Participation out of the Box! – Day 2

Day 2 of our seminar “Participation out of the Box” focused on defining two of the main concepts at the center of our annual programme: Youth Participation and Vulnerable Youth.

What is Youth Participation?

The first session of the day allowed the participants to think about youth participation and understand it with more depth. They started this reflection by brainstorming together on their definition of civic participation. After gaining more knowledge about youth participation, the participants watched a set of videos showing impactful youth initiatives and young activists currently involved in changing their society.

Who is Vulnerable Youth?

Divided in two groups, the participants explored the meaning of “Vulnerable Youth”, by reflecting together on 4 questions: What does Vulnerable mean?; What does it mean to be Vulnerable?; What are Vulnerable groups and why are they Vulnerable? How to identify Vulnerable young people? After the reflections, each group shared their conclusions.

My story of Youth Participation

Sometimes even the simplest act already is a form of participation. During this session, the participants were asked to recall one of their own participation story and draw a scene representing their action. From helping solving a local deforestation issue to taking part in a European exchange, they got to share their experiences and realise how diverse and efficient alternative youth participation can be.

Why do we need Youth Participation?

For the last session of the day, the participants were divided in 4 smaller groups. They were invited to imagine and film a video promoting Youth Participation. You can see one of the four videos that were produced here bellow.

« 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 out of the Box! – Day 1

Our seminar “Participation out of the Box” has officially begun! For the next 5 days, 25 youth/social workers will be gathered in Oviedo, Spain.

This seminar is the first activity of the work plan “Shake the Box! – Alternative ways of Participation“.

Our work plan this year will be aiming at bringing together different layers of society together to claim that vulnerable youth’s participation is real, effective and promising, implementing local actions using alternative ways of youth participation.

This seminar will help setting the foundations of the whole project. It will allow each partner organisation to fully understand the project and built their capacity to implement alternative ways of youth participation and to involve stakeholders in local actions.

Getting to know each other

The first session of the day aimed at welcoming the participants and allowing them to get to know each other through different name games and icebreakers. They discussed and discovered some of each other’s passions and aspirations.

Introduction to the project

For the second session, the team of facilitators presented the Work Plan “Shake the Box! – Alternative ways of participation“, and the aim and objectives of the Seminar “Participation out of the Box!”. They also presented the programme of the 5 days to come, and invited the participants to reflect on their expectations, fear and contributions.

Team Building

During the afternoon, the group was invited to take part in 4 team building activities: games of “Mission Impossible”, “Group body statues”, “Untie the knot” and “Minesweeper”. These games allowed the group to build a cohesive and respectful group dynamic.

Intercultural Evening

The day ended with the traditional intercultural evening. The participants brought culinary specialities from their countries and cultures and got to present them to the rest of the group.

« 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.

TOOLKIT – Youth Work with Vulnerable Youth

During our last training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness II”, the youth workers brainstormed and developed together a toolkit to help youth workers and youth organisations in working with young people coming from vulnerable youth.

Gathered in little groups they shared and laid on paper their good practices, advices and tools on 4 specific questions: When working with vulnerable youth… How to think ? How to feel ? What to say ? What to do ?

You can now find all of these key informations in the Toolkit : Inclusive Toolkit, drawn by Coline Robin, the talented graphic facilitator who worked with us in our 2 past Work Plans, Togaether Europe and The Art of Social Inclusion.

The training “The Art of Togetherness II” was supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and the Erasmus + programme of the European Union.

EU4YOU – Job Shadowing Process

News from our KA2 “EU4YOU – Entrepreneurship for cultYOUre”. At the end of last year, the partners of our capacity building activity all took part in the job shadowing phase, welcoming and sending their participants to their partners’ countries and organisations.

This long-term project aims at developing innovative complementary pathways for boosting employability of young people through social and cultural youth entrepreneurship and providing youth with tools to develop these initiatives. Over the months of October, November and December of last year, the 8 partners started the job shadowing phase of the project.

