On 8-10 and 15-17 June 2021, representatives of fourteen youth centres - partners of the Council of Europe project “Youth for Democracy in Ukraine” took part in a training seminar on strengthening youth participation and civic engagement.
Long-term training for the teams of partner centres takes place within the third stage of the “Revitalizing Youth Centres and Youth Work” component. In the previous stages, the teams of youth centres, with the expert research support of the project, analysed the state of youth work in centres and non-formal education programmes with the participation of young people, focusing on civic engagement and opportunities for young people.
The developed methodology is based on the Council of Europe standards in the field of youth, primarily, on the Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers on:
- the access of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods to social rights, CM/Rec(2015)3;
- young people's access to rights, CM/Rec(2016)7;
- youth work, CM/Rec(2017)4;
- participation of young people in local and regional life, Rec (2004)13.
The training is a seminar aimed at strengthening competencies of the representatives of youth centres – partners of the Council of Europe project "Youth for Democracy in Ukraine" to improve the quality of youth work based on the Council of Europe's approaches to youth participation and non-formal education.
Thanks to the professional work of the project training team composed of Nazar Boiarskyi, Aliona Glazkova, Olha Donets, Yulia Yelfimova, it was possible to create space for competence development of the representatives of fourteen youth centres – partners of the Council of Europe project “Youth for Democracy in Ukraine” in the areas of strengthening youth participation and civic engagement, involving various young people and creating a safe and inclusive space in the youth centre, implementing gender-sensitive approaches in youth work, non-formal education and organisational development, monitoring and evaluation of educational programmes. The teams of the youth centres received and studied the content of the manuals “Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres” translated into Ukrainian, in particular through the analysis of the Council of Europe Quality Label criteria application for their youth centres.
On the first day of the training, Antje Rotemund, the Head of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, welcomed the participants of the training seminar and outlined the news in the youth policy field.
Maryna Popatenko, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, took the floor with a welcoming speech and news of the legislation in the field of youth policy of Ukraine.
The training seminar also involved the performance of the individual and team homework by representatives of youth centres, including an introduction into the Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio and self-assessment based on the competence structure in the Portfolio, as well as elaborating a training and development plan to set goals for self-improvement.
It should be emphasized that one of the essential elements of the “Revitalizing Youth Centres and Youth Work” component, within which training is conducted, is to ensure the prerequisites for mutual learning and networking between youth centres on local, regional and national levels from different oblasts of Ukraine.
Thus, the methodology of the training seminar involved the spaces for the exchange of youth work practices implemented in the youth centres – project partners and to discuss the possibilities of these practices in order to strengthen youth participation and civic engagement.
Centres – partners of the Council of Europe project “Youth for Democracy in Ukraine”:
- State Institution “All-Ukrainian Youth Centre”
- Oblast Public Institution “Volyn Oblast Youth Centre”
- Donetsk Oblast Children and Youth Centre
- Lviv Oblast Council Public Institution “Lviv Oblast Youth Centre”
- Vinnytsia Oblast Youth Centre “Kvadrat”
- Lviv City Youth Centre
- Khmelnytskyi City Youth Centre
- Novomoskovsk City Cultural and Educational Centre for Children and Youth
- Public Institution of the Kyiv City Council Executive Body (Kyiv City State Administration) “Kyiv Youth Centre”
- Non-Governmental Organisation “Okhtyrka Youth Centre”
- Leisure Centre of the Department for Culture and Tourism of the Varash City Council Executive Committee
- Public Institution of the Nizhyn City Council in Chernihiv Oblast “Nizhyn City Youth Centre”
- Public Institution of the Sumy City Council “Sumy City Youth Leisure Centre”
- Novohrad-Volynskyi City Youth Centre
The project will further provide institutional and educational support to the teams of the youth centres, as well as work closely with the teams of the centres to ensure the preparation of project ideas for reformatting/reviewing/improving the work and principles of youth centres based on strengthening youth participation and civic engagement.
Other youth centres in Ukraine are expected to be informed about the experience of this pilot component of the Project. The centres' achievements will become the basis for proposing changes to the national standards and recommendations for youth centres on forming an inclusive and attractive environment for young people in youth centres.
It should be recalled that in 2020 the project “Youth for Democracy in Ukraine” in coordination with the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Ukraine translated a series of publications of “Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres” - a comprehensive review of quality standards for youth centres.
- “The Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres. Good Practices in Youth Centres” manual is available at https://bit.ly/2WE2gRa
- “The Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres. The Role, Value and Impact of Youth Centres” is available at https://bit.ly/3haocx1
- “The Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres. Quality Management in Youth Centres” is available at https://bit.ly/3nKsNbx
The Project “Youth for Democracy in Ukraine” is implemented within the framework of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018-2022 and is based on previous experience and fruitful bilateral cooperation between the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Ukraine within the Framework Programme on Cooperation between the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Ukraine in the Field of Youth Policy for 2016-2020.