One of the major issues contemporary democracies face in in Europe is the political disengagement of the young people when it comes to traditional politics or organizational membership. Young people are very engaged by in non-organisational structures, like initiatives. They have a resistance to formal membership usually, and engage more spontaneously, for a certain specific curse, time-limited, through “passive” support via social media (like, dislike, comment or share) and usually expect instant gratification, which is difficult in political and societal changes. For the project partners youth participation includes voting in national and European elections but goes also beyond traditional politics. The project partners determine political participation among young people as (A) any lawful activities undertaken by citizens that will or aim at influencing, changing or affecting the government, public policies, or how institutions are run and (B) a diverse range of activities such as people being members of different organisations, participating in cultural organisations, or activities, signing petitions, protesting, contacting politicians, social media campaigning, engaging online, etc.
The rise of the social networks have transformed the way young people become engaged. Yet, in the youth organisations there are youth professionals who are still used in working with traditional methods of participation like for example signing handwritten petitions on paper (when today everything moves into online petitions), or supporting the organisation of foot demonstrations (when most campaigns happen on the social media).
With our project we wish to address the need of youth professionals for continuous professional development with a focus on competences to support the active participation of the young people. Furthermore, we wish to address the fact that traditional education and youth work methods are not attractive to modern young people; especially those with fewer opportunities (like early school leavers, and people with disadvantaged backgrounds) who are often feeling uncomfortable in formal settings.
Aims – Objectives – Outcomes
The overall aim of the project is the promotion of active youth participation through youth work. To achieve this aim, the partners will first work on the competence development of youth professionals (youth workers, youth trainers, mentors of ESC volunteers).
Specific objectives (SO): SO1 To understand the level, depth and dimensions of integration of the political dimension into the trainers’ work in the partner countries (with the implementation of Research).
SO2 To build on the capacity of the youth organisation in managing active citizenship initiatives by developing the competences of young voluntary coordinators and young volunteers.
SO3 To learn how to use innovative methods which are attractive to the young people with fewer opportunities in order to stimulate youth participation in general but also with a focus on contemporary issues which affect Human Rights such as a) Democracy & human rights b) Fighting anti-Semitism & anti-Islamism, c) Gender equality & rights to sexuality, d) Climate change.
SO4 To enable youth workers understand the social media and to provide them with tools and procedures to run successful online campaigns together with the youth on issues that affect the youth and the societies they live in.
The direct target group of our project is youth professionals (youth workers, youth trainers, mentors of ESC volunteers). The end beneficiaries of our project are young people with a focus on those with fewer opportunities. The predominant view in the literature is that social class and educational history appear to be crucial predictors of political engagement. Especially when it comes to youth participation in politics, education and social class have most bearing on levels of youth political engagement, where the length of time a person has been in full-time education has a crucial impact on their political participation.
UPRAISE is an opportunity for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Many youth professionals have had little or no training in new methodologies and the project will not only build on their work-related competences but also build on their self-confidence. The training provided will provide the participants with a Toolbox of really innovative methods and tools to inspire and support youth participation in voluntary initiatives for causes that really interest the young people today; (a) Democracy & human rights, b) Fighting anti-Semitism & anti-Islamism, c) Gender equality & rights to sexuality, and d) Climate change). After the training, the participants will multiply the tools by sharing them during new training events in the project countries. They will enrich their toolbox with “analog” non-formal tools to attract and engage young people with fewer opportunities for which formal methods and settings are not working. These methods are a. Lego Serious Play, b. Photovoice, c. Theatre of the Oppressed, d. Kahoot! Quizzes (I.O.3).
Young people with fewer opportunities: being an active citizen and an active volunteer starts with the individual. The impact of the project on young people with fewer opportunities will be the building of those key personality traits that are associated with passion to bring about social change, empathy for the most vulnerable and tolerance for those who are different. The tools and resources developed by the project will support the active participation in a practical way. The young people will gain specific tools to work with some of the topics that concern them the most today: (a) Democracy & human rights, b) Fighting anti-Semitism & anti-Islamism, c) Gender equality & rights to sexuality, and d) Climate change).
UPRAISE in-service training for Youth Workers presentation
“UPRAISE in-service training for Youth Workers” in Romania
The in-service training for youth workers will comprise a total of 50 hours of learning. This will include a special 3 day (plus 2 days for travel), 25- hour training programme focusing on using the “UPRAISE Training toolkit” to enhance youth participation and practicing the methods of a. Lego Serious Play, b. Photovoice, c. Theatre of the Oppressed, d. Kahoot! Quizzes.
The topics to be addressed are: a) Democracy & human rights b) Fighting anti-Semitism & anti-Islamism c) Gender equality & rights to sexuality (meaning being open to diverse sexual orientation) d) Climate change
The training methodology will be a combination of:
self-driven online learning (during the 25 hours of learning prior to the training activity);
non-formal education participatory methods and techniques (during the activity);
face-to-face instruction on the use of specific online tools.
Multiplier Events presentation
Multiplier Events will be organised during the UPRAISE project to present our work!