ENTER Youth Week: a message from the Youth

In July, Youth Express Network took part in the Enter Youth Week organised by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, at the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe.

During 4 days, hundreds of young people and youth workers from all over Europe reviewed and worked on the ENTER recommendation, evaluating its implementation at local, national and European level.

As a result of this meeting, the young people and youth workers crafted a message, delivered at the end of the gathering and transmitted to the European decision makers

READ THE MESSAGE HERE

Watch the daily vlogs of the ENTER Youth Week here!

Crossing Borders: youth exchange on the Camino

Aside from our work plan activities and the final seminar of our long-term project EU4YOU, Youth Express Network also took part in a unique Youth Exchange: “Crossing Borders”.

In June, Youth Express Network sent 5 participants to the “Crossing Borders” youth exchange, coordinated by our Spanish partner Xeración.

This Youth Exchange focused on tackling current topics such as migration, integration, identity and solidarity in a unique and original way: a mental and physical journey of 9 days on the English Camino to Santiago.

The project also included Storytelling as a tool to connect people and to tackle prejudices. It ended with an exhibition of the creations of the participants, testimonies of their experience on the Camino: stories, pictures, videos and various work of art.

This project was supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 7

Last day of our training course “Participation Toolbox!”: time for harvesting the fruits of a week of work on Alternative youth participation, planning the next steps, and saying goodbye.

Debriefing the action

In the morning, the group shared about their Action day. They reflected on what went well and what went wrong, shared what made them proud, listed the things they learned from this experience.

 

My Action Plan…

The next session was about reflecting and laying on paper an Action to implement at local level. Art, mental health awareness, environmental issues, social inclusion… many ideas were shared during this inspiring time.

 

Evaluation and closing

An online evaluation form, a round of emotional last words and a certificate ceremony finally closed this 7-day training course. This week open new ideas on our young participants’ minds and from here will continue our work plan, “Shake the Box! – Alternative ways of participation”. Stay tuned for the next phases of the project: the implementation of Actions at local level and a final seminar gathering all stakeholders of the project.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 6

After 5 days of learning theories, techniques and methods on Alternative ways of participation and advocacy, the participants of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” had the opportunity to put their knowledge in practice: time to implement an actual Action, in the heart of Berlin.

Last preparations

During the first half of the day, the group divided into 4 teams in order to prepare the Action that was to take place later on, in the city centre. The 4 teams and activities were: the train trash (performance), the trash dinner (performance), the quizz (live survey), and the communication team (posters, online communication, hashtags and trends).

And… ACTION!

The Action took place in Alexanderplatz. It was entitled “The solution is less pollution” and composed of 4 different activities. The first one was the “train trash”, a performance aiming at raising awareness on the harmful habit of throwing trash on the streets. The second performance was called “trash dinner”. It highlighted the issue of plastic waste ending up in our food chain. The third activity consisted in a innovative survey on climate change, good and bad environmental habit: Berliners were invited to give their opinion and answers by putting a piece of trash in “Yes” and “No” garbage bags. Finally, the whole Action was illustrated by colourful and impactful posters.

You can find pictures of the event on our Facebook page!
Video to come!

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 5

Our training course “Participation Toolbox!” entered its final phase on this fifth day of training. After sharing the last examples and results, the group started planning their very own group Action!

Debriefing and sharing experience

The first part of the day consisted in debriefing the visit day in a plenary session. The participants could share their thoughts about the two initiatives they discovered on day 4. They also had the opportunity of sharing their own local experiences, and talk about the organisations or initiatives they are involved in back in their cities.

Tackling the local issues

The next session focused on closing the group reflections on the participant’s local issues and challenges. In groups, they presented the solutions they came up with, solutions that they will work on implementing at local level.

Start the action!

The whole afternoon was dedicated to start the planning of the group’s action which would take place on the next day (DAY 6). The group brainstormed to choose together a cause to raise awareness on: they chose Environment (specifically the diminution of trash and waste) and called their action “The solution is less pollution”. They imagined various actions to be implemented in the city centre of Berlin: posters, two separate performances, and a survey. To be continued…

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 4

Day 4 of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” was visit day! Our participants got the visit of an international environmental movement, and went to meet with an inclusive local initiative: the first Anti-cafe of Berlin.

Extinction Rebellion

The group got the visit of Extinction Rebellion, an international group of activists who use non-violent actions to raise awareness on the urgency of climate change. They introduced the movement, their values and explained the current climate urgency. They shared about their actions and organised a workshop to share with the group their useful took aiming at planning an action.

be’kesh 

After that, the participants went to the center of Berlin to meet with one of the co-founders of be’kesh, the first anti-café of Berlin. This cosy place has different purposes: vegan and vegetarian café, coworking space, and cultural venue hosting inspiring events such as concerts, discussion groups… An inspiring and alternative place that gave the participants an example of yet another form of participation.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 3

Day 3 of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” was entitled “Open the Participation Toolbox”. It focused on learning more about vulnerable groups and imagining solutions together to the participants’ local problems.

Participation of Vulnerable groups

The first session of the day allowed the participant to map and reflect on their identity. Religion, citizenship, economic situation, sexual orientation, ability, gender, migration… they were able to think privately about the privileged and less privileged aspects of their background.

