ACTION DAY #5: The Art of Togetherness!

This year, Youth Express Network celebrates 25 years of work and action towards Social Inclusion of Young People. We wanted to take this celebration as an opportunity 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.

Our #12actions project aims at dedicating each month to one of the ENTER Recommendation by doing, initiating or communicating on various ways to implement these recommendation and by doing so, contribute to a better access of Social Rights for young people.

ENTER recommendation #5:
Education and training.

Youth Express Network has organised several trainings during the past 25 years! As a matter of fact, we did one of those this month! We thought it would be an interesting example of what can be done at local, European and International level, to provide youth and social/youth workers with education and training on Social Rights and how to access them.

Training of trainers

The training of trainers “The Art of Togetherness” was the first activity of our work plan of 2018: “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion”. It took place at the European Youth Center of Strasbourg between the 11th and 17th of May 2018 and was supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The Aim of this training was to grow and train a new generation of Y-E-N trainers and facilitators, able to make an impact on young people’s lives using artistic expression to promote empowerment, full access to social rights and a sense of Togetherness.

The training gathered 25 youth and social workers coming from 18 different countries! 24 youth organisations from all over Europe were represented.

READ MORE ON THE TRAINING PHOTO ALBUM

Regional Youth Exchanges

The work plan “ArtSI: The Art of Social Inclusion” will continue its work through 3 regional youth exchanges between the months of July and September. During these Youth Exchanges, the participants of our training of trainers will become youth leaders and facilitate the activities.

Together, they will put to practice the knowledge, skills and competences they got from the training and guide the young people through topics such as: youth expression, peacebuilding and conflict transformation, social inclusion of young refugees and their transition from childhood to adulthood, youth expression, intercultural dialogue and social inclusion of minorities.

Work Plan supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

ACTION DAY #4: We inform Youth!

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 #4:
Information and Counseling.

This month, we asked our friends and member organisations to tell us about the various methods, solutions and good practices they implement at local level to provide Youth with information and counsel. Here are their answers!

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Oviedo, Spain – Member Organisation

“When the youth cannot come to us… we go to the youth.”

“In their transition to adulthood, young people have to take decisions that have a strong impact on their lives. Having equal access to quality and free information is essential for them to make use of their rights and to participate in society. But how to support it?

From Youropía, we tried to answer this question, focusing on essential information about youth mobility and non-formal learning. Since 2014 we set up an “info-point for youth mobility” centred in mobility-schemes and learning opportunities. Mainly Erasmus+ (European Voluntary Service, Youth Exchanges…), but not only that: Erasmus for young entrepreneurs, Creative Europe, EURES are just some of the programmes considered.

No matter who approached us at our office or made a query on-line (by email or chat), almost every youngster we met had something in common: that inner sparkle of exploring what is outside the comfort zone…, but also this feeling of being a lost, still wondering what path to take. Yet, we are all different and we all need different answers; and that’s why we decided to include different approaches too.

Although the main service is an individual 1-to1 session, tailored to the specific needs and interest of the young person who decides to enjoy the “info-point”, we also set up open sessions for groups of young people willing to get to know more about some specific subject: EVS, European Solidarity Corps, Youth Guarantee, etc.

And when the youth cannot come to us… we go to the youth. With our “mobile info-point for youth mobility”, we have the chance to go to schools and youth centres in different areas of our region and reach out to young people that cannot participate otherwise.

But “mobility and learning” is also celebration! With “Nómadas” (nomads), we gathered people who believed in the importance of travelling and exposing yourself to other cultures. In this 1 day event we combined youth information with motivational speeches and personal experiences. In 2017, Alba, Alfonso, Juan and Pablo shared their experience with Y-E-N in “Living Together in Europe” and Nomadas 2018 is around the corner… stay tuned!”

Simone – Youropía

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Nancy – Strasbourg, France – Friend Organisation

Promoting international mobility, from information to reality

Parcours le Monde – Grand Est (PLMGE) is a local organisation based in Nancy and Strasbourg in the Grand-Est region of France and information & counseling for young people are two of our main objectives! We develop information and promotion campaigns for the democratisation of international mobility and access for the target groups who are the most excluded from it.

Our target groups are mostly young people living in sensitive neighborhoods, in remote rural areas and without occupation and/or without diploma, who do not believe that an experience of work, internship or volunteering abroad is made for them for several reasons (too expensive, lack of competences, no foreign languages skills etc.). Thus, we deliver collective information sessions on the different opportunities for international mobility and their access, while also tackling intercultural aspects of mobility and the valorisation of such experience in one’s CV.

The sessions are built on a non-formal and youth-centered approach using self-reflection on the added value & challenges of mobility and the competences to be acquired, simulation games on stereotypes etc. Those information sessions are delivered in the 2 offices but also directly into socio-cultural centres, youth centres and local counsel centres for youth employment!

