Examples of Good Practice - Salto

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EXAMPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE YOUTH IN ACTION PROJECTS IN AND WITH SOUTH EAST EUROPE

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EXAMPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE YOUTH IN ACTION PROJECTS IN AND WITH SOUTH EAST EUROPE The present collection presents nine project examples which took place between 2008 and 2010. The projects illustrate the diversity of projects that have been developed under the Youth in Action programme in or in cooperation with partners from South East Europe, in the different Actions: European Voluntary Service (Action 2), Youth Exchanges and Training and Networking Activities (Action 3.1.). Some projects, introduced at the end, have taken on the particular challenge of involving partners from different neighbouring regions (cross-regional projects). The projects represent examples of good practice for the organisations who have implemented them. We asked them to specify why these projects have been special for them. Their answers are included in the presentations. Enjoy reading! Your SALTO SEE team

Published by: SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre Dunajska cesta 22, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, September 2011 2

1. European Voluntary Service

Voluntary Service offers young people an opportunity to carry out a long or short term volunteering project in another country. This activity enables volunteers to express their solidarity, acquire a valuable intercultural experience, bring benefit to local communities and develop new skills and attitudes.

Project 1) Balkan Peace Park: Environment connecting Youth across Borders Main theme:

Environment

Date and place:

July – September 2009, Peja, Kosovo

Promoter

Environmentally Responsible Action (ERA) group Eliot Engel #108/2; 30000 Peja, Kosovo (according to UNSC Resolution 1244/1999) [email protected]

www.eradirect.org

Partners

Janun e.V., Germany; Associazione Interculturale NUR, Italy; Psychological Creative Youth Centre (PCYC), Lithuania; Traditional Culture and Sustainable Development (TCSD), Bulgaria; Youth Development and Integration Association STRIM, Poland.

Objectives

This EVS Group aimed to provide opportunities to young people to gain experience, knowledge, and understanding of themselves, each other and the environment, while volunteering in Europe’s newest country. It focused on bridging the divide between youth across borders, and overcoming stereotypes and prejudices that may separate them.

Target group

Young people with fewer opportunities due to economic and geographic obstacles

Main activities

The EVS Group volunteers were involved and participated in a number of Environmentally Responsible Action (ERA) projects that corresponded to the topics: Environmental Education, Mountain Sustainable Development, Trans-boundary Cooperation and Conservations Issues. In some of ERA’s activities the volunteers participated as a group, while in others they participated individually based on their individual learning needs and desires.

Environmental Education

activities included the 2009 Rugova Summer Camp and an ongoing project to produce a Regional Mountain Guide that targets youth ages 8-18 years. All 5 EVS Group volunteers were part of the ERA team responsible for the development of the camp programme and activities. The volunteers were also tasked with leading some of the activities for 25 local youths that focused on non formal education, environmental awareness, and team building. The experiences gave the volunteers the opportunity to form relationships with local citizens, support and mentor youth, and share some of the games and activities from their home countries as well as ones that they had already learned during other ERA trainings and programmes.

Sustainable Development, Trans-boundary and Conservation Issues

activities included ERA’s Waterfall Trail Project, the cross-border Training Course on Protected Areas and Active Citizenship, “Youth Protect Peace and Environment”, and a cultural artefact catalogue as part of the Green Agenda process. The Waterfall Trail is an ongoing ERA project to construct an educational trail that provides access for local citizens, youth and for regional or international visitors to Rugova's waterfalls. The volunteers worked with ERA’s staff members from the Rugova community to do maintenance and repair sections of the trail that 3

had been damaged. The volunteers under their own initiative also organised a clean-up of the area with the local youth.

Outcomes and learning points

A great deal was achieved locally through each ERA project the volunteers contributed to, but it is the way each volunteer’s presence was able to alter perspectives of each other and the local community concerning citizenship, tolerance, cultural diversity and mutual understanding that is the greatest achievement of this EVS project It is also the outcome that will prove to have the most significant, positive and enduring impact. A number of the volunteers had not been involved in projects requiring them to work or learn in an inter cultural setting nor travel internationally before the group EVS project in Kosovo. As a result, each target group affected by the EVS project walked away with greater appreciation of other cultures, global issues, the environment, and the importance of active citizenship and participation. Also as a result of this project both the EVS volunteers and local youth are beginning to take the initiative in their society. Three of the EVS volunteers have already made efforts in developing new organizations in their communities after returning home from EVS programs – including the establishment of a rock climbing group for youth in Bulgaria, an organic food cooperative in Germany, and a new youth association in Lithuania. The project has inspired local Kosovo youths to participate where otherwise they were not motivated, or believed they couldn’t make a difference as young citizens. This project has given hope and dreams to many of the youth in Peja due to the experiences of the EVS volunteers in their community. This project has also inspired and motivated a number of youth centres in Kosovo to apply for EVS accreditation, because this project has shown the value of such programs for the volunteers, the organizations, and the local community.

