Graphic Reports “TOG(AE)THER EUROPE”


The graphic report on our last activity “Shaping Europe Together” is here! It was made by Coline Robin, graphic facilitator, who has been following and drawing our activities during the whole length of our 2017 work plan “Tog(AE)ther Europe“. Enjoy!

You can also read the graphic reports made earlier this year on our first two activities: the youth seminar “Living in Europe Together, our challenge!“, and the partnership building activity “Working together for an inclusive Europe“.

This year programme was supported by:


Shaping Europe Together – Day 4

Today was the last day of our youth seminar “Shaping Europe Together!”, a day focused on realising the aim of our youth Seminar and Work Plan, the structured dialogue “Tog(AE)ther Europe: Living, Working and Shaping together“.

Our participants had the opportunity to meet with decision-makers and present to them their advocacy and lobbying ideas. During the morning, they developed their propositions around 5 different themes: education and training, employment and occupation, social inclusion/segregation, participation opportunities, and youth work and non-formal education.

The meeting with decision-makers consisted in a world café and our 4 experts were able to listen to the young people’s recommendation on youth issues and give them their opinion and advices. Our guests were Abdelkarim Ramdane, elected counsellor of the municipality and urban community of Strasbourg, Marie-Julie Fayard, assistant of the Member of the European Parliament Anne Sander, Nerea Santisteban Lorences, elected at the municipality of Oviedo (Spain), and Pedro Serra, elected at the municipality of Cascais (Portugal).

The last part of the day was focused on evaluations. The participants were asked to evaluate the day and their afternoon meeting with decision-makers, the activity “Shaping Europe Together!” and the overall Work Plan.

The week is now over and our Work Plan of the year “Tog(AE)ther Europe: Living, Working and Shaping Europe together!” ended on the realisation of our objectives. Our 4 days of work were once again followed and reported by Coline Robin, graphic recorder, who will compose with her drawings a graphic report, to be published here in the next weeks.

Our next activity of the year will be the Study Session “ADV-ENT-ure!” jointly organised by Youth Express Network and Youth Social Rights Network. It will be held in November, in Strasbourg, France.

This project is supported by:



Shaping Europe Together – Day 3

Day 3 is already over and today was a very busy day! Thanks to our kind guests’ interventions and our planned field visits, our participants were introduced to a great number of institutions, financial supporters and local/national/European initiatives.

During the morning, the participants learn a little bit more about Advocacy and Lobbying. In groups, they were invited to start a brainstorming on the ENTER Recommendation highlighted the day before during their country profiles: education and training, employment and occupation, social inclusion/segregation, participation opportunities, and youth work and non-formal education.

Each of the groups imagined an advocacy and/or lobbying campaign to promote/raise awareness on their chosen topic. The ideas were numerous: videos, petitions, elevator pitches, social media campaigns, face-to-face with decision-makers…

After this collaborative exercise, we had the great pleasure to welcome 3 guests to hear about European institutions and initiatives:

  • a representative of the European Youth Foundation introduced the foundation to our participants. The European Youth Foundation is providing Youth Express Network with financial support for our Work Plan “Tog(AE)ther Europe” and it was very interesting for the group to get a clearer idea of the process of funding European projects.
  • Hervé Moritz, President of JEF France (Young European Federalists), came and presented the European Youth Convention, an European event which gathers each year more than 100 representatives of youth organisations from 38 countries to develop and write together an European Convention.
  • Nafsika Vrettaki, Board Member of the European Youth Forum, talked about youth councils around Europe and shared with the group about the YFJ and its structure.

After lunch, the group split into two and left the European Youth Centre to go visit two different sites: one group went to the European Parliament and the other participated in the “Weeks for equality and against discrimination”, an event organised by the municipality of Strasbourg proposing workshops to children in order to teach them the various types of discrimination.

During the evening, we all went to our traditional night out in the hosting city. The participants were invited to eat at a local and typical restaurant and discover Alsatian specialities.

This project is supported by:


Shaping Europe Together – Day 2

During Day 2, our participants had the opportunity to do the first step towards our final aim: meeting with decision-makers and proposing their suggestions and recommendations to them.