Each partner organisation both welcomed and sent 2 people to experience a job shadowing and gather content for the jointly developed toolbox. The job shadowers got to explore the various ways of implementing social and cultural entrepreneurship in the countries of the partnership: Argentina, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. You can read the various reports of these job shadowing on the website of the project.

YOUTH EXPRESS NETWORK – Job Shadowing in France

Youth Express Network received the visit of its two job shadowers from the 15th to the 26th of November. We were happy to welcome Thuy, from our Vietnamese partner Center for Sustainable Development Studies and Maximiliano, from our Argentinian partner Fundación Sustentabilidad, Educación y Solidaridad.

For them, we organised visits of local organisations and initiatives in the field of social and cultural entrepreneurship:

  • Association L’étage, French member organisation of Y-E-N, social restaurant and shelter for homeless young people
  • Week for equality and against discrimination, week-long event organised by the municipality of Strasbourg to raise awareness against hate speech and discrimination amongst children and young people (exhibition and educational activities)
  • Libre Objet, organisation aiming at helping the professional (re-)insertion of people with fewer job opportunities (disabled people, young people, elderly, people recently out of prison…). Main activity: creation of useful and decorative objects using recycled material or objects out of order.

Read the full report of Thuy and Maxi here.

Emmeline (Y-E-N office) – Job Shadowing in Mexico

Emmeline, network coordinator of Y-E-N, was welcomed by “IIC-MX – Iniciativas Internacionales para la Cooperacion Mexico”, our partner of Mexico. She flew to Mexico city and got to visit 3 initiatives in surrounding states: Xalapa, Veracruz, Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro and Santiago de Anaya, Hidalgo. See the full report bellow.

Margaux (Y-E-N office) – Job Shadowing in Peru

Margaux, communication officer at Y-E-N, was welcomed by the Brigada de Voluntarios Bolivarianos del Peru, our Peruvian partner. Her job shadowing allowed her to visit two main initiatives: a cultural and youth center in the capital ciy, Lima, and a very diverse initiative in the mountain city of Palca.

Our partners for this project are:

  • Fundación Sustentabilidad, Educación y Solidaridad (Argentina)
  • Active Bulgarian Society (Bulgaria)
  • Business & Innovation Center of Serres (Greece)
  • Active Youth Association (Lithuania),
  • Iniciativas Internacionales para la Cooperación (Mexico)
  • Brigada De Voluntarios Bolivarianos del Peru (Peru)
  • Center for Sustainable Development Studies (Vietnam)

The next phase of this project will be to implement local workshops in order to disseminate the knowledge gathered from the beginning of the project, using the toolkit developed by the partners.

EU4YOU is supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

MARSA Project – Digital campaign on Migration and Media Literacy

For the next 6 months, Youth Express Network will take part in the “MARSA Project”, a social media educational campaign on Migration and Media Literacy. The Campaign starts Now!

Information moves fast. It is being shared from person to person, from country to country and can easily be distorted, sometimes without much analysis. 5 European organisations gathered to build a digital space through which the public could access factual, simple and reliable information on Migration, thus becoming able to understand it better and develop their own opinion.

In other to reach this goal, the 5 partners developed a digital campaign called “MARSA Project”. MARSA stands for “Move Against Rash Statements and Actions”. The campaign will try to educate people on both Migration and media literacy by sharing widely 3 types of content :

  • Memes and publications on Media Literacy
  • Videos on definitions of the Migration vocabulary and media literacy, delivered by experts
  • Migrants stories

The campaign will be developed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and delivered in 6 languages : English, French, Italian, Maltese, Romanian and Turkish.

It is the main result of a European youth project entitled “MARSA InternPrize”. Coordinated by VisMedNet Association and supported by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union, this strategic partnership brings together 5 organisations, coming from 5 different countries: France, Italy, Malta, Romania, and Turkey.