Why is it special for us?

This was the first EVS in Kosovo where the volunteers were hosted in a local organization, and not an international organization. This EVS not only had significant impacts on the five volunteers, but also on the local youth from Peja who interacted with the volunteers. It is not uncommon for the local youth to meet internationals workers in Kosovo, but what made this project special is it brought youth from Europe in contact with the local youth of Kosovo. All involved have gained a better mutual understanding of each other. In addition the youth involved have become more active citizens in their communities since the project end.

“This EVS Group was such a meaningful learning experience for so many people; from the host organization, the volunteers through to the local youth in a local community. In addition, this project has lead to an increase in the number of accredited EVS organizations in Kosovo and an increase in the number of youth from Kosovo pursuing participation in EVS

.” Ellen Frank, Kosovo. 4

Project 2: “Short term EVS for Social Inclusion of young people” Main theme:

Art and Culture; Rural/Urban development

Date and place:

Kumanovo, Macedonia – 1-30 September 2010; Poznan, Poland – 1-30 October 2010; Reykjavik, Iceland – 1-30 September 2010; Rome, Italy – 1-30 October 2010

Promoter:

Center for Intercultural Dialogue Vera Kotorka 39, MK-1300 Kumanovo, Macedonia; Tel: ++38978350177; [email protected]

; www.cid.mk

Partners

Servizio Civile Internazionale (Italy), One World Association (Poland), Worldwide Friends (Iceland), Siberian Creative Group (Russia)

Objectives

By offering a volunteering opportunity to young people with fewer opportunities using the short term EVS to support their personal development, the project has the following objectives: • To engage youth with fewer opportunities in a diverse range of activities, such as the provision of education and services, community and environmental action that will support their social inclusion and integration. In this regard, the project contributes to a cohesive society creating bonds of trust and solidarity and, thus, social capital. • To provide space for young people (15 in total from 5 countries) with diverse religions, socio-economic backgrounds and ages to contribute to positive change in another country thus to stimulate active and responsible European citizenship, which is central to European ideals and values of democracy, solidarity and participation. • To provide space for the volunteers to gain and exercise competences in leadership, communication and organisation skills, to extend their social networks and create the possibility for them to move on to paid jobs in the future; • Through their participation in international volunteer projects, the volunteers will have opportunities to find creative solutions to societal issues and transfer these solutions to their home countries, which is a really important experience for them for the future.

Target group

Exchange of 15 volunteers in autumn 2010 between 5 sending and 4 hosting organizations The inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities: Macedonia – young people with economic, social and cultural obstacles Italy – young people with social and economic obstacles Iceland – young people with social obstacles Russia – young person from East Siberia (geographical obstacle)

Main activities

The Short Term EVS for social inclusion of young people provided space for 15 young people from 5 countries (Macedonia, Italy, Iceland, Poland and Russia) with diverse religions, socio- economic backgrounds and ages to contribute to a positive change in another country thus to stimulate active and responsible European citizenship. In this description, the focus will be on the activities made in Macedonia where 6 volunteers (from Poland, Italy and Iceland) were hosted. At the beginning of the EVS project the volunteers took part in an orientation training where they were introduced with the EVS service and the project. This orientation training had a strong intercultural learning aspect since the volunteers were not only going to encounter a new hosting community but would also need to work together in international teams. The main type of activities for the volunteers was linked with participating in outdoor activities for local young people using artistic tools such as paining. The volunteers in Macedonia made an open-air 52 meter long wall-painting. The painting of the wall was done in cooperation between the EVS and local volunteers. Firstly they needed to paint the street wall in white colour and later they developed a mural 5

with a message. The wall-paining took approximately 2 weeks to complete and included techniques of graffiti and mural painting. The message on the wall aimed to raise awareness about the need to discover new and interesting places, to protect the nature and to find peace with ourselves. It was transmitted through a series of different scenes taken from the everyday life of the volunteers. Support for the volunteers was provided by 2 supervisors (one related to the general educational aspects of the project and the other related to painting and art activities). Also the volunteers needed to have personal support from mentors, especially to help them deal with the different challenges (new community, working together, reflecting on the learning and future steps.) In short term EVS with youth facing obstacles it is important that the support provided is adequate for the volunteers to feel comfortable.