They then played a simulation games which allowed them to put themselves in the shoes of people with fewer opportunities, and think more deeply about how society sees them.

Thinking about solutions

During the next session, the participants got back into the groups they had formed the day before. After having identified the roots and causes of their local issues, they worked together on imagining various solutions to tackle these challenges.

Workshops

On the afternoon, the group had the opportunity to take part in 4 different workshops: digital tools, storytelling, performance, and advocacy/activism. These workshop gave them a taste of the many forms an action can take and gave them some tool to use later in the week, when implementing an action in Berlin.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 2

Day 2 of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” was entitled “99 challenges about participation”. The aim of the day was to understand participation and identify the challenges youth face in their regions.

Understanding participation

At the beginning of the day, the participants had to evaluate on a scale of 1 to 10 their own experience of Participation: How much are you involved in your society? Do you feel you have an impact on society?

The group then reflected on the forms participation can take through a world café. Together they defined: digital participation, individual participation, political/institutional participation and alternative participation.

Experiential activity

Divided in 4 groups, the participants had to put themselves in the shoes of different stakeholders of society: the company, the financial power, workers and civil society. They had to come up with a strategy and action to suggest to a fictive government and experience the difficulties of communication between entities with conflicting interests.

Brainstorming

In the afternoon, each participant were asked to answer on paper questions on their local challenges. During this silent Brainstorming, they highlighted the problems faced by young people in their countries. From the group’s answers were isolated a dozen of different issues and each participant could decide on the cause they felt the closest to.

Design thinking

On the last session, the team of trainers explained the principle of Design Thinking. The participants then had to put this technique into practice, identifying the roots of the problems they chose to work on.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 1

Youth Express Network is currently holding the training course “Participation Toolbox!”, second activity of our annual work plan “Shake the Box! – Alternative ways of Participation”.

29 young people are gathered in Berlin, Germany, to improve their capacity to advocate for their active participation in society and develop their competences towards a better implementation and perceptibility of their initiative. The training course is hosted by our partner organisation CUBE – Your take on Europe.

Introductions, icebreakers and team buildings… Day 1 allowed the participants to get to know each other and build a safe and productive environment for the days to come.

Introductions

The day started with the usual name games and practical informations: introduction to the project, Youth Express Network and our host organisation CUBE, presentation of the programme, the aim and objectives of the week.

Getting to know each other

The next sessions allowed participants to get to know each other. They discussed in pairs and answered several questions to learn interesting facts about each other. They then got to express the reason that motivated them to participate to this training course, and lay on paper their fears, expectations and contributions.

Building a Safe Space

The afternoon started by a session aiming at creating a safe space within the group. To do so, the room was divided in two zones: the learning zone – confort zone – the panic zone. The participants were invited to position themselves in these zones according to how they feel on various contexts or topics such as: speaking in public, physical contact or sharing their emotions. They also learned what is a debriefing and got to create their rules for the rest of the week.

Developing a good group dynamic

To finish the day, the group went into a park in Berlin. The participants took part in a Team Building activity which developed their team spirit, cohesion and communication skills. Later in the evening, they went into a “walk and talk”, to both enjoy the city center and learn new things about their teammates.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

General Assembly 2019

We held our General Assembly on the 10th of August 2019! The member organisations, board and office of Youth Express Network gathered in Berlin to talk about the past and future of the organisation.

There were in total 23 people attending the meeting, among which 16 represented member organisations.

2018: Youth, Art and Social Inclusion

The agenda of the meeting started by a presentation of all of the activities organised or attended by the Network last year. At the end of this presentation, the General Assembly approved the annual activity report for the year 2018. You can find this report here bellow!

Finances and statutes

Among the main point of the agenda was the usual review and voting of the financial report of 2018, and provisionnal budget for the year 2019. This General Assembly also was presented with suggestions for an updated version of the statutes of Youth Express Network. They voted and approved these new statutes.

Planning the future

The Board explained the future participation of Youth Express Network to the EU Youth Dialogue, and planned with each member meetings that will help evaluating their needs and expectations in order to set our next Vision, a strategic document setting Youth Express Network’s directions and objectives for the next years to come!

Member and Board Elections!

We welcomed one new member organisation from the Netherlands: Be Innovated.

Be Innovated supports schools with a range of lessons aiming at inspiring, motivating and connecting young people, stimulating their independence, critical thinking and sociability.

Like every year, the General Assembly also elected the Board Members. 4 people obtained the required numbers of vote and joined the 3 board members still in mandate to form a new board. Here is the new board’s composition:

  • Ramiz ALIYEV – Common Sense Youth Organisation (Azerbaïjan) – President
  • Sirarpi MANYAN – Federation of Youth Clubs Armenia – Vice-President
  • Olya KHVASEVICH – New Faces (Belarus) – Treasurer (newly elected)
  • Fatma ÇIMEN  – Youth for Understanding Turkey – Secretary (newly elected)
  • Nino TSULAIA – Institute for Democratic Changes (Georgia) – Board Member
  • Andrea PANTARELLI – Affafulazione (Italy) – Board Member (newly elected)
  • Adina HALILOVIC – PRONI Center for youth development (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Board Member (newly elected)