The morning was dedicated to the ENTER Recommendation and Youth Work. Our team of facilitators invited the participants to take part in a simulation game on decision-making and social rights. During the activity, they became council members and had to decide on policies tackling various issues. Each of the “councils” had a different budget to invest in social projects, an inequality that raised dilemmas, strategies and reflections: which issue should be prioritised, and which should be put on the side? How to agree on a decision? Is it fair?…

The group was then joined by Alice Barbieri, member of the Advisory Council of the Council of Europe in charge of the Youth Sector. She shared her expertise on the ENTER recommendation, and explained the relation between youth and the Council of Europe. The participants were able to ask Alice their questions, from how to disseminate the ENTER Recommendation at local level, to suggestions on how to concretely have an impact on decision-making processes.

During the afternoon, the participants were gathered in groups of nationalities and invited to share with the others the issues of their country. Thanks to this exchange of facts and good practices, everyone was able to get a better idea of the distinct and common realities of the European territory. They finished this session with a clearer map of the problems that need to be solved all over Europe, but also, hopes and ideas on how to start solving them now.

The last session of the day focused on labels and stereotypes. While walking in the Strasbourg “wilderness”, the participants discussed with each other, wearing new identities on their foreheads. Homeless person, president, alcoholic… How do people interact with me? Why is their behaviour toward me different now? Why and how is it affecting me?…

Day 2 ended on a free evening exploring Strasbourg together and making friends.

This project is supported by:


Shaping Europe Together – Day 1

This week, Youth Express Network is gathering 45 people in the European Youth Centre of Strasbourg to participate in our final activity of the year: “Shaping Europe Together!”.

This youth seminar marks the end of our work plan “Tog(AE)ther Europe“. During these 4 days of work, our participants will have the significant task of developing together propositions on youth inclusion and access to social rights to present to decision-makers. They will also evaluate the impact of the whole Work Plan 2017 on our participants and the organisations involved.

On Monday, first day of the meeting, the participants were introduced to all of the essential aspects of the project: Youth Express Network and its values, the aim and objectives of “Shaping Europe Together!”, the work plan as a whole and its past two activities and their programme for the 4 days to come.

Together, they took part in various Icebreakers and Team Building activities to help them get to know each other and become a strong and collaborative Team. They shaked their names, wrote their feelings, mimed birthdays, planted trees, they accomplished the impossible and climbed spider webs!

The focus of the afternoon was on the past two activities: “Living Together: Our challenge!” and “Working Together for an Inclusive Europe“. Among the participants, a dozen of young people who took part in those activities back in May and June were invited to share about their experience and explain to the others what the seminars consisted of. Some of them had great news and presented to the group the projects they were able to implement at local level during the last months.

The day ended, as tradition demands, with a beautiful intercultural evening. A lot of work awaits, and we’ll enjoy every minute of it!

This project is supported by:


Our first experience with graphic recording: WOW!

Our first activity of the year took place earlier this month in Thessaloniki (Greece). This youth seminar entitled “Living in Europe Together” gathered 37 young people from 11 European countries and managed to create an enabling environment for new ideas, youth collaboration and a few promising actions of advocacy.

To recount the week and capture the spirit of the 5-days-activity, we decided to change a little bit our usual method and bring more color to our pedagogical report. To do so, we called on the expertise of Coline, graphic facilitator.

What is graphic recording?

Graphic recording (sometimes referred as reflective graphics, graphic listening…) is a visual process used in various events such as meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences. Its aim is to capture the ideas and expressions of a group or an individual in words, images and colors.

Inspired by architecture, design, computer engineering, art and psychology, graphic recording is often produced in large scale imagery, allowing a work process to be summarized clearly and recorded in real time. This visually translation of complex content allows people to reach their goal with more efficiency and to keep a better lasting memory of the working session.

Graphic recording combines the skills of note-taking, art and story-telling.

Graphic recording

Meet Coline, graphic facilitator

Coline is artist and graphic facilitator. She studied architecture at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais in Paris and at the Technical University of Istanbul. She did a European Voluntary Service in a Berlin-based NGO and is since then active in an international network of creative engaged people. Living between France and Austria, she works from project to project, from country to country.

Visit her portfolio to know more about her work and maybe contact her if you would like to introduce graphic recording in one of your beautiful youth projects 😉

Graphic recording

Living Together: our first activity visually recorded

Graphic recording was definitely an added value during this Youth Seminar and both the participants and the team were enthusiastic about Coline’s work. Between each activity or at the end of an intense day; we could see the participants coming near the drawings, studying them, reliving the things they had participated in with their eyes and really marking their own memories with the whole purpose and conclusions of the day.