Thanks to these information sessions many young people stay in touch with us in order to explore the possibilities for them to go on an EVS mission, a Working Holiday Visa, an internship abroad or a youth exchange etc. That is where we begin individual guidance and counseling for our target groups: building their mobility project, linguistic and intercultural preparation etc. The guidance goes on during the departure but also after they return in order to accompany them in the valorisation of their competences and their follow-up plan.”

Cécile and Emmeline – Parcours le Monde Grand Est

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Ostia-Rome, Italy – Friend Organisation

Gathering young people around Social Rights

Humanity Over People (HOP) is a youth organisation based in Ostia-Rome, Italy. Like Youth Express Network, HOP organises various activities with young people using non-formal education to promote Social Inclusion, intercultural dialogue and the respect of diversity. Andrea, Secretary of HOP, shared with us on a project they did aiming at informing young people about their rights.

“The aim of our project HOPERATIVE IN EUROPE was to give access to social rights to high-school students using non-formal education. We helped them understand what social rights are, how they can claim for them and how to achieve active participation in the society. The total amount of Participants was: 44 students and 6 migrants.

This project was composed of 7 meetings, each focused on different rights: 1- no discrimination, 2- freedom of movement, 3- education, 4- housing, 5- right to work, 6- health care. For each of these meetings, we went to them and met them in their classes. We always started the meeting with questions on each of the specific rights and then worked on them using non-formal education: “Step forward” for non-discrimination; “World cafè” for education and freedom of movement; problem solving for housing; forum theatre for the right to work; simple explaination for health care system. Everyday, the students had to find out if these rights are protected or not in other European countries: they used newspapers and their mobiles. Thanks to that, they were able to increase their capacity of analysis of their society.

They also built, step by step, a Charter of Social Rights, thanks to the pieces of information they got from answering the questions relating to the right of the day at the beginning of each meeting.

Since another important aspect of our project was social inclusion, the last meeting was a walk in the archeological area of Ostia Antica during which students had to explain to migrants, hosted at CAS in Fiumicino, the history of the ancient harbour of Rome. We wanted to create a bridge between students and migrants.

At the end, we brought students closer to the ENTER Recommendation: what they are, how they can be implemented and their contribution to social rights.

Throughout the project, the students were really interested since non formal education is not so usual in the Italian educational system!”

Andrea – Hop

ACTION DAY #3: It’s in the Works!

This year, in the frame of our big anniversary project, we wanted to put a spotlight on some of ENTER Recommendation by, each month, initiating or communicating on 1 action related to 1 recommendation. 1 month / 1 recommendation / 1 action. This month, we take a look at Employment and Occupation!

ENTER recommendation #3:
Employment and Occupation.

For 25 years now, Youth Express Network has organised more than 100 projects focused on all kinds of issues and topics. Employment and Occupation has been one of them. We thought that this Action Day could be an opportunity to present two examples of projects we did focusing on this topic.

2011-2012: You(th) are the Champions!

“You(th) are the Champions: Strategies for youth employment” was a multi measure project aiming at changing the situation of youth employment in Europe. The project gathered 153 participants, representing 22 partners organisations and coming from 15 different countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

One topic: YOUTH EMPLOYMENT!

The objectives or the project were:

  • To support young people’s access to employment
  • To provide tools to empower young people
  • To assess the transferability of competencies acquired or developed through volunteering
  • To promote young people’s sense of initiative and entrepreneurship

18 monts to inspire Young People

The project lasted 18 months and was composed of 5 different actions. All activities were based on non-formal education methods and on the needs and contributions of the participants. Some methods used were: individual work, small discussion groups, plenary work, group dynamics, co-operative games and personal challenges (outdoor education), Open space technology, theoretical inputs, practice (coaching), experiential learning and artistic workshops.

The 5 actions were:

  • Feasibility Visit « In the Starting Blocks! », Spain, September 2011: building the partnership
  • Training Course « Coach Me If You Can! », Portugal, November 2011: working on knowledge, skills and attitudes in the field of coaching towards empowerment and employment of young people
  • Seminar « Jump In! », Romania, April 2012: identifying key competencies developed during volunteer activities and how these competencies can improve young people’s employability
  • Training Course « Take a Risk! », Lithuania, August 2012: using experiential learning and Outdoor education to show how taking risks can be a motor for personal and professional development
  • Evaluation Meeting: « Cross the Finishing Line! », Croatia, October 2012: measuring and disseminating the results

Motivated Young People and an institutional recognition

This project had beautiful results:

Y-E-N’s own working culture was improved;

  • 53 participants trained, skilled and motivated to work on coaching young people towards employment and therefore actively fight for youth employment in Europe;
  • Links with new organisations and opportunities for new European cooperation between youth organisations;
  • Recommendations made at European youth policies level for training young people to have more social, interpersonal skills and practical competencies in order to help them reduce the education gap between school and labour market, or recommendations for more mobility opportunities for young people in Europe and for more recognition of non formal education;
  • Recognition as a best practice by the European Youth Forum and its Youth Employment Action platform (where Y-E-N was an active member): www.youthemploymentaction.org, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

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2018-2019: “EntreprenEUrship for CultYOUre” (EU4YOU)

This year, Youth Express Network and our 8 partners will embarked on an international project for 2 years. Together, we will share good practices and develop innovative complementary pathways for boosting employability of young people through social youth entrepreneurship. We will also provide each other with tools for cultural entrepreneurship.