Outcomes and learning points

The main aspect we learned from this project was the specificity of inviting volunteers facing obstacles to their full inclusion. Within the project not all of the volunteers had similar situations (some were less privileged than others), but all volunteers in general had a well planned support system, especially if they were leaving their country for the first time. The process of support of the volunteers was implemented in three phases: 1. Support by the sending organization which included workshops to get to know more about civil society, the EU, volunteering, and other issues that might be of interest for the volunteers and their further development 2. Support by the hosting organization by proper guidance and mentoring that would result in getting different ideas for follow up and motivation to become active in developing these ideas in the home community. This support included as well developing intercultural competences by living together with people from different countries and learning to further discover and respect individual and group identities and values. 3. Support by the sending organization after the EVS project has finished in relation to developing a proper follow-up and motivation for the volunteers to take local initiative. The outcomes of the projects are really visible on local level. For example, the wall-painting in Kumanovo, Macedonia, was open air, so the local community was able to join the volunteers in painting the wall every day. In the end the final picture of the wall motivated many youngsters to continue with similar activities and use the abandoned places to clean them up, paint them, for using them for some activities or just to make the city more colourful. Also by direct conversations between the volunteers and the locals many different experiences where shared which helped having different and more creative ideas that will benefit the local community where the volunteers were. On other hand, the wall-painting as an idea motivated the volunteers to do it back home and to involve local youth from their home communities in similar activities. Several volunteers were interested to get more involved in their sending organizations, whereas on the level of the entire project a total of 7 volunteers are now preparing to have a long term EVS experience as well, since they feel ready enough. All EVS volunteers were living together and interacted with the people from the community on a daily basis. In this way, the cultural differences between the people were challenged and exposed. Thus, although this EVS project is a short term one, it contributed to raise the volunteers’ awareness about the cultural diversities existing in every community. This project was a unique practice that can be replicated to other countries and organizations since it is directly involving people with fewer opportunities, who should be one of the primary beneficiaries of the Youth in Action programme. Related to outcomes for the organization, this project has inspired all partners to work more intensively on inclusion of youth with fewer opportunities in their EVS projects. It might need more work, but in terms of results it offers a lifechanging opportunity. CID is inspired now to put inclusion as a priority of our work in the upcoming 3 year period (2011-2013) thus our new strategic plan has taken a new direction and hopefully will bring a lot of new lifechanging moments.

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Why is it special for us?

The most important motivation for this project was a defined need from the partner organizations to somehow make EVS more open and accessible for volunteers with obstacles. Through this project the promoters have involved youth that face situations of clearly visible exclusion, or have financial difficulties, and mainly come from rural areas. The inclusion aspect in our work has thus been introduced in a very clear and direct way. Even more important is the fact that volunteers participating in this experience are now very motivated to do their long-term EVS as well. For instance, two Icelandic volunteers will re-apply for long-term EVS to Macedonia, one Macedonian volunteer has already found a long-term project in Turkey and another volunteer in Italy, and three more are looking for projects. This shows that they are very clear that they want to continue learning and they are clearly using the opportunities that are offered to them. A great achievement of this project for the volunteers and also for the communities where they did their projects is also the promotion of European Citizenship as active value-based citizenship. Within the project activities the volunteers had the possibility to get challenged by the cultural differences and similarities. In this way the volunteers had different experiences with social integration that they can use back home to get more active and participate in their community life.

“EVS should be about inclusion much more then it is now – this project is just one of the many that prove the power of EVS to influence the personal development and activism of youth with fewer opportunities.”

Stefan Manevski, CID, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 7

2. Youth Exchanges

A Youth Exchange is a project based on a transnational partnership between two or more promoters from different countries. It brings together groups of young people and gives them an opportunity to discuss and confront various themes of mutual interest, discover and become aware of different social realities and cultural backgrounds and learn from each other. A Youth Exchange requires active participation of all groups of young people in the preparation and implementation of the activities.

Project 3: Let’s be active in Europe Main theme:

Intercultural dialogue, European citizenship

Date and place:

13-21/07/ 2009, Serbia

Promoter

Centre for non violent resistance Kraljice Natalije 45, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia [email protected]

, www.cno.org.rs

Partners

Center for non-violent resistance, Serbia; Youth Sector in Organisation of Women of Sveti Nikole, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Maison de l’Europe des Yvelines, France; Agnieszka Marczynska Fundation, Poland; Fondanzione Scuola di pace di Monte Sole, Italy; Social Democratic Youth Forum in Albania, Albania (

in the end did not participate because of visa problems).

Objectives

- To increase awareness among young people from a minority background (cultural, ethnic, etc.) on European citizenship. - To empower youth to take an active role in local communities. - To bring together young people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. - To create space for dialogue. - To foster their feeling of sharing common values. - To raise their sense of belonging to Europe.

Target group

Young people aged between 18 and 25 from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, representatives of “minorities” in countries of their residence.

