Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA)
Policy Officer, DG EAC, European Commission
Secretary General, European Youth Forum
Vice-President, Erasmus Student Network
Europe4Youth seeks to support young people in discovering and realising their full potential in personal, social and public life in the spirit of empowerment and partnership. Hence their activities can be identified in four key areas: youth information and support; training active young people, in particular through the “Youth Leadership School”; non-formal education projects and its introduction to youth workers, schools and teachers and support to decision-makers in the field of youth.
The project “EurodeskWEB” provided new tools and skills that benefited the Network of Eurodesk multipliers in Poland. It helped them reinforce online visibility of youth information and at the same time the project was brought physically to rural areas in Poland to make information accessible to disadvantaged backgrounds.
Thus, the project relied on two ways to spread information about European opportunities and mobilities. On the one hand, the digital info-campaign relied on social media through creative tools to attract young people’s attention such as Facebook Streams, interactive Instagram Stories or a spinning wheel of fortune. On the other hand, the organisation hosted outdoor picnics in small villages which gathered around 276 young people in total and which served as opportunities to inform them about European opportunities and show them what positive impact the EU has in their daily lives and future.
The impact continued after physical events since many participants contacted the organisations afterwards to get involved in their projects and continue discovering the perks of the EU.
L’EUROPA IN CITTÀ
PHOTO-BIKE ORIENTEERING IN BALDONE
The Association “Creative Minds for Culture” (CMC) is a youth non-governmental organisation founded in 2014 by young people. Its goal is to promote the active civic participation of young people and students in Latvian and international developments. Its main target group is youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Making use of non-formal education methods, the organisation prepares various activities on topics of interest to young people who gain valuable non-formal experience for themselves. In 2017, CMC was approved by the Ministry of Education and Science as a Youth Organisation meaning that it is an organisation where two thirds of its members are children and young people, and where they are involved in the board of the association.
“Photo-bike orienteering in Baldone” was organised as part of the Eurodesk “Time To Move” campaign by the regional coordinator of Eurodesk Latvia, the organisation Creative Minds For Culture, and two Eurodesk information centres.
The event was organised in three parts: finding 11 objects and places according to the pictures; solving questions and tasks about the 11 Youth Goals, and a final informal chat about youth awareness on EU opportunities which served as a moment to deliver the awards. The occasion was optimal to raise awareness of 11 Youth goals and inform young people about the opportunities offered by EU programmes.
This project particularly targeted young people with fewer opportunities such as those living in rural areas, those with learning difficulties, or coming from a socio-economic disadvantaged background with no prior experience or knowledge of the opportunities of EU programs. Thus, bicycles were provided free of charge to those who do not own a personal bicycle thanks to cooperating with the “Latvian Mountain Bike Association”.
In total 52 young people participated and received fine information about EU opportunities in a safe environment which in turn helped the local community to further appreciate youth involvement.
Share the summer - Bingo!
Jaunuoliu dienos centras (JDC) is a social service institution that was established in 1996 by Panevezys Town Council in Lithuania. It provides day activities for disabled youngster’s including severe and moderate physical and intellectual impairment over 18 years of age. These activities include small work tasks, drama, art, sport, IT and informal education. It seeks to foster the uniqueness of each person while working towards the integration of disabled people into society.
“Share the summer – Bingo!” was organised as an event to acquaint young people with mental disabilities about mobility opportunities at national level. Taking place during the pandemic, it was key to have the chance to host the activity in an open-air location and break the isolation pattern that had been imposed by the pandemic to alleviate its toll on youngsters’ mental wellbeing.
During the event, 40 participants accompanied by 17 social workers, enjoyed learning how to organise sustainable trips while taking part actively in the bingo game. Thanks to gathering participants in a safe environment, they could share experiences and discuss their views on mobility with peers.
The Association Alfa Albona is a non-profit and non-political association of young people which aims to promote the interests and activities of youth. The main areas of work are youth information, youth mobility and social entrepreneurship. On top of that, the association participates actively in the field of youth work in general, non-formal education, human rights, culture and volunteering.
“Magic boxes” is a storytelling and visual activity designed by young people for young people. The activity dynamics linked artwork magic boxes with mobility items to inform and inspire participants about youth work and mobility opportunities. Building on non-formal methodologies, “Magic boxes” is stimulating and engaging for participants who discover opportunities at their reach embedded in wider topics such as human rights, diversity, or European citizenship to name a few.
As it was designed by 5 volunteers from 4 different countries to take place outdoors it complied with prevention measures to tackle the pandemic and was free and accessible to everyone. Thanks to the promotion of “Magic boxes” and general activities of the organisation, around 6,000 young people received quality youth information.
The EIZ Rostock (European Integration Center) is an educational organisation in the heart of the Hanseatic and University City of Rostock. The organisation offers political and general education about Europe for everyone, using various formats: from panel discussions and workshops to YouTube videos and podcasts.
