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Empowering Through Storytelling
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Jan 1, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Storytelling does not refer to the traditional reading of fairy tales. In fact the contemporary concept of storytelling goes far beyond fairy tales. It is the process of making people listen, think critically, share, interpret, enhance the vital communication skills and analyse their experiences. The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell to the audience how to think, but to stimulate their brain by given questions. According to some researchers ( storytelling is a way to keep our brain alive, active and receptive. When we share stories with others, it helps the audience to shape their thinking, reflect about themselves, the way of life and eventually acquire valuable knowledge. Storytelling can be the source of inspiration, motivation, empowerment and perseverance that finally leads people into the future, having the courage to make changes ( Storytelling is a tool widely used nowadays. Storytelling can be found in the business sector, in advertisements and in lobbying campaigns. It enables the organizations to show to the audience the organization’s ideas or products and/or to lobby for them. We believe that storytelling can be a vital tool for youth workers too. In the frame of youth work, storytelling can be the process that enables youth workers to achieve the personal, socio-educational and professional development of the young people they work with. It can embody the change they are seeking for the youth. Storytelling can be the best way for youth organizations to communicate with the young people and understand their needs. It can be the best way to motivate young people to be more active, more involved and engaged in social and democratic life. It can be the best way to empower them to stand on their own feet in the context of economic crisis, find their way to labour market and enhance their competences. Last, it can also be the way to communicate the needs of the young people to the stake holders, to influence policies and advocate for their rights. For these reasons, we believe that story telling is a tool worth to be spread among youth organizations. The overall aim of this project is to increase the competences of youth workers in using storytelling as a tool to reach, motivate and inspire young people. The objectives of this project are: -To understand the concept of storytelling - To explore the benefits of using storytelling when working with young people - To acquire different techniques of using storytelling when working with young people -To inspire youth workers to use the tool of storytelling - To develop an action plan about using storytelling in their work with young people The project involves only one activity, a training course for youth workers. The training course will involve 26 youth workers from the following countries: Belgium, FYROM/Macedonia, Ukraine, Egypt, Armenia, Serbia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Netherlands. The activity will take place between 11-17 of September 2015 in Brussels. Non-formal education methods will be used throughout the training course as we strongly believe in its power to develop the competences of youth workers. In this process of learning, there are no teachers and students. The activities are organized according to the needs of the participants while the sharing of experiences in healthy environments of trust and mutual respect is encouraged. Some of the methods used will be group discussion, debates, role games, simulations, ice-breaking activities, team work, etc. Finally, flexibility and variety in the methods used is very important to ensure that all the members of the learning process will be fully included. The training course will lead to various tangible and intangible results. It is expected that the participants will significantly develop their competences related to storytelling as a tool for empowering young people. There will be 2 tangible results; the action plans that the participants will develop and the video about storytelling. The video will explain what storytelling is, how it can be used, some stories shared during the training course, relevant limitations of the method and lessons learned behind stories. The video will be disseminated on YEU’s facebook page, youtube channel, twitter account, website and monthly newsmail. It is expected that these concrete results will inspire and empower more young people to enter the labour market and influence youth related policies on local/national and European level.

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