Main activities

The programme of this youth exchange was designed to focus on young people with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds (so-called minorities), to provide them with the opportunity to explore the meaning of European values as their common identity, to raise their sense of belonging to Europe and to empower them to take an active role in their local communities. The youth exchange lasted 8 days: 4 days of workshops and sports, one day for an excursion, one day for cultural activities to a place of historical and cultural heritage in Serbia, and two days for plenary sessions. On the first day, participants took part in plenary sessions, in which they learnt more about the objectives of the exchange, the rules, visions of Europe and the Youth in Action programme. This first day was also dedicated to ice breaking and team building games in order to create a good atmosphere and to foster the cohesion of the group. Four days were dedicated to work in small groups. Leaders prepared 4 workshops on specific topics (European citizenship, intercultural dialogue, active participation and European values/identity). Each day, participants had the opportunity to take part in a different workshop with different people thanks to a “rotation” system. Leaders used non-formal education methods (role play, debate, brainstorming, games, arts, etc.) to animate their workshops in the mornings and the afternoons were dedicated to outdoor and 8

indoor sport activities (football, basketball, volleyball, rock climbing, pool, badminton, etc.) where teams got the opportunity to show their skills and team spirit. On the last day, participants had the opportunity to share the outcomes of the workshops and to evaluate the whole exchange.

Outcomes and learning points

This exchange offered young people the chance to identify common values with other young people from different countries despite their cultural differences. 8 days of activities gave participants the time and the tools for overcoming prejudices about “the others” and to foster the feeling of belonging to Europe. The workshops were designed to give confidence to young people to become future leaders in their societies and to be open minded towards others. The project provided knowledge on “how to be” an active citizen and how to be a part of a community in order to express one’s views and beliefs. Participants understood the importance of social cohesion and now they can be promoters of mutual understanding and cultural diversity among the young population in their communities. In order to spread the project’s objectives and results, young people will act as multipliers within their schools. They will give a presentation of the project in which they were involved and encourage other pupils to take part in such European programmes. The young people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and from different countries also used the opportunity to forge new friendships.

Why is it special for us?

The training course “Let’s Work with our Neighbours” in Velenje (in 2008) was a crucial step. Since then we have focused on our common project objectives, one of which was to use sport as youth education methodology. We achieved narrowing the gap between SEE and the EU through common values and shared experiences. It is unique because it combined a great amount of learning and participation with fun and an innovative way for all groups. The project “Let’s be active in Europe” introduced active citizenship to young people and encouraged their participation in their local communities, no matter if they represent a “minority” or the “majority” in their country. Participants were encouraged to engage into local activism, to promote non-formal education and to embrace the idea of EU integration as a guarantee of stability. The exchange was reciprocal. The agreement among partner organizations was that another partner will apply to be the host for a similar project on similar topics the year after with another group of participants. It was unique for the French group to get to know people from South-East Europe! This was a real cultural shock! But at the same time they discovered so many similarities between the two cultures.

“Partnerships were established before (and during) the “Let’s be active in Europe” programme as it was the key for a successful youth exchange! Also, the approach of “rotating workshops” encouraged participants to mingle and gave everyone an equal chance!”

Ivana Stanojev, Serbia.

“Partners were in contact from before the approval of the project as they had similar experiences from previous youth work

.” Olsi Duzha, Albania.

“This project helped the participants to understand that being a European citizen means being active and that European citizenship is in our minds and in our everyday lives, not in our passports

.” Aleksander Bogatinov, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

“It mixed people from very different cultures, but thanks to a great partnership and people’s open minds, the result was great! In fact, despite their differences, young people learnt a lot, met new friends and were very happy

!” Manuella Portier, France. 9

Project 4 : Intercultural Dialogue Camp Sturba 2008 Main theme:

Intercultural dialogue

Date and place:

21/07 – 01/08 2008, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Promoter

Coordinators: Cambridge House Youth Project, 131 Camberwell Road, London. UK Kris Hall and Nick Raily, [email protected]

, www.ch1889.org

Hosting: Youth Centre Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Partners

Youth Centre Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Youth Cultural Centre Bitola, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Going to Europe, Italy; Life Zone, Estonia; Local Democracy Agency Sisak, Croatia.

Objectives

This project aimed to draw on current debates around identity, belonging, nationality, gender, faith and race. It raised questions about each country’s past, present and future, exploring who we think we are today, and who we want to be in the future. Based on an exchange of our ideas, thoughts and experiences, we wanted to develop the main activity of the exchange - a performance piece or presentation based around the notion of national identity within a wider Europe. The pieces were performed in public in the open air ‘Kolodvor’, the performance area in the town of Livno. The Sturba exchange was not only between participants, but also between them and local community. The exchange had several groups of learning objectives. Participants had an opportunity to discover and share their identities and learn what culture and sense of belonging to a certain country or to Europe meant through interaction between the groups, youths from Livno and its community. At the same time they developed some organizational skills as it was their task to design, create, prepare, practice, perform, evaluate and reflect on their performances in Livno. Moreover, they learnt how to organize their living conditions and daily life on a rural camping site using all kinds of tools and equipment. Finally they experienced the challenges of participating in every moment of the programme. Participants could create activities from any idea that came to their mind – as long as they made it happen.

