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Empowering youth - Strengthening communities
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Jan 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Young Men’s Christian Association is one of the oldest and largest youth organizations in the world. For almost 2 centuries it has been delivering youth programs in over 120 counties worldwide. However, over the recent years several of our partners have been complaining of having difficulties in maintaining their staff and members motivated, efficient and qualified. We believe this is due the abundance of youth organizations “competing” for the same causes, which raises the standards of the programs offered, the lack of trained youth workers on the market and the lack of qualitative trainings for youth workers in all countries, the leading structures have just a few youth involved .The project has been born out of a common need and concern of all 11 partners involved, related to the quality of the human resources involved in their organizations. We have found that a new approach towards youth empowerment, development of skills, competences and motivation is needed, and therefore we have decided to create this training. Empowering Youth-Strengthening communities is a 9 days (except the traveling days) training course designed for 29 youth workers, leaders in 11 organizations from Europe. The training will be held in Cluj Napoca, European Youth Capital 2015, Romania, between 1-11 October 2015, the main organizer being Federatia YMCA Romania with partners from Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Ukraine, Serbia, Albania, UK, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal. Objectives: - to improve the skills and key competences of young leaders and youth workers, to develop intercultural dialogue and to promote social inclusion through learning mobility of those actively involved in youth work and youth organizations, by strengthened links between youth field and labor market; - to foster the quality improvements in youth work through enhanced cooperation between youth organization and other stakeholders - to enhance the international dimension of youth activities and the role of youth workers and organizations as support structures complementarily with EU`s external action, in particular through the promotion of mobility and cooperation between organizations from Program countries and Partner countries and international organizations and through targeted capacity building in Partner countries. Profile of participants: 29 youth workers and young leaders from 11 organizations Through this project we empower youth workers, leaders to direct, control their own lives, to actively participate in the life of the organization and community. Furthermore, we empower them to actively deliver programs for young people , to participate in the governance and decision making of their organization. Through empowerment young people are able to transform their lives. For transformation young people organize themselves and self organization leads to creating a caring, responsible and safe space in order to create fulfillment. In this case self organization is an indicator for empowerment: young people identify their problems, assess a goal or objective, develop a strategy, mobilize resources, start acting and reflect on their results. Methods:holistic learning, self-learning, experiential learning, playing to learn and learning to play, simulations, coaching, workshop, energizers, lectures and presentation, indoor and outdoor exercises, intercultural workshop, media , reflective sharing, evaluation. Our competence-based objectives are matching perfectly with objectives of Erasmus Plus Program, the proposed activities are meant to increase the quality of programs and services offered by youth organizations by developing skills and competences of youth workers, increase the quantity and quality of mobility programs by developing an effective and reliable network of organizations which have the same working methods and can support each other in implementing future projects, foster intercultural dialogue, promote cooperation between EU and Partner Countries, build capacity for partners Results: - 29 participants trained, motivated and skilled -11 organizations having more qualified and trained youth workers, leaders - media products: 1 video of the project (by the team), 6 done by participants, promo materials - at least 11 actions/events/programs in the next 10 weeks in organizations - interaction with local community, stakeholders and senior leaders Employability, creating quality and bringing changes into life and the lives of the young people that we serve all over Europe, means of becoming more competitive and employable on the labor market. Not only the participants will get the opportunity to share ideas and experience with each others, but learn a number of tools and techniques of increasing competitiveness and self-esteem, as well as acquire knowledge applicable in real life by means of creative workshops, activities related to the topic through volunteering programs and active involvement in the organization.

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