This project gathers social workers from 8 different organisations coming from Argentina, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. We had our first meeting in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, at the end of January.

READ MORE ON THE FIRST SEMINAR

EU4YOU will be composed of several phases of work and collaboration (see timeline bellow for more detail):

  • Kick off meeting merged with a Capacity building seminar on Social and Cultural Entrepreneurship in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.
  • Seminar on cultural management education and development of learning tools in Cancun, Mexico.
  • For a period of 2 or 3 weeks – Job shadowing mobility aimed developing toolkit on Cultural Entrepreneurship.
  • Development of a toolkit
  • Final seminar in Strasbourg, France, to evaluate results and present toolkit to public.

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

Tell your Y-E-N Story [Facebook Challenge]

At the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of Youth Express Network, we wanted to tell our story. Above all, we want to hear the stories of the people who joined us through our exciting adventures towards Youth Inclusion!

To give to our online community the opportunity to share bits of their Y-E-N stories, we launched a Facebook Challenge. Through it, we hope to read lots of anecdotes throughout the year: the stories of how they met Youth Express Network? The stories of their best memories with the Y-E-N family? The most memorable projects they participated to..

If you would like to take part in this online storytelling experience, here’s how the Youth Express Challenge works:

– Write your little story as a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post. Don’t hesitate to add pictures or videos
– Tag your Y-E-N friends and invite them to tell their story as well
– Use the #youthexpresschallenge on your post. It will allow us to collect all of your testimonies afterwards
– Copy these instructions somewhere on your post for your friends to continue the chain

We can’t wait to read your stories!

READ THE STORIES HERE!

ACTION DAY #2: Think Healthy!

Youth Express Network uses the ENTER Recommendation as a tool for advocacy on access to Social Rights for Young People. This year, and to celebrate our 25th year of successfully working towards youth inclusion, we wanted to put a spotlight on some of those recommendations by, each month, initiating or communicating on 1 action related to 1 recommendation. 1 month / 1 recommendation / 1 action.

ENTER recommendation #2:
Promoting healthy lifestyle.

In February, we wanted to focus on the Recommendation on Health: « Promoting Healthy Lifestyle ». We asked our Azerbaijani member organisation Common Sense Youth Organisation (CSYO) to be part of this challenge!

Think Healthy!

CSYO has been involved in awareness campaigns on the risks of smoking for years now, a cause that has more recently been addressed by the Azerbaijani Government which passed a law against smoking in public spaces. For theses reasons, CSYO made their Action Day a Movie Day, and invited their Young People to a projection and debate around the film “Thank You for Smoking”, a satirical comedy on the Tobacco Lobby.

PHOTO ALBUM HERE

This action day is part of the 25 years project. Learn more on this project here: http://youthexpressnetwork.org/25-years-project/
Have a look on the ENTER rec. here: https://www.coe.int/en/web/enter/the-recommendation

ACTION DAY #1: Your voice matters!

Youth Express Network uses the ENTER Recommendation as a tool for advocacy on access to Social Rights for Young People. This year, and to celebrate our 25th year of successfully working towards youth inclusion, we wanted to put a spotlight on some of those recommendations by, each month, initiating or communicating on 1 action related to 1 recommendation. 1 month / 1 recommendation / 1 action.

ENTER recommendation #1:
Promoting meaningful participation opportunities in the planning & management of their living environment.

2017 gave us a taste of structured dialogue, but in 2018 we want to take it a step further. As part of the European Working Group on structured dialogue with young people, Youth Express Network is running an online consultation to find out what matters to young people and to give them space to have a direct say in the future of the EU youth policies & the EU Youth Strategy 2019+.

Young people! Make your voice heard!

FILL THE FORM HERE

This action day is part of the 25 years project. Learn more on this project here: http://youthexpressnetwork.org/25-years-project/
Have a look on the ENTER rec. here: https://www.coe.int/en/web/enter/the-recommendation

2018 will be special!

In a few days, Youth Express Network will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of its creation! A quarter of a century! To make it count, we planned great surprises, and the show starts Today!

For 25 years now, Youth Express Network has been working with youth organisations from all over Europe. Since its creation, the network has developed more than a hundred international, European and local projects together with its member organisations and partners.

To mark this special anniversary, we wanted to tell our story. The story of a network and how it all started, the stories of the young people who contributed to build the network, family stories, stories of our projects, sometimes crazy ones, stories of Youth, from 1993 until now.

2018 will be a year to remember. Stay tuned on all of our social medias where we will post videos, pictures, challenges and action days every months.

Watch the 1st Chapter of our video project here:

Brigitte_Ludmann

All of the stories