Target group

Young people between 16 and 25 years old, especially those who had never travelled abroad

Main activities

The main activities took place in the magical and inspiring setting of a camp site which was near a river and surrounded by nature. We had previously organised camps there with people from all over the world. In 2008, for the first time, together with our long term partners, we organized a youth exchange. The most important part of the exchange was fact that we were organizing both living and working at the camp with youth from different places and of course, different cultures. Learning about each other and each other’s culture has always had a strong impact on young people. Discussions about culture and identity as well as excursions to Livno and Mostar motivated participants to share their thoughts and enthusiasm with the local community in the town of Livno. They did excellent musical, acting and dance performances in the theatre in Livno. The sport and outdoor activities were a part of the activities every day. Besides many well known sports (football, volleyball, water pool, table tennis), we played many games and exercises from different countries and invented some new ones. It could be that the best memories are those of camping itself; the morning shower with water from the river, preparing a dish from your own country for 40 people on an open fire or late night talks around a campfire that did not stop burning for 10 days. 10

The film–making unit made this exchange almost into a reality show. Every moment, every step, every feeling was documented.

Outcomes and learning points

“In the next chapter in your life you are going to put something you learned here into it.” The performances and all preparations that went into it were magnificent. We made and recorded 2 songs during the camp and “Breaking down the wall” became the ultimate hit not only during the exchange or performance, but also on many occasions when the movie from the exchange was played. Besides the songs we had dance performances, production design, costumes, a theatre play and lot of guests from the theatre. Before the performance, we made and printed posters, visited 2 radio stations, gave out leaflets around the town. The music, dance, theatre and technical teams did a lot of preparatory work and a lot of rehearsals. In addition to that, we had to put up the tents, cut wood, keep the fire going, heat the water for showers, prepare 3 meals every day (each day from a different country), clean the place, construct showers, make benches, arrange the playground and the pools, operate the generator, pump water, bring in fuel, go shopping, protect the campsite from the rain, play games, organize intercultural evenings, welcome guests and do everything to make a home from a pristine meadow. Reflections from the group as well as video statements showed that there were many highlights of this exchange: “I have learned to start the open fire” was the simplest one. Besides the very practical skills, the whole group shared the feeling that they had learned a lot about themselves, “the others”, and about tolerance and equality. “For meeting yourself, first you have to meet other people.”

Why is it special for us?

This project was recognized as the outstanding project of the year by the British Council. The performances and the work done during the youth exchange have been documented on DVD.

“Breaking Down the Walls” can be found on www.youtube.com/seeyn2000 The film was made by a professional film-making unit called ‘In The Picture’. The film they made is of very high quality – TV broadcast quality. The process of making the film was very interesting and it aimed to involve project participants as much as possible. The camp was filmed almost all day using various methods and approaches. The film has been presented in 6 countries by partner organizations and later used a lot for promoting ‘Youth in Action’ as well as being an educational tool during training courses. The movie or Facebook group Sturba Camp 2008.

“I think this project was a success simply because we managed to have the level of participation as high as possible. In the terms of programme as well as every day camp or leisure activities, participants could propose almost anything as long as it was realistic and as long as there was a group of people willing to put the idea into practice. At the beginning, everything was as open as the meadow where we were. And everything that happened later – from two beautiful songs to fantastic dishes we had – was created and made by the group.”

Domagoj Kovacic, Bosnia and Herzegovina 11

3. Training and Networking

Training and Networking projects support the training of those active in youth work and youth organisations (youth leaders, youth trainers, young people), in particular focusing on the exchange of experiences, expertise and good practice as well as activities which may lead to high quality, sustainable projects, partnerships and networks. Possible activities to undertake can include: job shadowing, feasibility visits, evaluation meetings, study visits, partnership building activities, seminars, training courses, and networking.

Project 5: Youth in REAL Action

Training Course

Main theme:

Participation of young people

Date and place:

23- 30/04/2009, Bar, Montenegro

Promoter

Association for Democratic Prosperity - Zid VII Omladinske 30, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro

[email protected]

,

www.zid.org.me

Partners

Association for Democratic Prosperity –Zid, Montenegro; Beyond the Barriers Association, Albania; Volunteers’ Centre of Vojvodina and Nature Conservation Movement, Serbia; Youth Association creACTive, Macedonia; Blue Sky Youth Network, Macedonia; AEGEE Ankara, Turkey; Minorities of Europe, UK; Mosaico O.N.L.U.S., Italy; Lunaria, Italy; TDM 2000, Italy; Initsiativa Regional Youth Council, Bulgaria; Bulgarian Children and Youh Parliament Association, Bulgaria; Youth Foundation Buzau, Romania; Young partners for Civil Society Development Association, Romania; Oanevezys Margarita Rimkevicaite technological school, Lithuania; Youth information and Mobility Centre “JUMC”, Latvia.

