Interview of Daniel Grebeldinger (Nevo Parudimos)

Last Saturday was International Roma Day. We thought it was the perfect timing to interview our friend Daniel, long time participant in Y-E-N’s activities and  founder member of Nevo Parudimos, one of our Member Organisation from Romania which dedicates its work to Roma Youth Inclusion.

Thanks Daniel for answering our questions!

Could you tell us a brief history of your organisation Nevo Parudimos?

Nevo Parudimos was founded in 2008 by a group of Roma Activists and teachers working with Roma kids with the idea to work and try to increase the social inclusion of the Roma communities and to develop civil society in our area.

What is your role in the organisation?

Actually, I was the person initiating the group of people which founded the NGO. Initially I was the president, then I was working as a project manager, now I am mainly dealing with the fundraising and everything in relation with developing our project which targets Roma.

When did you join Y-E-N?

Nevo Parudimos joined Y-E-N immediately after we were funded because I was personally involved with Y-E-N since 2005 as an individual member.

And what did Y-E-N bring to your organisation?

Initially, we joined Y-E-N to be part of the experience and to seize the opportunity to train some of our people. Then, we started to work more on the inclusion side, specially targeting Roma young people. We learned from Y-E-N, we became partners with Y-E-N… Actually, Y-E-N was the first international network we became a member of, but at this moment we are member of 5 different networks, all connected with Roma or inclusion.

As you may know, International Roma Day is coming soon. Could you tell us about your project Roma Youth – European Youth?

Y-E-N is partner with the project Roma Youth – European Youth since the beginning: Roma Youth 1, Roma Youth 2 and Roma Youth 3. During these 3 events, we created the guide « 9 steps in working with Roma youngsters ». We are currently implementing the 4th session of this training with the same great core team of trainers, together with some COE experts. It is a great project, one of our best trainings until now. It is a long term training course dedicated to Youth Worker which aims to teach them how to work with Roma Youth specifically. After the first training session, the participants work at home, at their local level, and facilitate a Roma Youth group to develop activities. So, it is actually Happening and it gives great results.

To finish, we would like to know, on a more personal level, why did you chose to work with Youth?

The first time I attended an international activity was a Y-E-N General Assembly in Turkey in Cappadocia. It was the moment when I realised: Okay, that’s what I want to do. I decided to quit my job, I was a teacher at that time, and I started to attend trainings to learn more about non-formal education and how to become a trainer. And since that moment, I’m only working in civil society, doing project for civil society, fundraising and developing civil society… Y-E-N changed my life.

Interviewed by Margaux Dos Santos

Y-E-N has a new Communication Officer!

A little History of Y-E-N’s Communication

For 24 years now, Youth Express Network has worked for Youth inclusion in Europe thanks to a large team of invested and passionate people: Board Members, Coordination Office, SAYers, Member Organisations, Young People… For the majority of this time, the internal and external communication of the Network was managed little by little and task after task, by the Coordination Office and the Board Members mostly.

In 2014, the Network created the Communication Group, a little working group consisting of former participants, SAYers, coordination officers and board members. The Group, still active today, perfectly symbolises the very definition of the Network: Young People, brainstorming and working together to speak and communicate about Youth initiatives.

Though the Group worked and still works well, the need for a dedicated position remained and it was decided that 2017 would be the year. And so, after dozens of applications and a few interviews, Margaux was chosen.

Me, Margaux, 26 y/o, one of many voices of Y-E-N

I am Margaux and I am very happy to join Y-E-N’s vast and European family. I have been working at Y-E-N’s offices in Strasbourg since the beginning of February and many people were enthusiastic and curious to know why I applied for this position?

When I saw the position offer and discovered Y-E-N, I recognized that it looked in many ways similar to some of the organisations that gave me fantastic opportunities during the past couple of years, when I was trying to find a job and felt a bit left down by society. I wanted to change side and participate to the one that announces good news.

