Youth Engagement in Society

Erasmus KA2 Project 2019

Project Title: Youth Engagement in Society (YES)

Strategic Partners:

This Erasmus KA2 project has the following partners: CCW-Training Academy (Wales, UK), Sinergia Società Cooperativa Sociale (Italy), ASSOCIACAO ANIMAM VIVENTEM (Portugal), Östersunds Kommun, Navigatorcentrum (Sweden) and PLANBE PLAN IT BE IT (Cyprus)

YES Project EU Link:  https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/projects/eplus-project-details/#project/2019-2-IT03-KA205-016265

Target Group:

Young people not in education, employment or training.

Main objectives:

This Erasmus KA2 project aims to increase NEETs’ Social Inclusion and promote Active Citizenship, by developing key competences in Youth NEET and train youth workers to address better to NEETs’ needs, namely: the need to break the cycle of isolation/social exclusion; lack of motivation to become an active citizen; lack of self-awareness of their passions/talents and, even, the low self-esteem and lack of key-skills that are required to take an initiative and build an action plan. Therefore, the objectives of the project are:

  • To create and test an innovative LEARNING PROGRAM for NEET Youth to develop key social and personal competences that will allow them to become active citizens and increase their social inclusion;
  • To motivate NEET Youth to engage and discover their passions/talents;
  • To increase NEET Youth’s awareness of some key societal challenges;
  • To empower NEET Youth with key-skills to materialise their goals in a creative and organised way;
  • To foster the NEET Youth’s Connection to the local/global community through the creation of concrete volunteering action projects to approach societal challenges;
  • To promote the exchange of good practices among partners from 5 countries (PT, CY, RO, UK and SE), strengthening cross-cooperation and a multidisciplinary approach;
  • To invest in the capacity building of youth workers competences promoting high-quality work and innovative methods of reaching out to NEET Youth;
  • To contribute to the sense of belonging, as European Citizens and motivate participants to learn more about EU, creating a European Network;

Why?

Research points that Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) are more likely to become marginalised and to suffer from poverty, social exclusion, crime and mental/physical health problems, while at a macro-economic level they represent a considerable loss in terms of unused productive capacity and a considerable cost in terms of welfare payments. In fact, low self-esteem and self-confidence, typically present in this target, seems to be linked with increased isolation and lack of belonging, what contributes to the perpetuation of this cycle of decreased motivation to assume an active role in the community and increased social exclusion. However, it’s important to remember the situation of NEET Youth isn’t simple, by the contrary: complex and multi-factorial (not a single issue); complex multi-causal; require partnership arrangements to have any significant impact as well as a commitment to complex and long-term interventions and therefore, requiring multiple solutions.

In 2017, in the EU, 14.3% of the population aged 18–24 were NEETs, meaning millions of young Europeans were and, probably, still are facing social obstacles. Therefore, it has become an urgent need to empower these youngsters, promoting their social inclusion and their ability to participate actively in society. At EU level, efforts are being made, namely, prioritising this target group in the Europe 2020 Strategy and, specifically, on EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 and made an ERASMUS+ Priority on 2019 Call.

This project aims to increase NEETs’ Social Inclusion and promote Active Citizenship, by developing key competences and train youth workers to address better to NEETs’ needs, namely: the need to break the cycle of isolation/social exclusion; lack of motivation to become an active citizen; lack of self-awareness of their passions/talents and, even, the low self-esteem and lack of key-skills that are required to take an initiative and build an action plan to concretize it.

Intellectual Outputs (IO):

There is 1 intellectual output which will consist of “THE PROGRAMME DESIGN” which will be to review the literature regarding the concepts, methodology and the best practices. Then we will create “THE PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE”, which will be to design a specific guide with all the steps and information that the facilitators should know to apply the programme. Next will be a “PILOT TESTING AT LOCAL LEVEL”. We will then do the “PILOT TESTING AT TRANSNATIONAL LEVEL”. Next we will do the “GUIDELINES FOR MULTIPLIERS AND MULTIPLIERS EVENTS”. The guidelines will be released online and spread so that everyone can have access and implement the programme. Finally, we will create an “OPEN ACCESS ONLINE GROUP”, with the aim of creating a global network, where past participants can share what they have learned.

Project Impact and Outcome:

PARTICIPANTS, through this programme will have:

  • More KNOWLEDGE about themselves, namely, increased socio-educational/personal development, but also more knowledge about the state of the world (societal challenges), social entrepreneurship and the role of volunteering/solidarity and active citizenship in facing those challenges. They will learn more about Europe and Intercultural learning, EU opportunities and access to a European network.
  • Fostered SKILLS:
    • (a) SELF-KNOWLEDGE (recognizing one’s own abilities, values, motivation, managing expectations);
    • (b) LEARNING TO LEARN (setting individual goals and learning objectives);
    • (c)SOCIAL COMPETENCES (building trust, respect, tolerance, increasing self-confidence, working with different social groups whirls recognising the importance of volunteering opportunities);
    • (d) CIVIC COMPETENCES (be active as a citizen locally and learn how to recognise societal challenges and build local and global actions like volunteering projects)
    • (e) INTERPERSONAL/LEADERSHIP SKILLS (team work and cooperation, conflict management, decision making, leadership, accepting responsibility);
    • (f) ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS (planning, time management, team communication and cooperation, problem solving); COMMUNICATION SKILLS (expressing ideas, listening actively, questioning, providing constructive opinion), as well as LANGUAGE SKILLS (English).
  • To share experiences, knowledge and good practices among countries, enhancing the work quality;
    • For their staff to be more skilled, following lifelong learning principles, and become more aware of how to work better and understand better the needs of NEETs;
  • Increase the attractiveness and acquire new tools/ methodologies with proved efficacy based on scientific evidence; To contact with others expertise areas and learn from them; Train soft skills in teamwork; Provide a transnational training not only to their staff, as well as to national youth workers that could meant future national partnerships! Strengthen transnational cooperation between organisations and staff, creating a strong networking and acquiring a European union mindset;
  • TARGET GROUPS (NEETS AND YOUTH WORKERS)
    • We’ll provide an open-access new methodology with proved efficacy and based on the variety of NEETs needs, that with the dissemination activities we intend to reach thousands of young workers and NEETs among Europe.
    • Training youth workers, we’ll achieve, indirectly, among 300 young people (at least 10 for each youth worker that we train on the pilot) as they’ll have a multiplier effect in their communities;

Our other Erasmus KA2 project can be found here: Erasmus MEW

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