Objectives

The main idea of the project was to improve participants’ competencies related to youth active participation in the societal development. The participation of youth is one of the most important preconditions for a stable and prosperous society. The aim of the project was to contribute to higher quality practice in youth work in general, but also in future projects developed under the YiA programme. The title “Youth in REAL Action” means that we wanted to work on the methods that push young people to make REAL actions! Not just to imitate the older ones and make slow, non-visible moves towards their goals.

Target group

30 members of civil society organizations and youngsters in their local communities

Main activities

”Youth in REAL action” was a seven-day training course where the main themes were: active participation of youth; advocacy on national and international level related to youth issues; civil societal development; youth, national and international activities; volunteering and active participation; partnership building and “Youth in Action” programme goals and possibilities.

Outcomes and learning points

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Establishing links between representatives of SEE and EU organizations, the training helped the organisations to have a chance to exchange experiences and feel that the European Union is not just an economic or political body but that it is a real opportunity for building joint actions which are important for young people and their future. Participants of the training course had an opportunity to develop new project ideas relating to these topics. This training gave the participants time to share their values related to personal, political, economic and social issues. This highlighted not only the values that are more important for them as individuals, but also the ones that are deeply rooted within the character of different societies. Furthermore it created the desire to continue working together and so two new project proposals were submitted for the next Youth in Action deadline.

Why is it special for us?

Just organizing this event was a great achievement because organizing this international event in a small country, and especially in a small community where foreigners are rarely seen is difficult. It achieved cooperation with local youth which contributed to tolerance and trust building which overcame real xenophobia. This training course was a great tool for increasing knowledge and for building friendships between people coming from different EU and SEE countries, which is one of the most important aspects when you are a young person. In addition to that, the training contributed to the participants’ better understanding of the concept of human rights and mobility as a precondition for better participation of youth in local/national/regional level issues (

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13: Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country).

It provided participants with the space and time for intercultural learning which increased their social skills and awareness. “

The partnership since the beginning of the project worked hard to deliver the programme which was designed in a way to help all members of the group to be open, to participate in the activities, and think how the results can work in their local environments

.” Aleksandra Zekovic, Montenegro 13

Project 6: Road to Action

Training course

Main theme:

Intercultural dialogue, Cultural diversity

Date and place:

11-17/03/2009, Durres, Albania

Promoter

Beyond Barriers Organisation, Po box: 87, Tirana, Albania [email protected]

, www.beyondbarriers.org

Partners

YMCA, Macedonia; Kosova young lawyers, Kosovo; “Be Yourself” ( BUDI SVOJ), Croatia; Balkan Idea Novi Sad, Serbia; Xchange Scotland, UK; Mairie Espace Jeunes, France; Agenzia per la promozione dei giovani, Italy; TDM 2000, Italy; Trampolina Ex Volunteer Association, Poland, Youth Art, Turkey; Balkan Amfiktionia, Greece.

Objectives

The aim of this training course was to increase the competencies of youth workers, youth leaders and youth activists on how to translate “intercultural dialogue concepts into action” through raising awareness in order to proceed from intercultural dialogue to intercultural cooperation based on equality and citizenship. Stated objectives: - to work on developing educational strategies in intercultural dialogue and education with young people; - to facilitate the exchange of experience and practical methodologies of intercultural dialogue and education with young people; - to support innovative methodologies and approaches to intercultural dialogue and education with young people.

Target group

22 youth workers/leaders (20-30 years old).

Main activities

We worked using a variety of methods including: - small working groups (group building, intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity, presentation of Youth in Action programme, working on future project ideas), - simulation exercise (vail ban exercise - ICL), - brainstorming and open group discussion (workshop focusing on concepts of culture and cultural diversity), - role playing, - individual reflection (cultural and identity, citizenship), - theoretical inputs (about culture, intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity, campaigns, European dimension in a youth project), - theatre techniques (fighting against discrimination), - power point presentation for introduction of elements of campaign, - paper presentation on non-formal education.

Outcomes and learning points

- 22 youth leaders improved their competencies in relation with cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and Youth in Action. - Participants learned new techniques (forum theatre) on how to translate theory into action working with different target groups in each association. - Participants had their own opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills on how to organize their own campaigns. - Participants acquired new tools on how to promote their youth work. - Participants shared their experiences and gained new contacts for future cooperation. - Four new project proposals were prepared: two of the proposals were submitted to the EACEA. 14

Why is it special for us?

The project has raised awareness on cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue and has given robust tools to participants on how to encourage young people to be active in their communities. Specifically, the new knowledge and skills learned on how to organize youth campaigns at different levels of society were innovative in their approach and made this project unique.

“Successful partnership among promoters, interesting topics, different methods used, excellent participation, follow up activities on local and European level. It was one of the best projects we have implemented in our organisation.”