Find more info on the Website: MARSA INTERNPRIZE

The campaign starts NOW!
Follow us on your social media:

Campaign pages:

Action Day #12: Preventing all forms of Violence

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 #12:
Preventing Violence

Young people coming from disadvantaged neighbourhoods are often both victims and perpetrators of violence, inside and outside of their homes. These violences can take various forms. They create a climate of fear and fuel prejudice and discrimination against Youth. One part of the ENTER Recommendation focuses specifically on preventing all forms of violence in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

To demonstrate that it CAN be done, we put in this article 2 examples of projects done by our Member organisations that aim at preventing different kinds of Violence.

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Proni Center for Youth Development
Brcko District, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Member Organisation

“Youth Countering the Violent Extremism”

In Bosnia and Herzegovina key problems for youth are: youth passivity and isolation. As a result, young people can easily be targeted by extremist groups and movements, become radicalised trough family and their local society and then transfer those radical ideas to their peers using social medias. Our member organisation Proni and the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina tried to tackle this issue and developed together the long-term project “Youth Countering the Violent Extremism”. The project is supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the MATRA program.

This project will work directly with youth through three youth councils in BiH, and other stakeholders to produce tools and mechanisms that will directly influence the decision-makers of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to modernise and update the legislations and respond on violent extremism challenges in the digital world. This will prevent Youth from being an easy target for extremist ideas and organisations that are using the digital world (specially social media) to reach and recruit new members amongst youth.

One of the main event, a conference called “Youth against Violent Extremism”, was held in Sarajevo, in June 2018. It was attended by over 80 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, the Netherlands, Portugal, USA. The audience shared mutual international experiences in preventing violent extremism, as well as regional and Bosnian experience. Two researches on the attitudes of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Croatia were presented.

Besides this conference, the partners of the project have already conducted researches on youth attitudes towards radicalisation, created an info web page ( (meaning: and implemented the first of three trainings for youth council representatives to disseminate knowledge on means of prevention and lobbying against violence.

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United Societies of Balkans
Thessaloniki, Greece – Member Organisation

“React-Act-Prevent Sexual Violence
Through Youth Work”

Sexual violence is considered among the most serious social problems, occurring against any person, regardless gender, age, race at any place, at any time. To tackle this issue, our member organisation United Societies of Balkans developed the project “React-Act-Prevent Sexual Violence Through Youth Work“. It will be implemented in 5 EU countries (Cyprus, Greece, Poland, France (including Martinique) and Spain) and is supported by the Erasmus+ Programme.

The project aims at providing youth NGOs with innovative comprehensive tools and means to successfully and effectively adopt, plan, and implement prevention measures aiming at combating sexual violence against children, adolescents and youth. The whole project will be based on primary prevention approaches including information sharing, awareness raising, education, training, networking and cooperation, using non-formal learning tools and methods.

At the end of the collaboration, 7 outputs will be produced:

  1. A guide on sexual violence prevention through Youth Work, containing data on strategies, programmes and good practices shared between partners during the project
  2. An online awareness-raising campaign
  3. A package of e-learning training modules addressed at Youth Organisations
  4. A package of e-learning training modules entitled addressed at individuals
  5. An Interactive e-learning and training platform on sexual violence prevention through Youth Work gathering all the documentation produced
  6. Strategic Action Plan including the conclusions, policy recommendations, legislation amendments, based on proposals, suggestions, ideas expressed by all participants of Round Table Discussions organized in each partner country and the open access Online Discussion Forum.
  7. REACT-ACT-PREVENT SEXUAL VIOLENCE INFO CENTERS. The Centers will provide information, and raise awareness on sexual violence prevention strategies, policies, programs and practices and services will be provided on a personal and online levels.

More info on the project

The Art of Togetherness II – Training of trainers

We held our last activity of the year at the end of November: “The Art of Togetherness II” gathered 24 youth/social workers in La Claquette (France) for an advanced training of trainers.