At Y-E-N, I see good things happening and young people meeting to change what they can change, and being able to talk about the positive initiatives happening in an Europe that have given me so much is a great feeling 🙂 I am looking forward to working together with the Communication Group and to develop this one-of-a-kind initiator of ideas: who better than Youth could talk about Youth the best? 🙂

I am very glad to have joined this beautiful project! Let’s make Europe more inclusive, with words and actions 😉

News from Member Organisation: Nevo Parudimos

Nevo Parudimos in partnership with 6 other international associations: Egyutthato Kozossegepito Egyesülete, Asociacion Munticultural Nakelamos (Spain), Roma (Macedonia), Integro Association (Bulgaria), Youth Express Network (France), Stranaidea (Italy) held a training between 16-24 January 2017 entitled “Roma Youth, European Youth 4”.

The training, which happens to be the first activity of the project “Roma youth, European Youth 4”, brought together 21 young volunteers/youth workers from Nevo Parudimos’ partner organisations from Hungary, Spain, Macedonia, Bulgaria, France and Italy, in order to teach them how to become youth workers specialised in work with young Roma and to apply and use the 9 steps in working with young Roma, mainly methods of working with non-formal education through various activities.

Besides the training that took place in Herculane, European Roma Youth Project Youth-4 included two more activities:

A practical activity where participants from each country put into practice rules to plan activities conducted during our training until the second meeting by using the 9 steps in working with young Roma. The goal was to form a group of young people at a local level to organise an activity with their support for other young people in the local community where they came from. Their results will be shared with other colleagues during the seminar to be conducted in June 2017.

An evaluation and exchange seminar which will also take place in Romania at Marabu Camp between the 1st and the 9th of June 2017 in Milcoveni village, Berliste town, Caras-Severin county.

The overall objectives of the project are as follow:

  • To enable the 7 partner NGO’s to work with young Roma
  • To increase the use of the guide “9 steps in working with Roma youngsters”
  • To increase the participation of young Roma
  • To promote non-formal education and practical life learning for Roma young people

The project is funded by the European Commission, Erasmus +, Key Action 1 Mobility of youth workers, reference no. 2016-2- RO01-KA105- 024898.

For more information please contact Mr. Firulescu Alexandru, project manager at 0766376287, and [email protected] or [email protected]

Internship in Y-E-N by Arbenita Tetaj

Hello everybody,

My name is Arbenita, I am 15 years old. I come from Kosovo and I live in Strasbourg with my family since 3 years. I am a student in Highschool Jean Geiler. I am intern in Youth Express Network Office just for two weeks. I am learning “Gestion Administration” and in Y-E-N I am doing: search infos on activities in Kosovo Youth Centres’ Network, interview in Albanian, writing and sending emails etc.

I am very happy to be here and working with Youth Express Network because I am learning very different things. For me it is very different because I have never been working in my life and it is my first chance to learn and to continue my life.

“Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.”

Arbenita

News from Member Organisation: Intercultural Institute of Timisoara

  • Act!

Project “Act!” was implemented in Timisoara, Romania, by the Intercultural Institute Timisoara, in partnership with Timis County Teachers Training Office and with Association Casa Plai, with financial support from the Municipality of Timisoara, between May and November 2016.

The purpose of the project was to build the capacity of highschool pupils and teachers to constructively articulate their needs related to the problems they are facing, through forum theatre.

In the first phase of the project, a previously constructed forum theatre play was performed in 10 highschools in Timisoara, by a group of highschool pupils. After the forum, in each highschool a workshop was organised, to familiarise pupils and teachers with forum theatre. In the second phase of the project, a new group was formed and a new forum theatre play was developed. The new play, called “Hat!” (meaning something like “Gotcha!”) spoke about the use of drugs in schools by the pupils and the teachers’ need to intervene positively.

The project brought forum theatre to over 700 pupils in Timisoara, in 10 highschools and created an online community of over 200 people interested in forum theatre as a method of promoting solidarity through art and integrated communities.

  • NICeR

Project NICeR (Nouvelle approche pour renforcer l’Intégration Culturelle des jeunes Réfugiés) is a European Commission co-funded project coordinated by CIOFS-FP Italy and developed in partnership with organisations from seven countries (including Intercultural institute Timisoara) with the aim to elaborate a new approach to the integration of refugees at the local level.