Ana Dervishi, Albania “

There was a great cooperation between trainers and participants, a nice balance inside the group.”

Aleksandra Fafinska, Poland 15

4.

Inter-regional Youth Projects

The Youth in Action Programme for the period 2007-2013 introduced a new feature – with new possibilities and substantial challenges – a means of implementing projects within the frame of inter-regional cooperation with Neighbouring Partner Countries. This new opportunity enables youth organisations from different geographical areas (SEE, EECA, EuroMed and Programme countries) to cooperate on one project.

Project 7: Media Sapiens – Communication Skills and Media in Youth Projects

Training Course

Main theme:

Communication skills and media in youth projects

Date and place:

15–22/05/2009, Pärnu, Estonia

Promoter:

Life Zone Noorteühendus Riia mnt 86 – 9, Pärnu, 80020, Estonia www.lifezone.ee

, [email protected]

Partners

Assosiation Play, Croatia; In Competence, Lithuania; Continuous Action, Estonia; Centar Mladih Livno Bosnia and Herzegovina; EESTEC, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Educational center Krusevac, Serbia; Central Galilee College, Israel; Cambridge House, England; RUSUK, England; ASTRU Cluj, Romania; MUY, Spain; Pärnuski Express, Estonia; YMCA, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; AMSED, France; New Faces, Belarus; Glasgow Media Access Centre, Scotland; Social partnership, Ukraine; Going to Europe, Italy; LVYG, Georgia; Organization of Women of Municipality of Sveti Nikole, Macedonia; Young Journalist Center, Moldova.

Objectives

- To provide creative learning opportunities in an inter-cultural setting for young people interested in being involve in communication and using media tools in youth work. - To create new generation of Media Sapiens network. - To create our own media world. - To use innovative creative methods of work and studying. - To initiate common projects with new partners. - To create an atmosphere for inter-cultural learning and dialogue. - To initiate discussions on topics such as peace, volunteering, youth work, international cooperation, active participation, cultural awareness, fighting against discrimination and xenophobia. - To make a film and compose a handbook for future reference.

Target group

34 NGO leaders, youth workers, volunteers.

Main activities

The training course was based on methods such as learning-by-doing, direct participation, experimental learning and workshops and Open Space Technology. Trainers encouraged young people to be more creative and innovative in their everyday work by using communication skills and media.

Outcomes and learning points

Media Sapiens participants were given an opportunity to create their own media world. Through ‘learning by-doing’ participants were better able to understand the process of “messenger-media-recipient chain” in reality. The Life Zone team organised everything required for the programme. They prepared everything from writing the press-releases, organising the press-conference, undertaking a promotional campaign for their inter-cultural event. Media Sapiens reviewed their own work and gathered comments from other professional media representatives. Participants could choose their own role which reflected their interests 16

and skills and get involved in the process. Each task was underpinned by relevant theories or life/professional experiences. People received coaching and career advice during the programme.

Why is it special for us?

One of the achievements was the concept of innovative training courses which participants decided to use in their organisations, in different countries and across Europe. Life Zone with two partner organisations made an agreement to organise the Media Sapiens II and III in their countries. Our inspiration for the follow up activities came from the “Making waves” SALTO booklet. Another achievement is the handbook “Media Sapiens – Communication Skills and Media in Youth Projects” which is in the process of being prepared. The handbook will be available on request in hard copy and will be available on the Life Zone homepage initiatives and activities. www.lifezone.ee

. The handbook provides the handy tips, references and techniques for young people and their organisations with the aim to help to harness the world of communications and media. We hope the handbook will help youth leaders to promote their “

The Media Sapiens’ generation was born in May 2009 in Estonia and gained communication and media skills and experiences with the aim to make the youth world more flourishing and colourful! Here we go!”

Anna Korjakina, Estonia 17

Project 8: Promoting Minority Youth Empowerment in Europe

Training Course

Main theme:

Minority

Date and place:

24-30/04/2009, Durres, Albania

Promoter

Walk Together Albania, Sheshi Willson, Rruga: Abdyl Frasheri P. 3/3, Tirana, Albania [email protected]

, www.walk-together.com

Partners

SYC, Armenia; Youth forum, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Ufa Falcon, Russia; Amel Associaty, Lebanon; Development No Borders, Egypt; Central Dalilee College, Israel; BBZ Hochwald, Germany; Associazione Culturale LINK, Italy; Asociata Centru de Resurse pentru Tineret, Romania; Zavod O, Slovenia; Culture Centre In Actio, Lithuania; Exchanges for You, Malta; Instanbul University Mining Club, Turkey.