This training of trainers was the last activity of our work plan “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion“. Its aim was to increase the capacity of youth/social workers & facilitators to improve access to social rights of all young people and to complete their learning process started during the first training they attended back in may.

Find here the graphic recording of the first Training of Trainers (Credit: Coline Robin)


  1. Deepen the knowledge and understanding of participants on social inclusion and youth work with young people with fewer opportunities
  2. Give value to youth work as an instrument for the inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities using artistic expression
  3. Design a toolkit for the access to social inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities based on the experience of the participants + draft reports of the youth exchanges “All Inclusive” and other practice phases
  4. Evaluate the practice phase(s), the whole project and the participants’ learning process


On Day 1, the participants got to reconnect with each other and their own personal experiences as facilitators and trainers. The day started with an overview on the Work Plan’s past phases: the first Training of Trainers that took place in Strasbourg in May 2018, and the two youth exchanges that happened during the summer in Georgia and Poland.

After solving a puzzle and composing together the week’s programme, the group went on a “Walk and talk” to reconnect with each other. On the afternoon, each participant got to draw and tell to the other the journey they went through from May to this final training.


Day 2 was focused on debriefing on past experiences and the participant’s practice phase which took place during the summer. They shared with each other the skills they learned  and the difficulties they faced and were able to reflect on the points they still need to work on.

On the afternoon, they worked on writing final reports, another crucial part of being a trainer.


The third day of our training allowed some participants to practice their skills and knowledge by facilitating sessions for their peers. Within these practice sessions, they all worked together on deepening their knowledge on Human Rights and Social Inclusion.

Through the first activity, they reflected on several Study Cases and identified the different human rights. They then took part in three Role Plays illustrating different cases of violation of rights. On the afternoon, they tackled Social Inclusion and reflected together on stereotypes and diversity. They ended the day with the Trainer Checklist: How to be inclusive when preparing a European Youth Project?


On day 4, the participants reflected on how to work with young people from vulnerable groups. In groups, they mapped the difficulties youth face nowadays and worked on specific case studies directly inspired by their own experiences. Thanks to these, they came up with problems to anticipate during projects and solutions to implement on spot.

On the afternoon, they developed a toolkit together to help other trainers work with vulnerable youth. We will publish this toolkit soon. It will be designed by our graphic reporter Coline Robin


On the 5th day, the participants got to learn more on intercultural learning whilst two of their peers facilitated the session as a practice. The group also gained new keys on team work and co-facilitation.


Day 6 aimed at exploring the different learning styles and inviting the participants to reflect on their personal/professional learnings. They did this through land art, building an art piece representing themselves with natural items collected through the week.

Later that day, the participants got to fill in a self-assessment form to evaluate their progression. They also were presented how they can be involved in Y-E-N’s future activities, and how to become a SAYer (member of Y-E-N’s pool of trainers).


As always, the last day aimed at evaluating the whole process. The participants got to develop their own action plan and give their feedback and comments on the training, the whole work plan and their personal/professional experience of it all.

Overall, this training was a success and we can’t wait to work with these brilliant trainers in a near future!! Stay tuned to catch the upcoming video showing this training and read the toolkit our participants made on how to work with young people coming from vulnerable groups 🙂

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union

Action Day #11: Promoting Gender Equality

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 #11:
Improving gender equality (…)

The ENTER Recommendation developed by the Council of Europe suggests various measures allowing more access to social rights for young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods. A part of this Recommendation focuses specifically on improving gender equality of young people living in these disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

To demonstrate that it CAN be done, we chose to tell about Active Youth Association, our partner organisation for Lithuania, and their project SURF: Stand Up for Rights of Females.

SURF Project: Empowering Women

With this project, Active Youth aims at empowering women by boosting gender equality across communities in the participating countries/regions: Lithuania, Senegal, India and the Honduras. Using a training programme on “women protection & development”, the activities gathered/will gather youth workers & young leaders from EU & Partner countries for the different phases of the projects: a kick-off meeting, 3 job shadowings, 3 training courses and a final conference.

