Wear the COAT, bring the change! Youth involvement in COmmunity AcTions
Start date: 01 Aug 2014, End date: 31 Jan 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project aims to bring together 27 participants from 6 different organizations (2 from the Czech Republic, 2 from Moldova, 1 from Poland, and 1 from Belarus) from 5 countries to exchange their experiences of working with youth from rural areas and youth in post-communist states in general. Of the 9-day training, the participants will spend 7 days in Prague and 2 days travelling to the region of the Czech Republic to see Czech examples of good practice. With the help of 1 trainer and 1 facilitator, the participants will engage in numerous activities that will help increase their competencies in encouraging and fostering the civic involvement of young people in their immediate and wider communities. Activities developed for the training programme meet the specific needs and aims expressed by the participants. A session on structural dialogue and comanagement will explain what these concepts entail in practice, the varying benefits of applying them in urban, suburban and rural areas. Tackling the issue of youth unemployment, a session will be organized on the importance of social inclusion in the matters of local development and the involvement of different groups and parties in the decision-making processes. Participants will also be coached on how different participatory methods and mechanisms can be used to increase youth inclusion in the decision-making processes, ensuring good governance at the local level. They will learn how to ensure the most realistically inclusive decision-making process given the specific circumstances of their localities. Since a big part of the decision-making process is identifying the needs of the community, interactive workshops will be organized on different methods of assessing the needs of a given community quantitatively and qualitatively. To demonstrate the importance of cooperation, teamwork and collective brainstorming, a concrete problem in one of the participants' community will be identified and all participants will devise possible solutions to this problem. During the trainings on project cycle management, participants will focus especially on planning projects that they will carry out in their own communities upon their return home. They will also learn more about the Erasmus+ programme and how it can be of assistance to them in creating their own initiatives. During their trip to the region, participants will learn about local NGOs, their work with youth and their international projects on regional development. They will get acquainted with good practices in community volunteering and how to motivate youth to participate in international exchanges. They will also learn how local NGOs cooperate with local public administration to promote and foster active citizenship among youth at the local level. Great emphasis will be placed on the concept of citizenship at regional, national or European levels. Discussion of European values of democracy and protection of human rights will be integrated into sessions on intercultural communication and the promotion of diversity and social inclusion. In general, all activities during the training programme will have a clear international dimension to demonstrate the importance and benefits of international cooperation among youth workers and youth organizations. The interactive learning methods in the form of icebreakers, workshops, group assignments, theatre methods and roleplaying will all contribute to improving the level of key competences and skills of youth workers and youth leaders. The project will have immediate positive impact on its participants, their local communities and participant organizations, as well as long-term benefits on local, national, international and European levels. Participants will gain concrete knowledge and skills that they can use to the improvement of their communities. Participant organizations will have an opportunity to exchange experiences, develop their network of contacts and make plans for future cooperation. The successful implementation of the project will also serve as a positive contribution to the reputation of participant organizations, which can be helpful in gaining more support from local public administration and sponsors. While the long-term benefits of the project may be hard to measure, the intangible results of the training programme, in the form of knowledge, motivation and even inspiration acquired by the participants, when shared with like-minded people and used to recruit more activists, can produce great, long-lasting results. The international dimension of the programme and its emphasis on intercultural cooperation will no doubt stay with the participants and influence their future projects. Especially having been introduced to the numerous opportunities for youth work and training presented by the European Commission, participants of the programme will strive to partake of these opportunities to develop international youth initiatives.

Coordinator

5 Partners Participants