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Empowering Young Europeans to Speak Openly
Start date: Aug 3, 2015, End date: Jun 2, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Through Girl Guiding/Scouting young people develop values and skills like autonomy, commitment to others and the society, responsibility, integrity, self-confidence, organisation, intercultural understanding. They become active citizens and learn how to make their voice heard for the issues affecting themselves, their peers and the communities to which they belong at local, national, European and international level. “EYES OPEN - Empowering Young Europeans to Speak Openly” project aims to strengthen young people’s and youth leaders’ capacity to understand and contribute to the development of youth policies at European and national levels. The specific objectives are to: • Offer a platform for cooperation and networking where participants can share ideas, challenges and good practices on the development of youth policies that affect the lives of young Europeans; • Provide participants with knowledge and skills needed to develop a plan and take action in the field of youth policy at European and national levels; • Encourage European cooperation and opportunities to network and develop strategies for mutual support and future partnerships with other organisations in Europe; • Facilitate the transfer of knowledge and experience of representing Guiding/Scouting in national youth platforms and explore the links between the national and European levels; • Reflect on the role of youth organisations in the development of youth policy at national and European level. The project will target young people and young leaders involved in advocacy work (e.g. campaigns, advocacy projects, representing their associations in National Youth Councils, etc.) in the Guide and Scout organisations. The project includes two training events: 1) Activity 1 - Training for Trainers: the goal of this activity is to empower in their role as trainers a group of 7 young people with expertise in the field of advocacy, external relations and communications, and/or partnership. 2) Activity 2 - Advocacy Training: it will bring together for 4 days 45 young people and youth leaders active in local or national youth structures in Guide and Scout organisations in the enlarged Europe. This training aims to encourage individual youth leaders and their associations to make a commitment to change the world around them by building their competencies and capacity to advocate on key issues affecting and concerning young people, and ensure that the views of young people are voiced and considered at all levels of decision-making. It will provide participants with a place where they can discuss issues related to European youth policy and exchange their views in a wider European environment and to promote active citizenship. Methods used will be based on non-formal education principles and elements of WAGGGS’ educational method, such as learning by doing, cooperative learning, connecting with the world and with other people, and self-development following own individual pace. Participants will play a key role in shaping their learning goals and tasks with the support of the project coordinator and the Planning Teams. Through these participatory methods and peer learning, the knowledge and skills existing among participants and their organisations will be explored and shared. Continuous evaluation will be part of each project phase, ensuring its quality and compliance with objectives and expectations. The Europe Region WAGGGS will be a sending organisation, coordinating and working in close cooperation with all the other partners. A strengthened collaboration between WAGGGS and the partners may also lead in future to projects and collaboration for the empowerment and participation of young people in Europe, including within the Erasmus+ programme and EU youth strategies and priorities. As a result of this project, we expect that: • Young people have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to speak out and take action on issues they care about, at European, national, local level • Participants have increased capacity to develop advocacy projects • Guide/Scout associations are enabled to develop advocacy plans and opportunities within their structures for their young members • Guide/Scout associations in Europe have reinforced their collaboration and cross-fertilised ideas in the development and influencing of youth policies at national and European level The expected impact of the project is: • Guide/Scout associations in Europe have fostered awareness of the current youth policies and dialogue on youth issues at national and European level and on the positive impact their participation has on young people • Guide/Scout associations and their young members are empowered to network and develop strategies supporting partnerships in the field of youth policy • Guide/Scout associations are involved and represent youth views in their National Youth Councils and/or other platforms • Youth participation in national and European youth platforms is fostered

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