation, a tool we often use to teach Young People about the Access of Social Rights.

Our #12actions project aims at dedicating each month to one of the ENTER Recommendation by doing, initiating or communicating on various ways to implement these recommendation and by doing so, contribute to a better access of Social Rights for young people.

ENTER recommendation #5:
Education and training.

Youth Express Network has organised several trainings during the past 25 years! As a matter of fact, we did one of those this month! We thought it would be an interesting example of what can be done at local, European and International level, to provide youth and social/youth workers with education and training on Social Rights and how to access them.

Training of trainers

The training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” was the first activity of our work plan of 2018: “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion”. It took place at the European Youth Center of Strasbourg between the 11th and 17th of May 2018 and was supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Aim of this training was to grow and train a new generation of Y-E-N trainers and facilitators, able to make an impact on young people’s lives using artistic expression to promote empowerment, full access to social rights and a sense of Togetherness.

The training gathered 25 youth and social workers coming from 18 different countries! 24 youth organisations from all over Europe were represented.

READ MORE ON THE TRAINING PHOTO ALBUM

Regional Youth Exchanges

The work plan “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion” will continue its work through 3 regional youth exchanges between the months of July and September. During these Youth Exchanges, the participants of our training of trainers will become youth leaders and facilitate the activities.

Together, they will put to practice the knowledge, skills and competences they got from the training and guide the young people through topics such as: youth expression, peacebuilding and conflict transformation, social inclusion of young refugees and their transition from childhood to adulthood, youth expression, intercultural dialogue and social inclusion of minorities.

Work Plan supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Art of Togetherness – Days 6 & 7

Our training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” is now over! For 7 days, it gathered 25 social/youth workers in the European Youth Center of Strasbourg. This activity was the first activity of our work plan The Art of Social Inclusion, supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

DAY 6

Practice day

The Sixth day was entirely dedicated to practising everything the participants had learnt the previous days. The 25 participants were divided in 3 groups and then paired up with a colleague. In duos, they had to facilitate one of the 4 sessions of the day: getting to know each other, team building, social inclusion or access to social rights and evaluation.

The practising phase was closely followed by one of the trainer who would give each pair and participants their feedbacks, together with the other participants who participated to the sessions.

DAY 7

Preparing the next phase of the work plan

On Day 7, the participants, in groups of region, prepared together the upcoming regional youth exchange which they will be facilitating in July, August and September. The regional youth exchange will each gather about young people from the member and partner organisations and will take place in Georgia for the Caucasian region, Kosovo for the Balkan region, and Poland for the western Europe countries.

European Youth Foundation

On the next session, the participants were introduced to the European Youth Foundation, supporter of the project. They were explained how the foundation works and the different ways to be supported in the development of their activities.

Evaluation of the training of trainers

For the rest of the day, the participants were invited to think about the week of training, remember the things they have learnt and evaluate the whole training. They shared their emotions with each other and shared on the things they will take with them from this experience.

This week of training will for sure initiate new projects, new partnerships, friendships and a new generation of trainers for the projects of Youth Express Network!

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Art of Togetherness – Days 4 & 5

Our training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” is continuing in Strasbourg! It will gather 25 social/youth workers until the 17th of May, for 7 days of training on the Art of Social Inclusion.

DAY 4

Social Inclusion

The 4th day of our training of trainers started with an activity on social inclusion. The group experienced exclusion based on a visible criteria and analysed together their individual and group reactions. The participants were allowed to reflect on the differences between the concepts of Exclusion, Segregation, Integration and Inclusion. They also brainstormed on how to make an inclusive project.

Project Management

The next session was on project management and the cycle of project. The group reflected on how a Project should be, and the team explained to them various theories of project management such as the the tree of Root-Problem-Effects, the project life cycle and triple constraints and the 4 steps of project management (aim, objectives, activities, impact).

Field Visit

The group of participants had then the opportunity to go on a field visit: “Libre Objet“, a French non-profit organisation based in Strasbourg, welcomed them in their facility. “Libre Objet” started as a rehabilitation project for people in jail. “Libre Objet” is now a sewing and wood workshop, recycling overused/broken objects to turn them into new handmade design objects and give them a second life. Economic, good for the environment and social, this organisation gave our participants a good example of using Art with a social purpose.