As an accredited supporting and sending organisation in the European Solidarity Corps and Eurodesk partner, international youth work and mobilities are at the core of the organisation’s activities.
“#RescueEU” consisted of developing and creating a digital escape game about the European Union. Initially, it was conceived as an offline initiative to inform about the EU, but the pandemic boosted a transformation into a digital format.
Hence playing the game took 60 minutes, participants had to turn off filter systems preventing “good news” about and from the EU. Those filters are protected by codes that need to be cracked. This could be achieved after decoding a QR code, solving puzzles and crosswords, filling in the blanks, finding pairs, or finding true or false statements. It was suitable for young people aged 14 years and over.
The game was tested in two schools, whose students participated actively in providing feedback for improving the game and once they had played, they could evaluate their experience in terms of enjoyment of the tool, new learnings about the EU or the puzzles’ level.
I PROJECT AT HOME
Malik is a non-profit association founded in Sardegna in 2004 which aims to combine local activity in a global vision conducive to cultural, artistic, social and environmental development, particularly in promoting youth opportunities.
Furthermore, since 2008 it coordinates the project “Backpack Desk”, aimed to connect to European young people having geographical barriers and to promote their active and European citizenship, facilitating their participation in transnational projects related to training, education, job, volunteering and mobility. It became a Eurodesk Office in 2015, and through a Moving desk, it brings information about European opportunities in rural areas where youth opportunities are more difficult to arrive.
The organisation had to change the message of encouragement for young people to go abroad by asking them to stay at home due to the pandemic. Yet the organisation came up with a plan to train youngsters on how to apply for solidarity projects under the European Solidarity Corps. Hence the six workshops hosted between April and May under the project “I project at home” were just the starting point for a greater involvement in volunteering.
As a result of the participation of 30 young people, 3 concrete projects on active citizenship and tackling social exclusion in response to the needs of their local communities were created by participants.
More importantly, by using non-formal education methods, the 3 projects are set in motion: The “No distance” project has already run questionnaires and plans 2 info days on didactics and technology and 32 gamification meetings for children; the project “Ayo” has started an information campaign at local schools for a total of 10 meetings in which are involved 100 students, and the project “(A) social Networks” has collected 272 questionnaires, created a video challenge involving 20 local associations and prepares its involvement in volunteering fairs.
Volontariato Torino (Vol.To) is the Volunteer Support Centre of Turin. It is an umbrella non-profit organisation with 158 member organisations and a network of more than 1,300 associations. It provides assistance to third sector entities by providing free services such as training, consultancy, and planning assistance. Vol.To has as mission to qualify and support volunteers in order to enable them to seize opportunities and take individual paths of development. To achieve that, it develops projects increasing interest in voluntary work and builds tailor-made learning paths on the needs of volunteers. Vol.To became the official Eurodesk local point of Turin in 2016.
The project “#OnlineFaMaleUguale” was created as a campaign to tackle one harsh reality identified among youth: over 50% of boys and girls between 11 and 17 years old report to have been bullied and, among those who use mobile phones, 22.2% report to have been victims of cyberbullying (according to the Italian Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics).
So “#OnlineFaMaleUguale” was conceived as a new information campaign to study cyberbullying and to raise awareness about it. The project was carried out by 4 young women (Lorenza, Rebecca, Amal and Giulia) between 20 and 30 years old who were participating in the Italian National Civil Service program at Vol.To in 2020. They successfully merged the study of a phenomenon with the activation of young people in an issue essential for them.
This active engagement of young people implied the creation of a short guide (“Do and Don’t”) including actions to carry out or to avoid when facing cyberbullying. The guide was accompanied by cyber defense “video pills”, shared on our Eurodesk local point’s social media.
The project was possible thanks to 153 respondents to the questionnaire who informed the guide and video pills to handle cyberbullying across Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter and Youtube. Additionally, 9 infographics “#SeLiConosciLiEviti” were published, with an average coverage of 100 people reached per post on Facebook and Instagram.
PRONI Center for Social Education is a non-profit organisation founded in 1998 to improve the living conditions of young people, by opening choices and raising awareness on existing opportunities. Its vision is a society where young people are able to actively participate in making the decisions affecting them, thus taking responsibility in the process of social change.
“Eurodesk Lunapark” came up as a result of the cooperation between PRONI and Europe Direct Osijek. It was embedded in the “Time To Move” campaign 2020 to provide quality information about Erasmus+, Eurodesk Opportunities and theEuropean Solidarity Corps to young people.
Thus, the format of the “Eurodesk Lunapark” included fun games and conversations with representatives of the organisations which could provide more concrete information and guidance. Some of the games that were included as part of the activity were: a treasure hunt, the wheel of fortune, the “Looking at the future” questionnaire to find out what mobility suits them best, and “Reach your star game” which helped young people to discover which country they would visit first. These activities were developed with the help of volunteers and materials will be useful for upcoming activities promoting mobility opportunities for young people.
