Europe is built around the principle of "United in diversity", but today's Europe is not particularly united when it comes to respecting, accepting and appreciating differences in societies. That’s why with our partners we want to organise a project that will promote and nurture the core values of EU, respect for human dignity and ensure inclusion and participation of all people. As youth organisations, we can considerably influence youth’s understandings and attitudes towards diversity as well as raise awareness, educate, train and organise activities that can improve social inclusion, respect for human rights, solidarity and active youth participation in our societies.
The project will address the recognised clear needs to strengthen the capacities of our organisations and to improve competences of our youth workers to work and manage diversity, foster social inclusion and encourage active youth participation. It will also address the identified lack of non-formal learning tools as well as a need for strong cooperation and sustainable partnerships which is crucial for working on such transnational issues. The project with its 2 proposed mobility activities is created upon these needs and will address them by following these aims:
1) to address growing issues of exclusion, discrimination, xenophobia and radicalisation of youth by improving capacities of 8 European youth organisations for managing and working with diversity, fostering social inclusion of vulnerable groups and encouraging active youth participation
2) to empower and equip youth workers and youth leaders with new and improved competencies (knowledge, skills, attitudes), good practices and concrete non-formal learning tools to successfully and meaningfully work with culturally diverse groups and young people with fewer opportunities while enabling them to inspire active youth participation and promotion of European values both locally and internationally
3) to establish United in Diversity Network for the promotion of diversity, mutual understanding, European values and social inclusion of youth from socially vulnerable categories that will ensure sustainable partnerships and cooperation between 8 youth organisations, sustainable project impact and long lasting multiplication effect
4) to present possibilities and support features of Erasmus+ programme for work with youth with fewer opportunities and inclusion and diversity projects while developing new joint project proposals.
The project is composed of 2 mobility of youth workers activities: a Seminar with partnership building elements that will be organised from 1st to 8th of October 2019 and a Training course for educators that will be organized from 10th to 17th of February 2020 in Thessaloniki, Greece. Follow-up activities will be organised locally by partners and participants after both of the mobility activities. These activities which will be in form of local researches, meetings with stakeholders, forming of local consortiums, workshops on project topics, presentations, conferences, exhibitions etc. will involve young people, youth workers and other interested parties from partners’ local communities. On these activities, partners and participants will transfer and multiply the knowledge, skills, information, tools and experiences they gained on the topics from the project, but also spread the produced results.
The Seminar and the Training course follow the main aims of the project, but in order to contribute to their achievement, they have their own specific objectives.
- raise awareness and promote diversity as well as provide knowledge about social inclusion, European values, intercultural dialogue and youth participation be exploring their concepts, dimensions, elements, contemporary meanings and ways they can be fostered;
- explore the current situations in participating countries towards diversity, social inclusion and youth participation as well as to map the challenges, obstacles and needs of organisations and youth in their local communities and Europe in general;
- exchange competences, experiences, good practices and propose sustainable youth work solutions in form of concrete actions that will address the problems of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds and that will enable their inclusion and participation in society;
- introduce and encourage use of relevant EU policies, strategies and support mechanisms for social inclusion and work with young people with fewer opportunities (EU Youth Strategy; EU2020; E+ Inclusion and Diversity Strategy, European Social fund, Employment and Social Innovation programme etc.);
- provide opportunity for networking and concluding sustainable cooperation and partnerships between organisations working actively in the youth field with diversity, social inclusion, human rights, youth participation and young people with fewer opportunities.
Training course objectives:
- provide new competences to youth workers and youth leaders to support and manage work with diverse and socially disadvantaged groups, especially young people with fewer opportunities as well as competences to foster social inclusion, European values and active youth participation;
- present and use youth work frameworks and tools for trainers’ competence assessment (European Training Strategy, SALTO TOY and Council of Europe portfolio) in order for participants to self-assess and evaluate their role as youth workers and non-formal educators;
- improve the managerial, social, intercultural, facilitation and training competences of participants by identifying the areas where and how they can improve themselves (through working on personal development and learning plans);
- develop, practice and evaluate non-formal learning activities that will be put together in ‘Inclusion and Diversity Toolbox’ for working with disadvantaged groups, promotion of diversity and fostering social inclusion, European values and active youth participation that will be used by involved organisations, participants or other stakeholders in youth work across Europe;
- create a group of competent educators/trainers/multipliers with pro-active attitudes towards combating social exclusion who will implement activities and multiply the acquired knowledge, skills and tools in work with diversity, inclusion and youth with fewer opportunities;
- develop strategic plans for action in forms of follow-up activities that will be run by participants with support of partner organisations back in their local communities and countries.