This KA1 project financed by Leargas under the European Union Programme Erasmus+ had 3 Mobility Activities with 31 youth work practitioners and 35 young people from Ireland, Italy, Spain, Georgia, Turkey, Romania and Lithuania taking part. The main aim was to promote inclusive youth work practice in Europe through human rights education and creativity. Mobility Activities were:
1. International Training Course for youth work practitioners (15th-22nd October 2017, Ireland)
2. Advance Planing Visit for youth leaders and youth workers (1st-4th November 2017, Georgia)
3. International Youth Exchange for young people with support of youth workers (24th November-3rd December 2017, Georgia)
The core elements of this project were: up-skilling of youth workers through Youth Workers Mobility Activity, empowerment of young people through Youth Mobility Activity and capacity building of Partner Organisations through all Mobility Activities. This project was build on strong believes in the power of human rights education and importance youth empowerment; also the needs of youth work practitioners and the young people in seven partner countries. Organisations taking part in ‘Create You(th) SIDE’ completed the full circle of experimental learning throughout the project ‘experiencing, reflecting, generalising and applying new experiences’.
Youth Workers Mobility Activity was for youth work practitioners: youth and community workers, teachers, volunteers, local activists, students on placements, youth leaders and youth work trainers who are directly involved in Partner Organisations ‘day to day’ operations and who work directly with young people. As youth work practices vary from country to country (starting with recognised and professionalised youth work in Ireland and very first steps of youth work recognition and certification in Georgia or Turkey) so did the profile, experiences and expertise of people who attended this training course. We believe it enriched the process of learning for all and different levels of experiences became the strength of this group. Priority was given to participants with little or no Erasmus+ experience and those who demonstrated commitment to implement human rights education activities into their work practices.
Through Youth Workers Mobility Activity we accomplished specific objectives of this project, such as defining the main points of human rights education approach in youth work; addressing the needs of improving and developing inclusion, equality and diversity policies within participating organizations; sharing good practice examples through our networks in Europe and Partner countries; inviting youth and community organizations to introduce human rights educational approach into their ‘day to day’ practices.
As a result of this training course youth work practitioners deepened their understanding on inclusion, equality and diversity policies in youth work; developed new skills and knowledge of human rights education within the European youth work frame; gained competences to use different human rights methodology that is available; ability to reflect and to critically analyse their youth work practises; developed ability to approach ‘heavy’ topics by using creative approach and methodologies; clarified definition of Youth Work in European and in different national contexts; gained ability to deconstruct and critically evaluate personal youth work practices; knowledge about No Hate Speech Movement; improved skills of group work and working in international environment; deepened understanding of benefits of youth work in wide context; discussed personal benefits of being a youth work professional and improved English language skills (these findings are based on participants daily reflection sessions and evaluation forms). Four trainers worked on ‘Create You(th) SIDE! In Solidarity for Inclusion, Diversity and Equality’ training course in Ireland bringing different strengths, experiences and expertise to the team.
Advance Planning Visit in Georgia was an experimental way of working for us and for all Partner Organisations. 14 people from seven countries came to Surami (1 youth leader and 1 youth worker per organisation) to organise upcoming youth exchange. We put strong emphases on Youth Exchange being strictly youth lead, meaning that activities are planned, organised and delivered by young people with youth workers staying in a shadows and only providing supports when it is needed. As a result of this working approach two parallel sessions were organised during two working days in Surami. The group of 7 youth leaders (young people 18-26) facilitated by Aiste Slajute were concentrating on defining the main theme/ focus of the youth exchange and designing ‘day to day’ program. The other session with 7 youth workers was facilitated by Alessandra Coppola and concentrated on addressing all logistic and administrative points of the upcoming youth exchange, also designing the support structures.
‘LABELS’ was a topic for International Youth Exchange defined by the youth leaders during the APV. The main aim was looking at how labeling effects people and how we can change that. Great emphases were also put on youth participation, youth empowerment and creativity as a form of self expression and as a tool for creating social campaigns. We used a unique model of working together: trainers team supported the youth workers youth workers supported the youth leaders youth leaders led all the sessions and were primary contact and support for their peers before, during and after the Youth Exchange. This model proven to be extremely efficient in terms of Youth Workers and Youth Leaders empowerment. It is worth stretching that all young people that participated in this youth exchange facilitated parts of the program and felt ownership if this project.
As the most common skills, knowledge and attitudes gained through this youth exchange young people named: confidence in public speaking; ability to clearly formulate my point of view; verbal and non-verbal communication in general; creating and delivering presentations; overcoming fears of facilitation; improved English language, leadership and group work skills; critical discussion and decision making; reaching agreements with peers and ability to understand different point of views; ‘agree to disagree’; skills to recognise personal learning achievement; knowledge of different ways to learn; critically reflect on personal behaviours and attitudes towards other people from different religion and ethic groups; increased levels of empathy; ability to recognise and to deconstruct ‘labels’ and ‘labeling’; knowledge about Erasmus+; understanding benefits and recognition of YouthPass; time keeping, presenting information creatively, group work and work in intercultural environment; organisational skills; knowledge about NHSM; knowledge about protection and violations of human rights; range of interactive activities and methods to be used with peers; realities of political and social issues in participating countries; creative problem solving approach.
Young peoples testimonies
Expected long-term wider impact of this project is a contribution to rising awareness and quality standards of inclusive youth work practice through human rights education in non-formal education sector in Europe and Partner countries. As this project was looking at very practical steps of inclusive youth work practises through human rights education we expect to have long-term impact on the local, national and international levels.
All participants who attended this project received YouthPass certificates during the ‘YouthPass Award Ceremony’ in Ireland and Georgia.
Partner Organisations: Human Rights Association (Georgia), Agenzia di Promozione Integrata per i Cittadini in Europa (Italy), Youth Work Association (Turkey), Europimpulse Training Sl. (Spain), Asociatia Young Initiative (Romania) and PI Ideas and solutions (Lithuania)
Youth Workers Mobility Activity in Ireland
Advance Planning Visit in Georgia
Youth Mobility Activity in Georgia
For daily activities of 3 Mobilities check our event page ‘Create YOU(th) SIDE!’ on Facebook