DAY 5

Being a trainer and case studies

What does form a team of facilitators? The group was invited to brainstorm on the Knowledges, Attitudes, Abilities and Values that a trainer should have in order to be a good trainer. They then reflected on a few case studies and had to identify solutions for 5 different tricky situations: what to do if a trainer gets sick, or if a participants is often late to sessions… They ended the session with tools on risk prevention.

Evaluation, programme flow and session outline

The following session was on evaluation. The participants discussed what makes a successful evaluation and saw the different types of evaluations. They explored the process of evaluation: preparing, designing, collecting informations, assessment and conclusions, implementing results and interpreting. They then got more familiar with the programme flow and what different phases a project should be composed of, from the welcome evening to the farewell party. The group ended this theory session with a description of the session outline, its purpose and what informations it should contain.

Practice phase: preparation

Day 5 marked the beginning the practice phase! The participants were put into duos/trios in order to facilitate together a session for their colleagues! The 4 sessions to facilitate would be: Getting to know each other, Team building, Social Inclusion/Access to Social Rights and Evaluation. The rest of the afternoon and evening was dedicated to prepare the sessions to be facilitated on the next day!

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Art of Togetherness – Day 3

Our training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” is progressing well! During the third day, our participants went over European institutions, active listening, debriefing, feedback and methodology! They ended this programme with their first practising session and proposed artistic activities to each other!

European institutions and active listening

Day 3 started with a presentation of the Council of Europe and a tool often used within our projects: the ENTER Recommendation. The participants were then able to take part in two activities on active listening. On the first one, they had to communicate without seeing each other, sited back to back! On the second one, they had to tell a story to a distracted receiver. These exercises made them aware of the importance of body language, non-verbal communication, feedbacks, adaptation and an open mind.

Debriefing, feedback & methodology

The next part of the day was dedicated to learning more on debriefing, feedback and different methods and methodologies.The participants were introduced to the 6 steps of debriefing after an activity and different techniques of debriefing. They also talked and reflected on the importance of feedback and gave a few examples of feedback techniques such as the sandwich feedback or the behaviour feedback.

Practice

The day ended with a phase of practice. Participants were invited to facilitate their first workshop of the training. They could choose an artistic method to share with their colleagues and 4 workshops were held: Greek dances, digital storytelling, comic strips and forum theatre. After the facilitators prepared and hosted their own workshops, they were able to put into practice the debriefing and feedback techniques they had learnt earlier. The results were presented to the other participants during the evening and the group was able to reflect on the whole session.

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Art of Togetherness – Day 2

The second day of our training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” is now over! The day focused on learning, social inclusion and getting to know other European organisations!

Learning and Youth Work

The day started with a session on learning and youth work. The aim of the session was to reflect on the concepts of formal learning, non-formal learning and informal learning and to then link those with youth work and how it each of them can be useful or present challenges.

Learning to learn

On the second part of the morning, the youth/social workers got to experience various ways of learning through two different activities. The first one consisted of learning a choreography all together and put a spotlight on the processes of learning something by hear and having to unlearn something. With the second activity, a class on a Japanese technique of t-shirt folding, the group had to practice peer to peer learning and discovered the numerous styles of learning: manual, audio, visual, group, verbal, individual…

Social Inclusion and Togetherness

During the afternoon, the group took part in a big simulation game called “Scramble for Wealth and Power”. Divided in three groups of different wealth classes, they had to come up with a common plan to manage a fair distribution of their wealth in order to decrease the gap between them. This activity demanded for them to communicate with each other, negotiate, debate and find a fair solution.

Getting to know partners’ organisations

The day ended with a NGO fair where all of the participants had the opportunity to present their local organisation and hear about the others’. This evening allowed them to learn about their European neighbours’ realities and, hopefully, start lots of new European partnerships 😉

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

 

The Art of Togetherness – Day 1

Our training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” has officially begun! For 7 days, 25 youth/social workers will be gathered at the European Youth Centre of Strasbourg.

This training of trainers is the first activity of the work plan “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion“. The objectives of the work plan are:

  • to develop the competences of youth workers, facilitators and social workers in facilitating local and European activities for social inclusion
  • to understand the process of social inclusion
  • to try out and experiment different tools and methods to work on social inclusion
  • to support and valorise young people’s actions at local level
  • to learn/become inclusive and active

During this week of work, the trainers will get to explore various ways and good practices to empower young people to take action towards social inclusion.

