SAYer’s Guidelines

About SAYers

What is SAY (Share About Yourself)?

Youth Express Network has a database of human resources composed by people willing to contribute to our activities in different roles (logistics, report, group training/facilitation, communication, arts, expertise…)

The database of human resources is adopted to form the teams of Y-E-N activities and also to keep contact with qualified and experienced professionals/volunteers who are willing to join Y-E-N activities. If you participated in a past Y-E-N activity and/or you have been always close to Y-E-N (either by being a Board member, a trainer, a facilitator, a participant…), you are a very important resource to us as you know our values and already have the experience of working with Y-E-N. We find it very valuable to have your SAY (Share About Yourself) from and to integrate you in our pool of resources.

This database will also help Y-E-N to better evaluate the needs of our human resources in terms of  improving knowledge, skills and know-how on how to prepare, implement and evaluate training courses, study sessions and seminars. It will also help Y-E-N to plan Training for Trainers for the Pool of Resources (one every 2 years).

Since 2011, for each Y-E-N activity, the team is recruited in the Y-E-N Pool of Resources. We only send the Calls for Teamers to the people who are already integrated in our database.

SAYers support and mentoring.

When it comes to supporting our SAYers,  Y-E-N office will make sure to keep the SAYers updated with all the necessary information when coming to a project, like info-pack, what to expect on the project, the team they will be working with.

When it comes to mentoring during the project we always want to have a balanced team (e.g. 2 junior facilitators and 2 senior facilitators) so that the experience gap can be filled, and the learning process happens in the facilitating team as well.

Role of the Y-E-N office staff in the project.                          

The role of the office staff during the project will be to offer support to the team and to coordinate the team in the direction of the aim and objectives of the project. Apart from this the office staff will deal with the logistical aspects as well (e.g. reimbursements, arrival and departure dates, etc.)

Why?

As a network, we wanted to gather all human resources in one same place and give the chance for each young person from the network to grow into a trainer/facilitator/reporter/expert by supporting his/her will to contribute and learn.

Having a database also gives us the chance to see what kind resources we have among our member organisations and it gives our member organisations opportunity for different kind of cooperation.

Who can be a SAYer –

Requested profile if you want to become a SAYer

  1. You need to be 18+
  2. You need to be a legal resident of any Member State of the Council of Europe
  3. You need to be coming from a member organisation of Y-E-N or a partner organisation
  4. You need to have already participated in at least 1 Y-E-N activity (as participant
  5. You need to follow the below educational requirements:

– Youth work experience,

– Social work experience

– T4T experience (as a participant) is a plus

– Formal education background in social and youth work field can be a plus

SAYer skills and values –

Skills: Required skills are specific to each Y-E-N activity. Required skills will be specified in details for each separate call for trainer/facilitator/reporter

Principles and values

Y-E-N has developed over the years, a series of non-formal learning and training principles called “Y-E-N principles”.

Before to apply as a SAYer, please make sure that you feel acquainted and in tune with the following Y-E-N principles:

Participation of ALL

Probably the most important principle cross-cutting any Y-E-N activity and the methodological strategy: everybody is supposed to participate; nobody should be excluded or discriminated.

Participants’ Centred

The way the activity is designed – both in terms of contents and working methods – is based not only on the participants’ expressed needs and expectations, but also on their critical, reflexive and creative potential. This means that a lot of the activity outcomes is directly dependent on participants’ contribution to it. In this sense, the activity is a permanent call for active participation.

Combination of Methods

The methodology in the programme tries to combine a variety of working methods – from plenary and small group discussions to games and simulations. This diversity of methods tries to respond to the diversity of needs and learning preferences of the group.

Mutual Learning Strategy

It is a fundamental assumption that: everybody is good to learn and everybody can contribute to a collective learning process. Therefore, the activity is designed as an exercise of mutual and inter-active learning – with special focus put on learning with and from the different. Indeed, the wider the cultural diversity in the room, the higher potential for learning.

Safe Learning Environment

The activity is constructed as a safe learning space, where participants can try out things, where they can feel free to share opinions and emotions in a constructive and learning frame. The course is thus a unique opportunity for learning (including learning with/from mistakes).

Intercultural Learning Process

It is a fundamental dimension for any European youth work activity . Inevitably, at European level (as well as, in most cases, at national level) we are working in multicultural environments. It is important to learn how to deal with it and to learn how to learn from it. As for this, it is fundamental a permanent positive attitude towards the others and towards oneself: a kind of ethics of mutual care.

Form = Contents

In our Y-E-N events and activities, form is contents; i.e. the methodological options and the working methods are contents of a learning process (a basis for what we would call meta-training or implicit pedagogy).

Development of Competencies: knowledge – skills – attitudes

The learning strategy towards the development of competencies integrates the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes in an articulated manner (one is not more important than other). This development is however a value-based one and looks for enhancing change.

Experiential Learning and Practice

We do learn a lot from experience. Certain things we can only learn from experience. In the activity, participants are often put into situations – and situations of practice – that enable an analysis and critical reflection on “what happened/happens”, extracting from such an exercise relevant learning elements (about the way I function, about the skills and knowledge involved, about my values and attitudes, etc.).

