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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Democracy Builders – Training course

21 young people gathered in Constanta (Romania) between 20-28 of May for a training course aiming at encouraging the active participation and involvement of young people in the democratic voting process.

Youth Express Network was there, represented by a delegation of 3 volunteers from our French Member Organisation Parcours le Monde Grand Est.

This training course, coordinated by one of our Romanian member organisations Youth Vision, gathered partners from France, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Portugal and Spain. It was supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

This project was set in the context of the European Election and aimed at promoting voting amongst young people. Over the week of work, the participants were able to find out about the Romanian political structure and atmosphere.

They shared information on the political situations of the various represented countries, and worked on creating tools, visual materials and messages aiming at encouraging the active participation and involvement of young people in democracy.

The participants also improved their knowledge on the European Union, the role of the European institutions and the European legislative process. As a result of the Democracy Builders project, the participants developed a toolkit with innovative methods to encourage young people’s active participation in democratic life.

This training course was the first part of a two-activity project. For its second phase, 40 young people will gather in Strasbourg in September for a youth exchange aiming this time at consolidating their ideas and perceptions about European policies.


Arnaud’s testimony, French participant:

“We feel very proud to be a part of this project and we also feel more involved about political life and about Europe in general 🇪🇺 We had a lot of great talks and debates about the socials and economics issues in the E.U but also about how to encourage youth to be involved and have more trust in the European Union. We want that the youngsters can figure out solutions to those problems trough non-formal and informal education, so we will keep promote it! 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️ We will come back in France full of knowledge and ready to share our experience with everyone!”


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

You & Me – Training course on Sex Education

Youth Express Network was in Lithuania from the 14th to the 22th of May, to take part in our partner’s project “You & Me”, a training course on Sexual Education.

Coordinated by Active Youth, this training dedicated to Youth Workers aimed at enhancing youth’s ability to make conscious decisions about their sexuality and relationships, as well as their well-being and health.

The event gathered youth workers coming from 6 different countries: Estonia, France, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Turkey.

Together, they learned about Sexual Transmitted Diseases and Infections, contraception, comprehensive sexual education, diversity and sex language… On Day 2, the group got the visit of a member of the local Family planning, who explained to them how Sexual Education is implemented in Lithuania.

Thanks to numerous non-formal education activities, they also got to map the sexual education implemented in the other represented countries and reflect on how to teach young people about safe sex and break stereotypes surrounding the topics of sex.

On Day 4, the participants went outside to meet with the local people of Kaunas. With their help, they conducted surveys about sexual education. Later the same day, the group distributed free condoms, raising awareness on protected sex.

The week ended with a video workshop which resulted in 5 video clips on the promotion of sexual education, safe sex and breaking stereotypes. These video will soon be published on Active Youth’s website 🙂 Stay tuned.

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

Digitalise it – Video Results!!

Take a look at the results of our long-term project “Digitalise it”, a selection of videos that were made by the young people and youth workers during our two training courses on Digital Storytelling, which took place respectively in Italy and France, in April and July 2018!

This strategic partnership aims at allowing young people and youth workers to experiment, share and confront practices on innovative, digital and creative methods and tools to foster youth empowerment and social inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities / in vulnerable situations.

Alessia Ashes from the Middle-East Brian
Haunted Hazem Juan
Kostas Mirela Pablo

These videos were made by the participants from start to finish, thanks to the guidance and workshops of our partner and expert Leo Zbanke, film director and coach. Find here below a video of the second training course we organised this year.

The partners of “DIGITALISE IT!” will meet again in December of 2018 for a mid-term meeting during which they will evaluate the past activities and plan the next phase of the project: 3 peer learning study visits to observe and learn from the implementation of some of the practices learnt during the project!

Partners: Active Bulgarian Society (Bulgaria), Youth Express Network (France), United Societies of Balkans (Greece), Affabulazione Associazione Culturale (Italy), The Exchangeables (The Netherlands), Youropia (Spain)

This project is financially supported by  and