YOUTH.TOGETHER is a long term training course (LTTC) for youth workers, young refugees and social workers/educators active in reception and hosting centres for minors, or other social and educational facilities for, or involving, young refugees, especially those in transition to adulthood .
The LTTC training model was developed in the European Youth Centre of the Council of Europe in the 1990s to support representatives of youth NGOs to develop and implement more effective projects. The essence of the LTTC training approach is experiential learning and learning by doing (normally built on 3 phases).
The first phase is an introduction seminar building a common learning platform and giving initial training inputs. A special focus is given to how to plan and develop a project with young people/refugees. This phase is at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg from 25 November to 2 December 2018.
The second phase focuses in the project implementation. Participants go back to their local context and further develop their project with their target groups. Sometimes, the experience of the introduction seminar inspires a revision, and adjustments might be needed. During this phase, participants are also invited to network, use peer to peer learning, use e‐learning platforms and interim meetings. Individual participants are also encouraged and supported financially to visit fellow trainees and learn from their project experiences independently.
The very last phase of a LTTC is the evaluation seminar. This brings the group back together to evaluate their experiences collectively and to identify further training needs that can be addressed on the spot and later through other opportunities. New projects can be developed, or new training activities planned. A common result is also that participants keep in touch and form networks of mutual support for future projects. The evaluation seminar should be held at the European Youth Centre Budapest in November/December 2019.
Each participant in the course is:
- An individual learner with specific relevant experiences
- A peer for other participants and a source of learning and inspiration for them,
- An activist for the human rights of young refugees and an advocate for social inclusion who is committed to bring about change through a local project,
- A potential future partner for youth work and youth policy actions with young refugees.
The individual learning path of each participant is planned with a team of trainers and experts of the Council of Europe. An initial self‐assessment of competences will constitute the basis of an individual learning plan/path. Additional learning features and possibilities may be considered to respond to the needs and aspirations of each individual participant.
The Council of Europe will issue certificates of participation and individual portfolios of achievement during the course. In addition to this formal recognition, the participants of the LTTC will be encouraged to network with other actors at national and European level and, to the extent of their intentions, to integrate or constitute networks of activists and advocates for the social inclusion of young refugees for the same of human rights and social cohesion across Europe.
The programme of the LTTC will have a specific focus on human rights education and the situation of young refugees, notably:
- Ability to work with young people in difficult/precarious life situation and having experiences of trauma,
- Awareness of and ability to work under pressure of different legal status of young people,
- Understanding and capacity to work with young refugees facing difficulties in access to rights,
- Work with young refugees in transition to adulthood,
- Mediating conflict and ambiguous situations caused by cultural misunderstanding, prejudice and stereotyping,
- Awareness of international and European instruments to protect rights of young refugees,
- Understanding of and ability to operate with European and national youth policy frameworks when working with young refugees especially in transition.
During the course each participant develops a local or national youth work project for the social inclusion of young refugees. Each project addresses a specific situation or challenge by young refugees, or by local communities, in a given specific social context. Each project must comply with the following criteria:
- Support the social inclusion of young refugees, preferably at local level by applying a rights-based approach
- Be based on non-formal education and youth work
- Be planned and implemented with the active involvement and participation of young refugees and, where relevant, other young people beneficiaries or participants in the project and reflects their needs
- Seek to involve vulnerable groups of refugees and migrants, such as children, unaccompanied minors, young women, young people identifying with LGBTQ, young people with disabilities
- Consider a consistent project cycle (needs analysis, preparation, implementation, evaluation…)
- Contain specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-framed (SMART) objectives
- Have a clear action plan and consistent activities
- Be based on realistic expected results and foresee time for follow-up
- Be potentially feasible.
The Council of Europe does not provide funding for projects; this is the responsibility of the participants and their sending organisations. In the philosophy of the it is recommended that local partnerships be developed to enable the projects feasibility, especially in view of securing their sustainability and impact.
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The sending organisations are true partners in the LTTC and each participant must be supported or sponsored by an organisation or institution within which s/he work or operates as a collaborator, worker, leader or volunteer.
The support of the partner organisation is essential as it provides the participants the framework to learn, develop and implement their project. It is also the organisations that provide a specific expertise and experience and values that make the LTTC projects for social inclusion, human rights and citizenship.
Finally, it is expected that the LTTC participants and the beneficiaries of their projects will remain active and advocate for social inclusion.