The objectives of the project are to:

  • Identify the main threats and obstacles for gender equality within the participating countries.
  • Develop skills and tools for the protection and development of women´s rights.
  • Transfer these skills/tools to relevant groups (e.g. youth workers).
  • Strengthen partnership between European and non-European organizations.
  • Improve the capacity of the partners to protect and develop women´s rights.



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

Action Day #9: Preventing Discrimination

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 #9:
Preventing discrimination

Discrimination is a barrier to active citizenship. Many young people with fewer opportunities experience discrimination because of social prejudice and isolation. As explained in the ENTER Recommendation, measures promoting cohesion and positive relations between people from different backgrounds can be implemented by organisations, municipalities, governments… In this article, we wanted to show you two examples of those successful measures, implemented by the Eurometropole of Strasbourg and our partner organisation Volunteers for All Association.

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Strasbourg Municipality, France

Each year, the City of Strasbourg and its partner organisations organise “The Weeks of Equality and Fight against Discrimination”, 3 weeks of events aimed at educating and raising awareness among children, young people and the general public on equality and discrimination.

These equality weeks offer to its visitors various workshops, games, and creative activities, developed to raise awareness and allow people to reflect and understand the other with their differences.

Whether related to sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, disability or religion, all discrimination is represented and deconstructed during this event!

We had the opportunity to visit this interactive exhibition with our participants in 2017, during our Structured Dialogue activity “Shaping Europe Together”. This year, the equality and anti-discrimination weeks will be held from September 24th to October 20th.


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Volunteers for All Association, Romania

At the beginning of September, Youth Express Network took part in the Youth Exchange “Don’t be afraid to show your true Colours”, organised by Volunteers for All Association in Milcoveni, Romania.

During 8 days, 40 young people coming from 7 different countries gathered to work together towards fighting against LGBTIQ+ discrimination and promoting LGBTIQ+ Rights. Thanks to a non-formal education based programme, they learned more about each other’s realities and the situation of the LGBTIQ+ community in several countries of Europe. Together, they thought about solutions and ways to fight against discrimination at local level.

As a result of this work, the group had the opportunity to actively raise awareness on LGBTIQ+ Rights in the city center of Resita, Romania. The young people got to make their voices heard through various artistic and informative means such as: a dance performance, impactful posters, a live and online survey and an info point.

This youth exchange was born from an idea developed during our Partnership Building Activity “Working Together in Europe“, in 2017. It was financially supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.


All inclusive 2, Poland – Youth Exchange

From the 20th to the 30th of August 2018 in Poronin (Poland) was held “All Inclusive 2”, the second youth exchange of our Work Plan “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion“. This activity was the second follow up activity of our Training of Trainers “The Art of Togetherness”, which took place in May 2018, in Strasbourg.

“All Inclusive 2” gathered 41 young people and young migrants/refugees coming from 6 different countries (France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain) and 8 organisations (most of them being member organisations of Y-E-N). The aim of the youth exchange was to empower young people from Western and Central European countries through artistic expression on social inclusion of young migrants and refugees.

During this 9-day activity, the participants got to deepen the topics of social inclusion, intercultural learning, migration/refugees and discover different ways to express through art, with artistic workshops led by the facilitators and the participants themselves.

The main result of this youth exchange was a public performance that the participants had to create. They defined a common message that was the red thread of the performance: “Borders are only in our thoughts” and “Union brings love and joy”. The finale result combined theatre, dance and music, that they presented on the main square in Krakow: they also invited the audience to react to their message and performance on banners that they prepared.

Partner organisations: Affabulazione, Fundacja Instytut Innowacji, Parcours le Monde – Grand Est, Plus East, Rota Jovem, The Exchangeables, Youropia.

Project supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.