Archive of European Projects

Speak Out
Start date: 01 Aug 2014, End date: 31 Jul 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Through their secondary school long-term (1 year) home stay youth exchanges, Youth For Understanding organisations, such as Sdrujenie Mladezh za razbiratelstvo Bulgaria (YFU Bulgaria) are present in over 50 countries around the world, promoting the values of intercultural understanding, mutual respect and social responsibility. In some countries and at European level, YFU is also active in youth policy, promoting issues such as the recognition and promotion of learning mobility, intercultural learning, volunteerism and non-formal education. To be successful in their work in promoting these issues and in connecting European and national youth policy to on-the-ground work, there needs to be capacity in national organisations, which is currently lacking. Linking European and national levels has remained a challenge and the cross-sector nature of youth policy is increasingly complex. For YFU organisations in Europe, there has been a lack of opportunities to gather together youth workers engaged in activities dealing with youth policy with their national, regional and/or local authorities to exchange experiences, learn from each other and learn about connections between their work and European level youth policy. Good practices in some countries (or at European level) remain unknown and yet other countries are nearly inactive. So, the seminar “Speak Out” will aim to increase awareness of youth workers about the interdependence of national and European youth policy, develop skills and increased their knowledge in areas related to democratic participation and youth policy, and empower more organisations to more actively participate in and have an impact on youth policy. From 13 countries, the Seminar will gather together 19 youth workers and volunteers in Sofia from 4 to 8 December 2014. Its objectives will be to: -enable participants to participate in political and democratic processes by developing their knowledge, skills and attitudes in relation to representation and key actors and structures; -promote greater co-operation between YFU organisations from different countries by providing an opportunity for youth workers to meet, share and exchange ideas and experiences; -create a network of national level youth workers for long-term exchanges of practice; -create synergies between national and European level participation in democratic processes in order to better achieve common goals; and -develop a deeper understanding of the links between policy development and the values and aims of long-term youth exchange organisations in order to identify key areas of future advocacy efforts. The project’s impact will be to build the capacity of the sending organisations to participation in youth policy work. Key outputs include a collection of best practices and case studies and a new national youth policy network that will have long-term peer-to-peer support.
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