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

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:

 

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

       

Toolkit: Inclusive European Youth Projects

During our last seminar “Working in Europe Together”, the participants (young people and youth workers), brainstormed and developed together a toolkit for inclusion workers engaging young people with fewer opportunities in European projects, Y-E-N projects mainly.

The toolkit conception was the focus of a full afternoon. The facilitating team suggested the World Café methodology to harvest ideas and reflections from the participants. Groups were formed and each of them spent some time brainstorming and sharing good practices and suggestions on 3 specific questions : What should youth workers do? What should young people do? What should Youth Organisations do?

For each of the questions, the participants identified solutions, advices and good practices. Together, they compared their experiences and came up with efficient processes of selection, preparation and follow up for Youth Projects.

You can now find all of these key informations in the Toolkit : Inclusive European Youth Projects, drawn by Coline Robin, the talented graphic facilitator who worked with us in our 2 last projects, Living in Europe Together and Working in Europe Together (see reports here).

This practical booklet is intended to help inclusion workers who work everyday with young people with fewer opportunities in European projects. It aims to enable European youth organisations to reduce the exclusion of young people with fewer opportunities in European individual or group experiences.

 

Working Together – Day 5

Day 5 was our last day in Timisoara! The program focused on two things: the presentation of the different projects created previously by the participants and the evaluation of the whole week.

In the morning, each group that had developed a project the day before presented their work to the rest of the team. In total, 7 projects were presented.

  1. The Art of Togetherness“: to increase & raise awareness on social rights & inclusion through art.
  2. Participation Through Youth Mobilisation“: to increase youth participation through mobilisation in the Youth Work field.
  3. Don’t be afraid to show your True Colors“: to break stereotypes & increase acceptance & inclusion towards LGBTIA+ in Europe.
  4. CAT: Citizens Against Terrorism“: to raise awareness on extremism & prevent youth to fall into extremism.
  5. EVS for Everybody“: to send & host organisations from European & Eastern Partnership.
  6. Campaign against Cyber-Bullying“: to involve & raise awareness on the issue and train young people and educators to recognise & help victims.
  7. Gender-Based Violence“: to support victims & map the local situations.

The afternoon was dedicated to an evaluation of the 5-days Partnership Building Activity. Overall, the participants felt that they learned a lot and really understood Y-E-N, its work and the opportunities that can come out of being a member of this big family of European organisations. They were able to create several partnerships and created a special bond that, we hope, will allow beautiful projects to see the light.

Our next activity will be the Evaluation Seminar, third and last activity of our annual plan “Tog(ae)ther Europe“. It will take place in Strasbourg during the first week of October 🙂 And we can’t wait to meet everyone again!

 

Working Together – Day 4

Fourth day of Working Together was the beginning of the development of the participants’ projects.

On the morning, the participants were given a training on Project Management, using the « Project Management Timeline », 10 crucial steps in any project development. After that, they were invited to present individually their personal ideas of projects based on the issues they face at local, national and European level. The topics that came out were human rights for teachers, gender based violence, climate change, sustainability, peace & environment education, active local youth, radicalisation & terrorism, cyber bullying, tolerance, social enterprises, social inclusion through arts, EVS, LGBTQI+ rights, human rights education without language barriers, E.U. and eastern Europe partnerships…

The major part of the day was dedicated to brainstorming in groups. The various topics were packed in 5 different themes and groups were formed. The brainstorming was guided by the “Open Space Technology” (O.S.T.), an approach to purpose-driven leadership. The O.S.T answers to 5 rules : whoever joins the group IS the right person, whatever happens IS the only thing that could have happened, whenever it starts IS the right time to start, when it’s over, it’s over and the last rule, the Law of Two Feet (“If you are not learning or contributing it is your responsibility to respectfully find a place where you are”). Like this, 4 ambitious projects emerged from the common ideas of our participants. The topics selected were: creative methods for social inclusion, active youth to make a change, prevention of terrorism & radicalism for a more tolerant society and LGBTIQ rights & tackling gender based violence.

At the end of the day, the participants were shown a french documentary about new initiatives and new ways of changing the world at local level. The documentary covered the fields of Agriculture, Economy, Energy, Democracy and Education.

The program of this day aimed at giving the youth workers and young people the right impulses to create beautiful projects together and it worked. With 5 big collaborative projects spread in several European countries, Y-E-N has once again allowed organisations to meet and work together!