In the framework of the project, local artistic performances will be organised in the first half of 2017, involving groups of young refugees and non-refugees who will work toghether to create various artistic shows.

In Timisoara, AIDRom is coordinating the production of Timisoara Refugee Art Festival (TRAF), which will unite 30 young people (15 refugees and 15 non-refugees) who will work together in smaller groups to create a forum theatre play, a music concert, an exhibition of photography/paintings, a movie projection, a live installation re-creating the route of a refugee (in a smaller scale, of course) and maybe other forms of art, all under the frame of solidarity with refugees in Europe and worldwide. In the preparation of the festival, the group will participate at the beginning of February in a 7-day winter camp where they will be introduced to several artistic methods of expression.

The festival is growing fast, as many local artists and activists have put forward their voluntary support to the cause and their willingness to contribute to such an initiative.

Interview of Krenare Gashi (KYCN)

Arbenita TETAJ joined Y-E-N Office for a job shadowing and took the chance to interview Krenare GASHI, from our member organisation Kosovo Youth Centres’ Network.

Thanks Krenare for answering our questions!

Can you give us a brief history of your organisation?

Kosovo Youth Centres’ Network (KYCN) is a network of youth centres around Kosovo, which was established non-formally in December 2014. In 2015, KYCN changed its format from non-formal to a formally registered organization. Currently, as integral part of Youth Centers’ Network are 21 youth centres from different cities of the country, that develop activities on the focu of youth.

How many members does KYCN have now?

In 2014, KYCN started to work with 16 members and now we count 21 members. We are in the process of enlarging the umbrealla for new members.

When and why did you join Y-E-N?

In July 2015 we joined Youth Express Network. By becoming member of Y-E-N, we fulfilled one of our main objectives for 2015, which was to be positioned as the linking bridge between youth centres in Kosovo and youth NGOs in Europe.

Does this membership have a positive effect on your organisation?

Being a member of a European youth network such as Y-E-N made KYCN the first youth umbrella organization in Kosovo. In addition, KYCN became the Kosovo youth voice at European level.

And you, what is your role in KYCN?

I am currently the Executive Director of KYCN.

Can you mention some of the most important project that you have carried out?

The most creative project implemented by our organizations is the Electronic Plate-Form. This provides opportunities to its members, to promote their activities for free and use it as their website as well.

What do you like about KYCN?

The most unique thing about KYCN is the simple way of its function. With no complicated hierarchy on management, it makes it easier to work.

Have you participated in a Y-E-N activity yourself?

Yes, I have participated in 5 activities:
– 2 seminars organised by Y-E-N itself: in October 2015 and in May 2016;
– 3 seminars suggested by Y-E-N: in April 2016 with the Council of Europe, the “EYE 2016” in May 2016 and “Youth Peace Camp” in July 2016.

What is the future plans for KYCN?

Our future plans are:
– Promotion of youth employment
– Regional cooperation
– Enlargement of activities at European level

By Arbenita Tetaj (job shadowing in Y-E-N Office)

Interview of Mojca Makovac (Jeunesses Musicales Croatia)

jmlogoDuring our last activity “Voice it” in Groznjan, Croatia, the communication group took the chance to make an interview of Mojca MAKOVAC, head of the international youth meeting centre of Jeunesses Musicales International in Groznjan and former Y-E-N Board Member.

Thank you Mojca for answering our questions!

Can you give us a brief history of your organisation?

Jeunesse Musical Croatia is part of a bigger network called Jeunesses Musicales International which has its headquarters in Brussels.

The association was founded in 1969 in Belgium. Little by little it expended to many European countries. The main objectives are for young people, musicians and audiences to have access to music. We advocate for quality formal and non-formal music education for young people and greater music learning for young audiences.

All along those years, Jeunesses Musicales have organised different classes, masterclasses, workshops, in more than 90 countries. They are now collaborating with many international organisations, Youth Express Network being one of them.

When and why did you join Y-E-N?