In total - and due to limitations on gatherings - 25 young people could enjoy and have fun at “Eurodesk Lunapark”, but the initiative gained traction from local media and was reported on the radio and TV.
IN SEARCH OF MONA LISA
The Youth office of Alaquàs municipality works providing youth information in several areas from outdoor activities targeting young people to information at schools.
The project “En busca de la Mona Lisa” is an online escape room which takes participants on a tour of European cities and museums where they have to try to find Mona Lisa. The idea was born in the middle of the pandemic, when three European Solidarity Corps volunteers who were working in the municipality of Alaquàs had to stay at home due to the lockdown. Nonetheless they put their creativity to work and the escape room became a reality.
“En busca de la Mona Lisa” employs an inclusive language and brings European cultural heritage closer to everyone thanks to the cooperation of volunteers from different nationalities. It stimulated interest and curiosity for European culture in a moment where it was not possible to travel, so it helped to distract young people from the imposed stillness.
After 14 days of hard work to develop the online escape room, it was made available for anyone with internet access, and so far more than 2,600 people have played this unique escape room online. It remains active and continuously updated so more and more people can enjoy the escape room.
CTC Rijeka is a non-profit non government registered organisation, founded in 1993, with the aim of encouraging and promoting technical education, computer science, and culture in general. To achieve that it organises activities in order to stimulate the interest of children, youth, workers and other citizens in areas of scientific, technical and IT culture with application in business and everyday life. It promotes scientific, technical, IT and cultural achievements. All activities of the association are carried out by a professional team which is supported by contractors and volunteers.
Thus the game started by scanning the QR code that opens a website where players can briefly read the history of the QR location and find out which famous person (Ernesto Guevara, Fiorello La Guardia, Carmen Sylve, etc.) is connected to that spot and learn about the way they got there. It was designed as an outdoor activity to allow everyone who wished to participate and comply with measures in place to tackle the pandemic.
“Adventure game” received broad press coverage: it was published in local media, and national television and 10,000 got to know the project through social media.
C’ERANO UNA VOLTA IL MASCHILE E IL FEMMINILE
Servizio Politiche Giovanili, Sport e Associazionismo brings together the different areas of work related to youth under the offices Agenzia Eurodesk, the Office for Young People and the Information Service. Their services target people between 11 and 29 years old. Among their activities are the promotion of European programmes for youth, information provision and guidance for those who aim to enter the labour market and pursue their passion. On top of that, Agenzia Eurodesk collaborates with student representatives from the region to inform them about the opportunities from which they can benefit.
Building on a long-lasting cooperation with Assessorato alle Pari Opportunità about gender equality, the project “C’erano una volta il maschile e il femminile” was born to encourage youngsters to pursue their dreams regardless gender stereotypes. The EU Gender Equality Strategy was put at the core of the idea which used storytelling and interviews to produce a video aimed to inform and inspire.
The video was key to break stereotypes and put at the front positive examples of personal experiences. In turn, it also served to complement several activities (workshops, training, orientation courses) aimed to inform people and support them in looking for opportunities to follow their vocation.
Additionally, the use of social media to promote the video helped spread its message -in February 2021, the video had 956 views on the Facebook page. Thanks to on-site activities, more teachers and students got to know Eurodesk and its opportunities that they were not aware of before.
Stadtjugendring Ulm e.V./Eurodesk Ulm
Dun Laoghaire Youth Information Service (Crosscare)
Cross Culture International Foundation
Asociación Cultural Ingalicia
PlanBe Plan it Be it
Ayuntamiento de Alaquàs
Viljandi Open Youth Centre
Cultural Center of the Municipality of Šilalė District
Fundacja Centrum Aktywności Twórczej (Fundacja CAT)
Crosscare Clondalkin Youth Information Centre
Asociación Ser Joven
Tukums county Multifunctional Youth Initiative center
Bodrum Dance Youth Culture and Sports Club Association
Palanga Students Club
Kerry Diocesan Youth Service EurÓg KDYS Youth Information
System and Generation
"Youth and Civil Initiatives in the Rose Valley" NGO
EIZ Rostock e.V. / Eurodesk Rostock
Jaunuoliu dienos centras
Alūksne Children and Youth Centre (ACYC)
Europe4Youth, Fundacja Sempre a Frente, Fundacja EBU, Zespół Szkół Budowlanych w Koninie
Association Alfa Albona
Servizio Politiche Giovanili, Sport e Associazionismo (Comune di San Vito al Tagliamento)
Youth of Europe Association - Európa Ifjúsága Egyesület
D2 Youth Center
Associazione Link APS - Parco Nazionale dell'Alta Murgia
Centre of technical culture Rijeka
PIJ de Moulins (managed by VILTAIS)
Creative Minds For Culture
Comune Di Sarezzo
Youth Information Centre of Paphos
Agenzia Eurodesk dei Comuni del Distretto Sanitario di Ozieri
Eurodesk Brussels Link
Rue aux Fleurs 32
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