Digital Storytelling for Youth Inclusion
Start date: Oct 5, 2015,
End date: May 4, 2016
Working with youth at risk of social exclusion is a very sensitive topic that requires especially careful approaches and methods which can provide a safe space for young people to express their problems and needs without a fear of being judged or misunderstood. In vast majority of cases youngsters from socially vulnerable groups are facing various challenges in their daily lives, hence there is a great need to give them an opportunity to talk and reflect on the emotions and problems they are going through, and at the same time to encourage them to focus on finding positive solutions. Although the majority of the organizations active in the field fully acknowledge the importance of the above described problem, in many cases they are still lacking proper tools and methods to tackle the issue in a more innovative and creative manner that could bring greater benefits to the young people they work with.
The training course "Digital Storytelling for Youth Inclusion" gathered 28 youth workers and young leaders from 10 European countries (5 from program countries and 5 from Eastern Europe Caucasus) and introduced them to the concept of digital storytelling. Participants had a chance to explore the possible positive impact the method can have when used while working with youth at risk of social exclusion and learned the competences needed for implementation of high-quality educational activities addressed to socially vulnerable groups.
Digital storytelling is based on the assumption that every person has a unique story to be told and shared with the others. It is a modern extension of the art of storytelling that has been an important part of social interactions since the very birth of humanity. However, in the modern world where we people are constantly exposed to the flood of information, we tend to forget how reflecting on personal experiences and sharing them with others can be beneficial for one's personal development. The digital storytelling is the concept that combines two crucial aspects - the power of creating personal narratives and our modern need to "go digital", giving people a chance to tell their stories in a creative ways that involve using their digital skills.
The specific objectives of the training course were as follows:
• To provide participants with knowledge about the digital storytelling method and its possible benefits for working with youth at risk of social exclusion
• To equip them with skills necessary to design digital storytelling projects in their own communities
• To enhance participants ICT skills and encourage them to use open source technologies in their daily youth work
• To establish a network of like-minded organizations and individuals, who are interested in the further exchange on the topic of using digital methods for working with youth
• To develop follow-up projects using the skills and knowledge gained during this Training Course
The training course improved the competences of youth workers active in the field of promoting inclusion of socially vulnerable groups of young people. Participants had a chance to learn a very practical method of working with youth at risk of social exclusion and in result they gained a capacity to design and implement follow-up projects in their respective communities. In a long term perspective the project resulted in an increase openness amongst youth workers to use more innovative and creative methods, especially those that are based on using ICL skills and tools, which in turn contributed to a higher quality of their everyday work for promoting social inclusion.
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