Learning and practising

The programme will go over various aspects of youth work. During the first days, the trainers will work together and reflect on different theories, values and tools such as: non-formal education, social inclusion, active listening, facilitating techniques and methodologies. A practice phase will then allow the participants to use their skills and competences through art. At the end of the week, the trainers will work together on planning the upcoming linked activities: 3 youth exchanges that will took place during the summer.

DAY 1

Welcome and introduction of the project

The first day of the training was dedicated to getting to know the project and each other. In the morning, the participants were invited to reflect on the objectives of the project, their expectations and contributions. They expressed their hope to share experiences, knowledge and examples of good practices, learn new methods, get feedbacks, help and inspire each other and create new friendships and partnership.

After that, they got to know each other as individual and youth/social workers, share on their common interests, all of that in a beautiful and friendly atmosphere!

Team building and group dynamics

Under a beautiful spring sun, the group got to develop their team spirit with 2 outdoors activities! The first one was a game of chairs that helped them develop their active listening, strategy, and non-verbal communication. For the second one, the team had to cross a field of “lava” and make sure that nobody got left behind! Together, they managed 4 different techniques and learned to listen to each other’s sensibilities.

The last part of the day aimed at understanding and reflecting on group dynamics. What is the difference between a group and a team? They went over the Tuckman’s model, the PPP model and the 5 steps of group dynamics.

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

ACTION DAY #4: We inform Youth!

To celebrate our 25th year acting and networking towards Social Inclusion of Young People, we wanted to put a spotlight on some of the ENTER Recommendation, a tool we often use to teach Young People about the Access of Social Rights.

ENTER recommendation #4:
Information and Counseling.

This month, we asked our friends and member organisations to tell us about the various methods, solutions and good practices they implement at local level to provide Youth with information and counsel. Here are their answers!

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Oviedo, Spain – Member Organisation

“When the youth cannot come to us… we go to the youth.”

“In their transition to adulthood, young people have to take decisions that have a strong impact on their lives. Having equal access to quality and free information is essential for them to make use of their rights and to participate in society. But how to support it?

From Youropía, we tried to answer this question, focusing on essential information about youth mobility and non-formal learning. Since 2014 we set up an “info-point for youth mobility” centred in mobility-schemes and learning opportunities. Mainly Erasmus+ (European Voluntary Service, Youth Exchanges…), but not only that: Erasmus for young entrepreneurs, Creative Europe, EURES are just some of the programmes considered.

No matter who approached us at our office or made a query on-line (by email or chat), almost every youngster we met had something in common: that inner sparkle of exploring what is outside the comfort zone…, but also this feeling of being a lost, still wondering what path to take. Yet, we are all different and we all need different answers; and that’s why we decided to include different approaches too.

Although the main service is an individual 1-to1 session, tailored to the specific needs and interest of the young person who decides to enjoy the “info-point”, we also set up open sessions for groups of young people willing to get to know more about some specific subject: EVS, European Solidarity Corps, Youth Guarantee, etc.

And when the youth cannot come to us… we go to the youth. With our “mobile info-point for youth mobility”, we have the chance to go to schools and youth centres in different areas of our region and reach out to young people that cannot participate otherwise.

But “mobility and learning” is also celebration! With “Nómadas” (nomads), we gathered people who believed in the importance of travelling and exposing yourself to other cultures. In this 1 day event we combined youth information with motivational speeches and personal experiences. In 2017, Alba, Alfonso, Juan and Pablo shared their experience with Y-E-N in “Living Together in Europe” and Nomadas 2018 is around the corner… stay tuned!”

Simone – Youropía

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Nancy – Strasbourg, France – Friend Organisation

Promoting international mobility, from information to reality

Parcours le Monde – Grand Est (PLMGE) is a local organisation based in Nancy and Strasbourg in the Grand-Est region of France and information & counseling for young people are two of our main objectives! We develop information and promotion campaigns for the democratisation of international mobility and access for the target groups who are the most excluded from it.

