On 11-15 September 2023, the Council of Europe project "Youth for Democracy in Ukraine: Phase III", in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, organised third training of a series of training seminars on social cohesion and barrier-free environment in the youth sector. The programme is based on the experience of the Project in 2022 and developed Manual for training on social cohesion and barrier-free environment in the youth sector.
Youth workers of national, regional and local youth centres of Ukraine of any form of ownership, specialists of departments responsible for the implementation of youth policy are invited to participate.
On the first day of training, the participants of the event were greeted by Natalya Rudnytska, Deputy Head of the Youth Policy Department of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine. Ms. Rudnytska stressed the importance of this event, the purpose of which is to strengthen the competencies of representatives of youth centres, public organisations and local self-government bodies working in the youth sphere in providing barrier-free space in working with young people to achieve social cohesion.
During homework, participants:
- got acquainted with the content of the National Strategy for Barrier-Free Space in Ukraine until 2030 and identified three directions / tasks from the Strategy that are most important for their work with young people;
- carried out self-assessment of local youth policy on compliance with Council of Europe standards on inclusion and access of young people to rights, using both local documents defining youth policy and internal documents of the organisation or youth centre.
Also on the first day, participants explored the concepts of "human rights", "access to human rights", "youth work" and the concept of social cohesion in the field of youth work and its connection with human rights.
The second day of training was devoted to the analysis of barriers to social cohesion in youth work, in particular stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination. Participants identified who young people in the community are, in particular those at risk of exclusion or vulnerability.
On the Constitution Day of Ukraine, the third day of the 5-day training, the training began with a simulation game to develop a strategy for strengthening social cohesion through youth work. The team of trainers developed an adaptation of the game "Red Lines" from the Lviv Regional Youth Centre. The game "Red Lines" was developed in 2021 in cooperation with the Council of Europe project "Youth for Democracy in Ukraine" and can be downloaded here. The second half of the day was devoted to studying the practices and experiences of outreach, detached, street, mobile youth work both in Ukraine and in other member states of the Council of Europe.
The fourth day began with the "Fair in Successful Youth Practices and Challenges on Social Cohesion". Among them the following practices were presented: restoration of the youth space in Ivankiv, MA- Centre (for young mothers) in Novoukrainka, the Cycling School project in the Khoroshiv community, the project "All different – all ours" in Bila Tserkva, the LeaderCamp project for young leaders of the Boyarka community, the cultural and artistic project "Just Gatherings" of the Lutsk Territorial Community, the "Suitcase" project to help combat prejudice against IDPs, the sex education project "Beware! Sex!" in Lutsk, Vyshyvanka Day in Pidberiztsi village community, the VilnoHub project and the Youth Participation Budget in Slavutych.
In the afternoon, participants became readers of the Living Library, organised on the basis of the methodology of the Council of Europe manual Don't Judge by the Cover. The Living Library provided an opportunity to meet the invited Books, who frankly shared their own stories and encounters with stereotypes and prejudices.
On the fifth day of training, participants met with Olena Chernykh, Senior Project Officer of the Council of Europe Project "Youth for Democracy in Ukraine" and explored the experience of the Council of Europe Youth Department, in particular the co-management system, opportunities of the European Youth Foundation and expert support of the Project.
Viktor Zolotarenko, representative of the All-Ukrainian Youth Centre, presented the activities and resources available to those who work with young people and young people themselves.
In the afternoon, participants developed their own joint initiatives to strengthen social cohesion and access of young people to rights in their work with young people.
In general, the training program combined synchronous learning (20 hours) and asynchronous online learning using the Moodle learning platform (7 hours).
- Details and training programs are available at the link – https://rm.coe.int/call-for-participants-tc-on-social-cohesion/1680abc17a
The Project «Youth for Democracy in Ukraine: Phase III» is carried out in the framework of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2023-2026 and was built on the results and experience of the projects “Youth for Democracy in Ukraine” in 2020-2022. The Project will extend the systematic influence by strengthening participatory youth policies and reinforce youth work in the war and in a post war context, taking into account the specific needs of young people.