Personally I was doing social studies with a master in pedagogy and there was a seminar organised by Y-E-N. It was a project related with art and other bigger issues. As I am a dancer, I joined the project and I got really interested in their work. Afterwards, I decided to become a member and it is now 19 years that we are part of Y-E-N.

How did this affect the organisation JMC?

It contributes to keep the international dimension for Jeunesses Musicales Croatia. We were more involved in international projects, we participated to many projects. We are already a big part of the culture in Croatia, we are a big organisation and being part of Y-E-N enables us to extent this.

How was it for you to have us in Groznjan?

I like it a lot, this is a great opportunity for us to have you here. It is always pleasant to see the dynamic of the participants here in Groznjan. The group is very active and the interaction with the inhabitants is very interesting to see.

Can you mention some of the most important project that you have carried out?

We organised a lot of projects as part of the international youth work. All of them are important, and not only for the music. Jeunesses Musicales places empowerment at its core and emphasizes on social inclusion and cohesion.

We launched a project called « Groznjan outside of Groznjan » with the aim of expanding the work of the artists of Groznjan outside to other cities in Croatia. In this way we aim at widening the education in terms of culture and wish to contribute to the artist’s development.

This summer was organised a big event which happens every summer, called the « World Orchestra from Jeunesses Musicales ». It has been going on for many years already. Young artists from all over the world gather and go on the road to play music. The JM World Orchestra represents part of the history of the organisation. It enables young musicians with the opportunity to travel to share their passion and act as ambassadors for intercultural understanding.

What is the importance of Y-E-N with regards to Youth Social Politics?

In term of organisation, Y-E-N has its importance as it provides young people with education, whether it is formal of non-formal. I think that those parts of opportunity should be a part of every youngster’s life. No matter if the project is only short-time, it enables to bring different lives together and contribute to the personal and professional development of the youngsters.

What is the future plans for JMC?

We will continue to be actively involved at the international level and we will also work on tools to tackle more on the social issues at the European level. During the year, in Zagreb, we will carry on with our project “Groznjan outside of Groznjan” in order to introduce the people of Groznjan in other cities and also introduce Groznjan to the people outside of Groznjan.

By Vanessa Deweer (Y-E-N Office intern)

Article on “Voice it” training course by Tim Baloche

Voicing It!

“I took part in the second activity of the “Angle it right” work plan 2016 from the Youth Express Network which was held between the 30th of August and the 8th of September . The project called ‘Voice It!’ centered around the topic of digital storytelling. This project was held in Groznjan, a small village in Croatia, a truly magical place! The project lasted a total of eight days. Although it was a short time I do think that everybody who participated in this project shared the feeling that time passed very slowly, and that it was like we’ve known each other for years.

The aim of the project was to give young people with fewer opportunities the chance to express their talent, to tell their own life story and to empower them to see themselves differently. In this activity we had the opportunity to learn how to tell your story with digital tools. The training was given by a very talented movie-director who gave us among other things some technical aspects  of movie making. We’ve learned for instance a little bit of the  history of filmmaking, and also the development of the camera throughout history. We’ve also learned how to use our creativity to develop the different scenes in our personal stories and how to direct and film them. And finally to create a storyboard of the exact details that you want in your movie with regard to the different scenes.

This experience was great in many ways, I’ve learned a lot! First of all I had the opportunity to share one of my life stories. This was very challenging for me because this story was very personal and it forced me to face different aspects of myself which I’ve buried very deep inside. But it was very important for me to share this particular story and I’m happy that I did it. This experience was also quite inspiring because of all the unique stories of the other participants which I had the opportunity to hear. I’ve realized that story telling may it be digital or in any other way is very important. This is a way to connect with what bonds us as humans. After hearing all the stories of the other participants I found that we all have a certain type of connection as human beings, and by hearing the story of others you can see this connection. I could relate in a certain way to nearly all of the stories that I’ve heard. After listening to these different stories I’ve realized that we as a human beings are more the same than different, it does not matter where we come from. This is the connection that you feel with a person when they decide to open up and share a deep part of themselves. You will see this person as a human being and not as a particular stereotype.

