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Strengthening the ties for democratic citizenship in Europe
Start date: Jun 17, 2014, End date: Jun 17, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project consist of 5 activities that function complementary and their main goal is to strengthen the capacities of the organisations and youth workers working in the field of non-formal education and activating young people to play an active role in the society. 1. EVS with the partner countries neighbouring the EU This part of the project aims at providing young people from Ukraine and Belarus the possibility to get a first-hand experience with youth work on the international level and play an active role in it. The volunteers are going to support MitOst e.V. in the department of Active citizenship and social participation as well as in the department of Cultural exchange. Through various tasks and helping with organisation of events and projects, they will get an insight in the programs and structures of youth work in Europe and other countries. The volunteers form an important bridge between the cooperation programs in their home countries and MitOst. Of high priority is the aspect of participation of young people in the democratic Europe and international cooperation, acting as active citizens in their home countries and encourage their peers to do so as well. Through their engagement in an international environment they will gain new competencies, helping them increase their chances in the labour market. They will experience the impact the youth work and empowerment for active citizenship has on youth in the society and sustainably support the local participation in their countries. 2. Meeting and training of coordinators of non-formal educational programs In the second part, the project includes a meeting and training of NGO-experts from the field of youth work from EU, as well as non-EU countries to identify the trends and professionalisation needs of the actors working in this field, potential for further development, expertise and resources exchange. This activity directly tackles urgent needs that were expressed by the partner organisations in the field of strengthening organisational capacities, management skills and organisational development. 3. International training of trainers in the field of empowering young people for active citizenship The need to create a platform for trainers of various level of experience on national as well as international level has been expressed by the partner organisations that engage the trainers in their everyday educational work. The trainers as the multipliers with the direct contact to the target group of young people from urban and rural areas will work on quality assurance in their work with the youngsters, exchange and confront themselves with the possible solutions of difficult issues in the seminars and create support structure in the form of trainer manual for seminars on civic engagement of young people, practically combining theory and ready-to-use methods and exercises. 4. Training for peer mentors (coaches) of youth non-profit projects in the field of civic, social and cultural initiatives: In our more than 10 years of experience, one of the most effective instruments to enable young people to organize social and civic projects on their own is the engagement of peer mentors (coaches) that individually accompany project teams throughout the project period. Their approach is based on counseling, coaching and self-directed learning of the young people and support them in crises and uncertain situations. The project partners have created a network of mentors that cooperate with them on a volunteer basis, helping to qualify their peers in project implementation and providing space for their self-development. As mentors work rather individually, through this project activity we provide for their lack of opportunity to exchange on national and international level. Mentors also need further qualification and supervision for their everyday work. The training should respond to these needs by: - empowering the mentors in their work by additional qualification in coaching, consulting and crisis management, - strengthening their motivation for working with youth, - creating a platform for the mentors to exchange, integrate and enable strategic planning, - providing qualification to the volunteer staff to strengthen partner organizations and improve the quality of their work in the field of civic education. 5. Series of workshops for young professionals in the sphere of civic engagement The workshops will take place in Novi Sad, Serbia, 1.-5. October 2014. The methods used will include podium discussions, do-it-yourself workshops, thematic city walks, round-table discussions, movie screenings with discussion, interactive performances, lectures by experts from various sectors. The topics include several directions relevant for the work of the participants and their further thematic cooperation: urban development, new forms of engagement and activism, cross-sectoral cooperation, organisational development, social entrepreneurship.
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