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Youth Counselling against Radicalisation – a Holistic Approach to Support Vulnerable Adolescents
Start date: Dec 1, 2015, End date: Nov 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

For a critical minority of young people, adolescence is a time when serious problems emerge or earlier difficulties escalate. They may have difficulties at school, lack good role models or the resilience to deal with new pressures. They may be confronted with alienation from and experience discrimimation and open or hidden racism. Since they do not see positive perspectives, a rsising number is attracted by extremist ideologies, such as Neo-Nazi groups or the „Islamic State“. The Radicalisation Awareness Network of the European Commission states that „the best prevention is to stop people from getting involved in violent extremist or terrorist activities in the first place, or to convince them to turn away from such ideas and methods.... The people best placed to tackle the phenomenon of radicalisation are people in direct contact with targeted individuals or vulnerable groups of population.“ We must help young people to stay on track – by improving the support and opportunities available. Young people who are experiencing difficulties need counselling that is based on a holistic approach. The overall objectives are to collect and develop evidence-based approaches and models that show how to • make youth counselling services more attractive and relevant for vulnerable young people on their way into adulthood and to contribute to de-radicalisation. • counteract the negative effects of alienation that occurs frequently to adolescents and which often leads to social disenfranchisement, thus preparing the path to join groups offering extreme ideologies, be it Neo-Nazi, the Islamic State or other terrorist movements • find answers to the recent phenomen of radicalisation of young men and women, of European and other origins, who join in raising numbers jihadist organisations • ensure that their needs are also identified early and met by youth counsellores working together effectively – in ways that include the views and experiences of young people themselves • strengthen the influence of vulnerable young people, and their families and communities, and their ability to bring about positive change • explain and justify the need to make a paradigmatic shift from the “medical model” – which is still prevailing in many European countries in youth counselling - to the “social model • ensure that vulnerable young people receive a personalised package of support, information, advice and guidance, and learning and development opportunities, with support for their parents if needed The main products will be: Guidelines, a framework for counsellors to inform about targeted youth support to help vulnerable young people early to address their dfficulties as soon as possible and to prevent their problems escalating, in order to prevent them from being drawn to into anti-social behaviour, crime or joining terrorist organisations and movements Best Practice Toolbox, offering a modular range of awareness raising, training and demonstration materials for youth counsellors, trainers as well as other professionals working in the field of youth counselling, based on latest positive psychology research findings, particularly the use of new didactic tools combating problems such as radicalisation Online Platform and Mobile Applications, supporting the delivery of the all outputs of the project and providing new means of interaction between learners and trainers, as it supports electronic management, storage and presentation of materials, transcending limitations of space and time and creating the necessary conditions for a dynamic teaching environment The partnership comprises a multidisciplinary team: VERWEY-JONKER INSTITUUT (NL), an independent institute for applied research into social issues with a longstanding reputation on policy-strategic and evaluative research into social issues. INTEGRA Institute for Development of Human Potentials: focus on counselling for young people with learning disorders and aspects of discrimimation and racism as driving force of radicalisation dynamics. MEATH Partnership (IE): family counselling activities for social inclusion ALDAIMA (ES): a collaborative organisation of the Andalusian regional government for family integration and protection of children and adolescents ZDK (DE): specialised in consulting, training and coaching former right-wing extremists during their difficult exit from the scene. QUALED (SK): development of creative and innovative educational products ECC (AT): experience on prevention of early school leaving and managing diversity and rage, development of educational mobile applications. GUNET (GR): development and provision of advanced ICT services
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