Objectives

The main aim dimension. of the training was to raise awareness about the different implications of minority and migration issues using different models for the integration of minorities into society. The training aimed to empower youth workers to gain competences regarding the inclusion of young people from minorities into community life. Some specific objectives were: - To connect organisations working in the youth field, minorities and migration. - To give participants the tools to develop methodologies on minority youth inclusion. - To reflect on the issues connected with minorities. - To exchange experiences and good practices in order to create a common working plan, quality criteria and communication tools between the participants. - To raise awareness about the importance of the roles of migration and minorities in the European - To promote the YiA programme as a tool for minority work. - To establish conditions and to create a common strategy for future cooperation.

Target group:

youth workers and leaders.

Main activities

The training methodology was based on non-formal education, encouraging participants to be active and contribute using their experience, expertise and creativity. The activities and discussions were structured in a way that allowed the less experienced participants to make a strong input with their questions and comments which were crucial for discussions. The extensive knowledge about migration and immigration patterns and the minority experiences of thirteen countries were discussed during the project allowing the participants to learn about the migration issues in different areas of Europe.

Outcomes and learning points

The training increased participants’ awareness about the different implications of the phenomenon of minorities and migration and used different models for integrating minorities into society. Furthermore the training aimed to empower youth workers to acquire new competences on how to include young people from minorities into community life.

Why is it special for us?

There was a good balance of experience and knowledge among participants which created strong connection between the participants from three neighbouring regions (EECA, SEE, and EuroMed) and EU countries. The comparison of the minority models from different countries made the project very informative.

“This training course brought together a highly motivated and very diverse group of participants. It provided them with

an

extensive knowledge regarding migration, immigration patterns, and the experiences of minorities from thirteen countries which allowed the participants to understand migration issues in various parts of Europe.”

Lilit Simonyan, Armenia 18

Project 9: Faith and Debate

Training course

Main theme:

Promotion of dialogue

Date:

23-30/08/2009, Sardinia, Italy

Promoter

TDM 2000, Via Sant’Andrea, 11- 09129 Cagliari – Italy; [email protected]

; www.tdm2000.org

Partners

TDM 2000, Italy; TDM 2000 MALTA, Malta; 123 Scouts of Lysis, Cyprus; Kids in Action, Greece; Lycia, Turkey; Youth National Minority Program Zelta KamoliĦš, Latvia; Beyond the Barriers, Albania; Asocijacija Graditelji Mira, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Citizens in Action, Kosovo (according to UNSC Resolution 1244/1999); JEF Armenia, Armenia, Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Ukraine; Volunteers for Cooperation and Exchange, Egypt; YOFI, Israel; Ta-Awon, Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Objectives

The main aim of the training was to promote dialogue and collaboration amongst individuals belonging to multi-cultural and multi-religious communities. A further aim was to increase participants’ awareness and skills in working with issues of religious diversity in multi-religious and multi-cultural environments. During the training we explored the possible methods to deal with problems relating to negative stereotyping and xenophobia. We believe it is crucial that youth leaders know how to deal with religious conflict situations. Therefore the programme contained practical examples which allowed the participants to share their own ideas on managing these situations. Through this project we have created recognition of the urgent need for inter-religious dialogue today since it is a result of historical conflicts.

Target group:

youth workers and youth leaders.

Main activities

Practical workshops were the main element of this programme. The methods used were active participation, group and team work, learning by doing, simulation exercises, group dynamics, and interactive role-plays as well as the theories underpinning them. The methodology used during the training course was based on non-formal education and utilised a variety of working methods throughout the course. Contributions from some experts in the field of inter-religious dialogue gave an added value and put a theoretical framework to the issues. We also met people from the media and representatives of the local political institutions.

Outcomes and learning points

The training course centred on the theme of inter-religious dialogue from an historical and sociological perspective. The participants had the opportunity to express their opinions and share their knowledge and experiences. They learned about different religions, the connection between religion and culture and between religion and society. The project had a good visibility thanks to the involvement of representatives of the Provincial and Municipal Regional Government who participated to one session with the participants. In this way these representatives understood how non-formal education works. Moreover, we invited the Archbishop of Cagliari to take part in one session where the participants had the opportunity to raise their questions with him. During the last two days of the programme participants had the chance to think about project ideas and to start the planning of new projects.

Why is it special for us?

Despite the wide variety of cultures and religions, we succeeded in giving an opportunity to all the participants to express their point of view and the discussion has always informative and constructive. We involved various representatives from the local authorities (politicians and religious figures). The project was reported in local newspapers articles and on local TV news.

“The project gathered together a wide variety of people, from different cultural backgrounds and from all the regions of Europe. We consider this a success

”. Francesca Puddu, Italy 19

The SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre aims to facilitate and increase the participation of partners from South East Europe in the Youth in Action Programme through training and partner-finding activities and various other tools and resources. We work with the help of pools of trainers and accreditors as well as Contact Points located in all countries of South East Europe. www. salto-youth.net/rc/see

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