Mind the GAP

Roxana, our volunteer’s coordinator, took part in the seminar “Mind the Gap!”, the first activity of Y-E-N Work Plan „INCLUSION EXPRESS” which took place in BRCKO, Bosnia and Herzegovina from the 19th to the 25th of April 2015 gathering 25 participants from 17 countries.

During the project young people with fewer opportunities and youth/social workers met in order to take a snapshot of the present situation to prepare the campaign. They will also shared their experience and practices in looking for inclusive solutions.

The objectives of this seminar were:

– To develop a common vision of the “Inclusion Express” campaign;

– To take a snapshot of the present situation & to prepare the campaign: What are the aim, objectives & strategy of this campaign? How to develop campaign tools (message, slogan, leaflets, posters, and promotional material and press toolkit)?

– To share, learn and collect good practices on social inclusion of young people based on experience and expertise of the young people and youth/social workers;

– To raise awareness on the impact of youth work as a tool to actively promote social inclusion.

The seminar was be based on several interactive activities prepared by the facilitators, using non-formal education, and it was participants-centred.

Some elements of the programme: getting to know each other; mapping social exclusion, collecting life experiences of overcoming social exclusion; theoretical inputs and clarification/definition of concepts such as inclusion, exclusion; sharing inclusive methods in youth work (“ITINERAR-Y-E-N” results); field visits; theoretical inputs about campaigning; producing campaign materials; planning the next steps and developing new project ideas; a work session dedicated to the role and functions of CoE and EYF; final general evaluation concerning the activities, expectations, objectives, facilitators and food and accommodation.

INCLUSION EXPRESS is a European campaign for social inclusion of young people coordinated by Youth Express Network, a European network that our organization is part of since 2009. This annual work plan is one of the strategic actions for our YEN. It aims at raising awareness about the situation of socially excluded young people, advocating and lobbying for their inclusion and striving the society to take concrete actions towards this goal. We would like to use this work plan as a travelling caravan on the European continent to empower young people to know their rights and youth/social workers to support them to defend these rights and advocate for inclusive youth policies in Europe.

It consists of 3 activities:

– the Mind the gap seminar in BRCKO, Bosnia and Herzegovina in April 2015 to “re-launch” the campaign and to take a snapshot of the present situation

– A training for trainers in MILCOVENI, Romania in July 2015 to develop competencies for campaign activists and to strengthen their capacity to prepare and carry out European and local educational activities about inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities;

– A mobile evaluation meeting in STRASBOURG (France) and BRUSSELS (Belgium) including final conferences to present our results to other youth NGOs, policymakers, stake-holders mid-November 2015.

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