It is a fantastic reporting tool which gave life to the participants ideas in real time and allowed them to be even more focused and productive. We can’t wait to repeat the experience in Romania in July for our second activity of the year, the Partnership Building Activity “Working together for an inclusive Europe”.



Living in Europe Together – Day 5

Day 5 was the very last day of our Youth Seminar “Living in Europe Together”. It was an enthusiastic and emotional day as we looked at the future (individual projects, exchanges of good pratices, potential partnerships…) and the past (evaluation of the past week, feedbacks, heartfelt remembrances…).

The morning was mostly dedicated to the future as the participants were invited to present the Individual Action Plan they had been able to develop the day before, with the help, advices and suggestions of their colleagues. The presented projects tackled a number of issues such as youth participation, refugees’ integration, LGBT’s rights…

The second activity of the morning consisted in a training on a technique of project analysis: the famous SWOT technique. The aim of a SWOT technique is to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of a project. By teaching the participants the use of this technique, the Team gave them a tool for analysing their future European projects and the Individual Action Plan they would implement at local level later on.

This presentation was followed by a training on Advocacy in which the young people were taught about the 5 Steps for Advocacy: identifying the Needs/Issues that need to be sorted, set a Goal, find Allies, make an Action Plan, Never Give Up (Public Pressure). This very inspirational course was concluded by the following quote:

One candle alone cannot light a fire, but it can light many more candles.

Later on this day, Mariam, treasurer of the Board of Youth Express Network, presented the network in depth: its values and purpose, its structure. She explained the process of becoming a member of Y-E-N, talked about our SAY-ers, Y-E-N’s pool and ressource, and how the participants could join the network if they wanted. She also announced the dates for the upcoming General Assembly and next activity, inviting the participants to continue to be part of the organisation’s projects.

The rest of the day was focused on the past few days. It was a time for evaluating the seminar, exchanging the official certificates, remembering good times passed and saying goodbye and “see you soon”.

The last day of “Living in Europe Together”, our 5 days Youth Seminar, was intensely charged with gratitude and promises for a brighter and more inclusive future. Our participant have shared 5 brilliant days together and they left Thessaloniki with new friends, great ideas and confidence to achieve them, all together, in Europe.

Warm smiles and hugs from Thessaloniki,

Youth Express Network


Living in Europe Together – Day 4

We just finished Day 4 of our 5 days Youth Seminar in Thessaloniki. This day was focused on Trust Building, Project Management and the process for imagining an individual Action Plan.

The morning activities started with a few games aiming at developing the team’s trust in each other and in themselves. They consisted in balance games which demanded to the participants to let themselves fall on one or 5 of their friends, or create together complex structures with their bodies, three exercises that required trust from them, trust in the others, when they were being held, but also on themselves, when the well being of another depended on them.

The second objective of the day was to make the young people realise that they can have a good impact on problems that surrounds them on daily life. To reach that aim, they participated in a Forum Theater. Divided in 4 little groups, they proposed stereotypical scenes of daily hate speech or discrimination, scenes that could be interrupted at anytime by the audience when they thought that an injustice was happening.

After that, the participants were invited to create the Tree of Problems of their cities, identifying three or more major problems and highlighting their Roots, Causes and Consequences. They then gathered in groups to present their Tree of Problems and collaborate with each other.

To help the young people create their individual project, they were introduced to the Project Management Cycle. They then were able to use this management technique to structure their project around 8 points: the Needs → the Aim → the Objectives → the Programme → the Activities → the Needs (linked with the activities) → the Action →the Evaluation →… In groups, they were able to share their individual project and gather opinions, advices and suggestions from their colleagues.

The last technique they learnt today was a method to develop and present an Individual Action Plan. Using the “5 W 1 H questions”, they explained Why they wanted to work for their chosen cause, What they hoped/expected to do or achieve, Who or for Whom the Action would be implemented, When and Where the Action would happen, and finally, How they would organise the Action…

The day ended smoothly with the last Intercultural evening with presentations of Portugal, Turquey, Romania and Bulgaria. We were able to taste some fantastic culinary specialities.