Our target groups are mostly young people living in sensitive neighborhoods, in remote rural areas and without occupation and/or without diploma, who do not believe that an experience of work, internship or volunteering abroad is made for them for several reasons (too expensive, lack of competences, no foreign languages skills etc.). Thus, we deliver collective information sessions on the different opportunities for international mobility and their access, while also tackling intercultural aspects of mobility and the valorisation of such experience in one’s CV.

The sessions are built on a non-formal and youth-centered approach using self-reflection on the added value & challenges of mobility and the competences to be acquired, simulation games on stereotypes etc. Those information sessions are delivered in the 2 offices but also directly into socio-cultural centres, youth centres and local counsel centres for youth employment!

Thanks to these information sessions many young people stay in touch with us in order to explore the possibilities for them to go on an EVS mission, a Working Holiday Visa, an internship abroad or a youth exchange etc. That is where we begin individual guidance and counseling for our target groups: building their mobility project, linguistic and intercultural preparation etc. The guidance goes on during the departure but also after they return in order to accompany them in the valorisation of their competences and their follow-up plan.”

Cécile and Emmeline – Parcours le Monde Grand Est

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Ostia-Rome, Italy – Friend Organisation

Gathering young people around Social Rights

Humanity Over People (HOP) is a youth organisation based in Ostia-Rome, Italy. Like Youth Express Network, HOP organises various activities with young people using non-formal education to promote Social Inclusion, intercultural dialogue and the respect of diversity. Andrea, Secretary of HOP, shared with us on a project they did aiming at informing young people about their rights.

“The aim of our project HOPERATIVE IN EUROPE was to give access to social rights to high-school students using non-formal education. We helped them understand what social rights are, how they can claim for them and how to achieve active participation in the society. The total amount of Participants was: 44 students and 6 migrants.

This project was composed of 7 meetings, each focused on different rights: 1- no discrimination, 2- freedom of movement, 3- education, 4- housing, 5- right to work, 6- health care. For each of these meetings, we went to them and met them in their classes. We always started the meeting with questions on each of the specific rights and then worked on them using non-formal education: “Step forward” for non-discrimination; “World cafè” for education and freedom of movement; problem solving for housing; forum theatre for the right to work; simple explaination for health care system. Everyday, the students had to find out if these rights are protected or not in other European countries: they used newspapers and their mobiles. Thanks to that, they were able to increase their capacity of analysis of their society.

They also built, step by step, a Charter of Social Rights, thanks to the pieces of information they got from answering the questions relating to the right of the day at the beginning of each meeting.

Since another important aspect of our project was social inclusion, the last meeting was a walk in the archeological area of Ostia Antica during which students had to explain to migrants, hosted at CAS in Fiumicino, the history of the ancient harbour of Rome. We wanted to create a bridge between students and migrants.

At the end, we brought students closer to the ENTER Recommendation: what they are, how they can be implemented and their contribution to social rights.

Throughout the project, the students were really interested since non formal education is not so usual in the Italian educational system!”

Andrea – Hop

Digitalise it!: Training Course for youth workers

From April 4th to 13th, 12 youth workers/leaders from our 6 partner organisations of Y-E-N long-term project “DIGITALISE IT” (KA2 Strategic Partnership – Exchange of Practices) gathered in Ostia-Rome (Italy) for the first Training Course on digital storytelling hosted by Affabulazione!

For 10 days, the participants had the chance to experience different methods of storytelling using digital tools with the expert, director and coach Leo Zbanke and had to write, record and film a personal story as part of the digital storytelling process.

During the Training Course, the participants also had the opportunity to reflect on how to adapt these tools and implement them at local level within their work with young people. They could also immerse themselves in the local reality of the neighbourhood of Ostia thanks to a visit to our partner organisation’s cultural centre Affabulazione, meeting with local youth initiatives and organisations (HOP, Homo Ridens) and a visit to Teatro del Lido.

The next step of the project “DIGITALISE IT!” is a Training Course directly dedicated to young people with fewer opportunities and young peers that will take place in July 2018 in Strasbourg (France). The project itself will continue until 2019 for more experimentations on digital storytelling at local level in each partner organisation!

Our partner organisations: Active Bulgarian Society, Affabulazione, The Exchangeables, United Societies of Balkans, Youropia.

This project is financially supported by 

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