Non-Formal Learning

In general, the course is designed in the frame of the so-called Non-Formal Learning, which embraces some other key methodological principles like: autonomy in learning, voluntary, non-hierarchical, value-based, no ranked evaluation, etc…

Y-E-N values:

Common values unite the member organisations of Youth Express Network in favour of social inclusion of young people:

    • Cooperation
    • Creativity
    • Professionalism
    • Honesty
    • Accountability
    • Competence
    • Solidarity
    • Flexibility of approaches
    • Participation and Responsibility
    • Autonomy and empowerment of young people
    • Education and training as improvement of competences
    • Equal opportunities for all young people
    • Peer-learning (participants learn from the trainer, the trainer learns also from the participants)
    • Respect of Human Rights
    • Equal Access to information
    • Active youth participation

Again, before applying to become SAYer, please make sure you feel in tune with Y-E-N values.

How to become SAYer

Steps that you need to follow:

  1. Attend a Y-E-N activity
  2. Go to http://youthexpressnetwork.org
  3. Go to “About us” tab and choose “Pool of resources”.
  4. Open the “on-line SAY form”
  5. Fill-in the form, being yourself.

After a certain time of being selected in Y-E-N teams, you can also contribute to the writing process of grant applications for future Y-E-N projects.SAYers timeline –

Once you have joined in the Y-E-N SAYers Pool of Resources (data-base), you will receive by email several calls for trainers/facilitators/reporters/experts per year. To be selected for an activity, you first need to apply for the activity by completing the Google Form (application form) and submit it on time.

Applying for the activity
Youth Express Network is planning its activities within a 3-year planning during the GA and yearly planning during Board meetings. Each implemented activity is planned by Board Members and team members from its grant application writing to its implementation and evaluation. SAYers participation and contribution is also planned and discussed in Board meetings: the Board of Y-E-N selects the team members and experts for each activity.

SAYer selection

Before each selection, all candidates applications of SAYers are collected and sent to Y-E-N Board Members for selection.

Board Members are doing the selection in accordance with the call for facilitators/trainers/experts criteria and project needs. Each Board Member votes for the candidate(s) he/she finds most suitable for the activity and needs to justify his/her choice.

This is usually done via email, in a Skype meeting or in Board Meeting.

The decision is made on a majority basis.

If a Board Member applies as candidate, he/she is excluded from the selection.

Candidates with most votes of board members are selected.

All candidates are informed by Y-E-N Office staff about selection process and decision.

SAYers activity: attending preparation meetings and team meetings

After the selection is done, the team of facilitators/trainers is introduced to each other via email. The team needs to choose and establish the most suitable time for one or 2 team preparation meeting(s): physical meetings, if possible in the same venue where the activity will take place.

First communication is established usually via email or Skype and then each team is setting their own internal schedule for prep meetings, getting to know each other, selection of participants and development of activity methods and agenda (via shared session outlines).

Development of methodologies, programme flow, programme of the activity, session outlines (methods)

The selected team of SAYers needs to work on development of the activity before it takes place.

–    Definition of methodologies and methods

–    Developments of the programme flow and detailed programme of the activity

–    Development of methods that will be used within activity (one session outline to complete for each session in the programme)

These are developed during the team preparation meeting and in accordance with team agreement between the preparation meeting and the activity itself (working online). The process is followed and supported by Y-E-N Coordination Office.

Each SAYers team is physically meeting before, during and after:

-At least once for a preparation meeting (preferably in the same venue as for the activity),

-At least again one day just before activity, on spot;

-After each day of activity for reflection and follow-up for activity tasks

-After the end of the whole activity in order to evaluate teamwork

  • Implementation of the activity

Each Y-E-N activity is implemented by a team of people composed of SAYers, 1 Y-E-N Coordination Office staff (for administrative and logistical aspects) and 1 Board member (for the Y-E-N Board representation and visibility).

Sometimes, if needed, the activity can also include a certain number of experts (someone who has specific expertise in a certain field).

The team of facilitators/trainers is developing the activity programme and is mainly implementing it, with the help of Y-E-N Board and Office.

As a SAYer you need to be present over the whole duration of the activity.

In accordance with the team agreement and preparation meeting decisions, a SAYer is responsible of preparing his/her own materials, presentations, handouts, participants resources and other materials for each session he/she is leading during the activity.

  • Reporting

Each selected team member is orally reporting and evaluating the whole activity with the rest of the team right at the end of the activity.
In addition, a general evaluation and feedback form will be sent one month after the activity by Y-E-N Office for better assessing the activity with the Board.
Each selected team member needs to write a short part of general report when asked in the call for selection and agreed within the rest of the team.
Each SAYer is writing a report when he/she took the role of reporter.

Your experience as a SAYer and selected team member can lead you to contritbute to future project writing: brainstorming with Y-E-N Board and Office, writing some parts of an Erasmus + or European Youth Foundation application.

Learning to write a grant application is part of your professional development and can be very useful for the member/partner organisation where you belong: it contributes also to the capacity building of the organisation where you belong.

How to use the SAYers database

If you want to get to know some people from Y-E-N pool of resources, here you can find their profile in the following link – http://youthexpressnetwork.org/pool-of-resources/

However, keep in mind that the list is not complete and if you need to get in touch with all our SAYers, you could always send a mail request to our office e-mail: [email protected]

How to use the SAYers Facebook group

You can also get in touch with all participants in the “SAY-ers society” through our Facebook SAYers group which is accessible through this link

https://www.facebook.com/groups/287759174729216/?fref=ts