The Association of deaf and hard of hearing is implementing another project within the scope of Erasmus+ program since May 2018 under the title „Youth (work) without borders“. It’s a training course funded by Agency for mobility and EU projects through Erasmus+ program.
TC “Youth (work) without borders” aims to enable participants to explore and develop the understanding of the concept and factors of youth work and non-formal learning. It will address the need present throughout whole Europe for competent nonformal education practitioners in civil society (youth workers, trainers, facilitators, youth leaders) who will be equipped to run educational activities for youth based on the values of the European Union and the Council of Europe, tailor-made for their local realities and the needs of specific target groups.
Todays’ challenges require professional or volunteering youth workers to adapt to changing circumstances while remaining true to the core principles of youth work. The Declaration of the 2nd European Youth Work Convention emphasizes that while youth work has political and financial support in some countries, it has fallen victim to austerity measures and indifference in others, which causes lack of opportunities to train and equip new practitioners. The challenges of funding, recognition and credibility youth work and nonformal education as its core approach face, as well as the changing sociopolitical and economic landscape, have created the need to promote them while boosting their quality.
Nonformal education has proven to be powerful in providing youth the opportunity to grow personally and professionally in a learning process that is participatory and engaging, yet its pre-request are youth workers and other NFL practitioners able to provide appropriate activities. Although non-formal learning is a fundamental underlying concept of programmes and funding schemes such as Erasmus + and the European Youth Foundation, many implementing actors in these programmes in pedagogic terms rather seem to imitate what they have seen and have been told, without fully understanding it.
Hence, we have designed this training program to provide members, employees, volunteers and / or associates of partner organizations with the knowledge and skills needed for competent design and implementation of educational activities within nonformal education.
The project is being implemented in partnership with 8 different organizations: YEU from Cyprus, Hellenic Youth Participation from Greece, Equamente from Italy, Viesoji istaiga Kauno ivairiu tautu kulturu centras from Lithuania, AKTO from Portugal, ASOCIATIA TINERII 3 D from Romania, Fixmedia from Slovenia and AC Amics de la Biblioteca de la Fonteta from Spain.
After the selection of participants we entered the preparation phase of the training and we are currently conducting a survey on the needs of young people in the local community and the situation of youth work in all involved communities. The results of the research will be used for the purpose of developing new educational methods and tools in order to increase the quality of educational activities provided by the organizations involved at the local level.
This TC will provide a significant contribution to participants in the improvement of their competences as they will gain comprehensive knowledge about the learning process, group dynamic, nonformal learning methodology, youth work, YouthPass, 8 KC frameworks and acquire skills needed to transfer them into practice, thereby enhancing the quality of youth work. Furthermore, in order to ensure sustainability, this TC will provide the participants with a coached and structured opportunity to elaborate a professional and personal development plan based on competencies and values.
This will ensure strong impact in all the societies involved and beyond because it will raise awareness on the topic and a higher public interest in nonformal education and its benefits.