So this was overall an unforgettable experience and inspiring in every way, personally for instance but also professionally. The bonds that we’ve made taking part in this activity will hopefully  last for a long time. And I am very happy and grateful that I had the opportunity to take part in this activity.”

By Tim Baloche (Vocalsz, The Netherlands)

Y-E-N General Assembly 2016

Y-E-N General Assembly 2016 took place on May 22nd in Strasbourg (France) and was animated by Ahlame Boubazine, volunteer from our member organisation L’Etage and social worker in Strasbourg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The GA welcomed 4 new organisations in the Network:

  • League for Youth Voluntary Service (Belarus)
  • Alternative-V (Ukraine)
  • Active Bulgarian Society (Bulgaria)
  • Youth for Understanding (Turkey)

Welcome and we hope for a long collaboration!

 

 

 

 

 

And the GA also elected a new Board:

  • Mirela LUPU (still in mandate), President
  • Valentina AULISO (re-elected), Vice-President
  • Vasil TANEV (newly elected), Secretary
  • Mariam SAHAKYAN (re-elected), Treasurer
  • Ramiz ALIYEV (newly elected), Board Member
  • Katarina VUCKOVIC (still in mandate), Board Member

See you all in 2017 🙂

“Dream it loud” Study Session in Strasbourg, by Ioana Dudila

From 22nd to 29th of May 2016, Y-E-N organized a Study Session entitled “Dream it Loud” together with Rural Youth Europe and in collaboration with the Youth Department of the Council of Europe.

Read about the experience from the inside, with a testimony from a participant:

22-29th. May 2016 European Youth Center Strasbourg, France

”Inclusive society”, “social exclusion”, ”youth rights”, these are all words we are very used to hearing, words we nevertheless understand thoroughly, but they are also concepts we are very unaccustomed to actively or efficiently pursuing in our immediate realities. Because of how deep their meaning is, because of the uncountable obstacles that arise on our paths when fighting this battle, whether set by individuals or groups of individuals who are resistant to the changes th
at are urgently needed to follow.

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In an effort to identify and share the challenges in the process of social inclusion and young people’s access to social rights in European urban and rural areas, to open us, Europeans, from all the corners of the continent, to sharing experiences, examples of good practices and existing mechanisms of social inclusion in young people’s local realities, to explore the European tools and policies for access to social rights and how they can be applied locally to promote access to them, to increase the capacity to advocate for improved access to social rights and last but not least to provide participants with the opportunity to create appropriate tools, adjustable to their respective local realities, Youth Express Network and Rural Youth Europe came together for the 3rd time and taught us about the importance of ”dreaming it loud” and pursuing it assiduously.

We were taken on an13260274_1081779198528190_8505134113538009416_n elaborate six-day journey, aimed at enclosing the multitude of facets that embody the vast topic that is ”social inclusion”. We started by building our team on Monday, continued with defining our terms and discussing good practices, tools and mechanism on Tuesday. On Wednesday we were given some mind bending examples of true activism and ”stubbornness” to carry on, during the visits we received and the visits we made ourselves to see people and places who refuse to take society`s no for an answer and give up this toughest of fights. Thursday we took part in the very creative workshops prepared by the organizers and on Friday we took our first steps into the creation of tools to bring home and consume in our challenging endeavors. Saturday was the day we drew our conclusions, a great day to enjoy the harvest of our joint effort, but also a sad day, to say good-bye to the beautiful pack of dreamers that arose from our ”struggle”.

Our journey was not long but it was arduous. For almost 7 days we were given the opportunity to grasp Utopia, a place where cooperation is capable of superseding any language barrier, and more importantly any cultural frontier we tend to sometimes build between each other. We learnt so much and we dreamt so far, each of us might be having a hard time readjusting to life outside of the land of no hate and eternal spiritual summer. But what we take with us is far more important than any momentary joy or sadness. It`s desire, no, need, to try our best in winning this battle.

Written by Ioana Dudila from the Centrul de Voluntariat Resita, Romania.

Click here to know more about the organisation: https://voluntariat-resita.ro/2016/06/06/dream-it-loud/

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And here are the videos that result from this amazing week!