This day was truly dedicated to each of the participant’s individual project. They ended their day with tools, opinions, suggestions, advices and above all, friends and contacts to achieve their hopes and goals.

The last day of the seminar has unfortunately come but we will enjoy it to its fullest.

Optimistic and enthusiastic regards,

Youth Express Network


Living in Europe Together – Day 3

Day 3 was a very interesting day for our group of young people as they went on several Field Visits in Thessaloniki. During the morning, the group was divided in two.

The first group went to the Municipality of Neapolis-Sykies where they met Maria Roidi, City Councillor of the Municipality and member of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. She presented her background and role to the participants and talked about the political structure of Thessaloniki, the role and influence of Youth in political decision and the challenges it can represent. 3 other young women active in the Municipality also shared their experiences: Mary Drosopulos, youth trainer and consultant for the Municipality, Chryssa Kopra, collaborator of the Office of Planning of the Municipality on implementation and development of youth, social and cultural projects, and Fenia Papakonstantinou, President of AID and representation of education activities of AID ( The participants were able to ask to these inspiring young women all of their questions and left the Municipality with a better understanding of the significant things young people can actually do at their own local and political level.

The second half of the group went to the cultural Neighbourhood of Sikies where they were welcomed by Eirini Kagiampini, the president of the community and responsible for the cultural actions. There, they were invited to attend 3 different workshops: ceramic art, deco art and recycling art. These workshops are usually attended by unemployed people of the neighborhood and participating to them was an opportunity for our group of young people to experience social work using art and culture. They left with a nice piece of art as a souvenir! Their morning program finished with a little guided tour around the facility to see the different buildings of this initiative, including an exhibition house and a youth centre.

The whole group then enjoyed some bounding free time in the city centre.

On the afternoon, the participants were hosted by the Municipality of Thessaloniki where they were welcomed by our friend Aris from United Societies of Balkans! He kindly had organised for our group to meet with two very influential persons for Youth of Thessaloniki: Babis Papaioannou, General Secretary for Life Long Learning and Youth at Ministy of Education and Lina Liakou, Deputy Mayor of Thessaloniki. They were kind enough to introduce themselves and their respective work in favour of Youth and explained the Youth policies of Greece and of the city, which was elected European Youth Capital in 2014.

After some exchange with them, the whole group enjoyed a typical Greek meal in a pleasant restaurant of the city center. With that, the day ended with the nicest moment and memories.

Only two days left and already we can see some friendship growing, and with them, beautiful collaborations and projects to be developed all over Europe!

Warm hugs and hopeful thoughts from Thessaloniki,

Youth Express Network


Living in Europe Together – Day 2

Here we are again with news from our Youth Seminar in Thessaloniki: “Living in Europe Together”! 🙂 Day 2 is now over and we all feel we have learned a lot from today’s activities.

Today was meant to help the participants to put themselves in the shoes of others by learning about different types of discriminations and violations of Human and Social Rights through 3 different activities.

The day began with an outdoor activity during which each person was attributed a hidden character: homeless person, daughter of an ambassador, immigrant, refugee… Standing in on line, they all had to imagine the background and context of their characters, after what they were presented with a list of facts. For each case, they had to take a step forward if they thought their character was privileged, thus showing little by little the gaps and inequalities of society. This experience was powerful and it leaded to a common reflection around freedom and access of basic Human and Social Rights.

The morning continued with the second activity, a treasure hunt associating a team building dynamic with a training in Human and Social Rights, and finished with an indoor debate-based activity aiming to introduce structured dialogue.

During the afternoon, the 5 members of the Team of Facilitator shared their best practices with the participants (divided in little groups). Thanks to this, the young people were able to discover concrete actions taken in 5 countries (Romania, Italy, The Netherlands, Kosovo and Armenia), at different levels and focused on various issues: Roma Minorities, Refugees, Youth, Discrimination ; also using different tools such as Non-formal Education, Soft Skills, Human and Social Rights…

The second day of our Youth Seminar ended one more time with a intercultural evening, this time under the flags of Spain, Greece, Italy and The Netherlands.

2 rich days have now been achieved with curiosity, mutual respect and openness and we can’t wait to continue our work! Tomorrow will be yet another very special day, dedicated this time to two very interesting field visits at our partners and friend organisations. Many discoveries to come, so, stay tuned 😉

Inclusive thoughts from Thessaloniki,

Youth Express Network