Sharing examples of good practice of youth policy and youth work responses
GOOD PRACTICES DATABASE
Good practices of youth centres holding the Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres
Destelheide youth centre is a unique centre in Flanders, Belgium for youth, art and creativity. It holds the Council Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres since 2016. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus the centre can no longer be visited.
To reach out, the centre now brings their exhibition “Big and small heroes” by concert and portrait photographer Alex Vanhee to your living room through a digital package with some creative activities to do at home.
The exhibition is playful and interactive where both young and old can get acquainted with the work of the artist from different perspectives - e.g. show your stage performances as a real artist or take on the role of a concert photographer or sharpen your pen as a critical culture journalist.
The expo runs until 31 May 2020, learn more about Alex Vanhee and Destelheide’s online exhibition here.
#museumathome #quarantineart #staysafe #stayhome #beahero
The International Youth Centre in Stara Zagora was the first Bulgarian centre to receive the Council Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres in 2017. The centre has a special focus on working with youth groups from vulnerable settings. As a response to the Covid-19 crisis, the centre has been successful in reaching out to young people though online trainings and physical initiatives.
The online training on emotional intelligence allows the participants to share their emotions about the current crisis in a creative way and through different forms of art (drawing, singing, dancing, telling funny stories…). Led by an professional psychologist, participants experience role plays through which they examine alternative models of behaviour and emotional reactions in a safe and secure environment, with the purpose to understand oneself and to be able to express empathy and solidarity towards others.
At the initiative of young people, the centre has also started “the Daily Sport Challenge” to nourish a healthy spirit in a healthy body throughout the confinement. Each day a new physical challenge is posted on the centre’s Facebook page and youngsters can upload their individual video how they have fulfilled the task. The sharing of videos has set free a wave of creativity and ideas in solving the challenges, building a sense of an online community and the young people who are usually meeting in the centre are able to stay in regular touch.
The initiative has also inspired parents and children to take part in the daily activity for sport and exercise. More information about the initiative here
With considerable expertise in remembrance education, the wannseeFORUM youth centre has been actively participating in an international project to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
The wannseeFORUM youth centre is one of the Council of Europe Quality Labelled Youth Centres since 2019. The project ART WORKS! European Culture of Resistance and Liberation has been developed in cooperation with youth groups from the Centre of Contemporary History Melk Memorial, FH St. Pölten (Austria), the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb (Croatia), the Museion Bolzano (Italy) and the Association HASENHERZ (Austria).
The project is located at the intersection of artistic, cultural and historical-political youth education.
As a response to the current crisis, project owners decided to publish a collection of these works online, with special focus on human rights and democracy, resistance against fascism and the question of its significance to Europe.
The Lisbon Youth Centre, which is a part of the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth, received the Council Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres in 2015.
In order to communicate with youth groups during the current Covid-19 crisis, the centre has through its own digital channels (Facebook, instagram, website and Newsletter), developed a campaign on rights: #DIREITOATERDIREITOS (#RIGHTTOHAVERIGHTS), and identified ways of sharing content in various online formats: videos, training offers, workshops, webinars, infographics, emphasizing the right to training, the right to information, the right to culture, the right to music, etc….
The webinars addresses issues such as: ‘How the Sustainable Development Goals and Youth Goals complement and support the youth sector’; ‘Social innovation in the youth sector - how to reinvent organizations’ and ‘Council of Europe Youth Strategy 2030’.
The centre also contributes to the campaign of the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth #SERJOVEMEMCASA (#BEYOUNGATHOME) which takes place on social media (Facebook, Instagram…) and will provide information to the young population on a daily basis that can enrich their free time.
The 11th edition of the Bulgarian festival "Hello Health!" was held on 11 and 12 April. Due to the emergency measures of the Covid-19, the festival was held live on the festival’s Facebook page and succeeded to reach out to more than 4000 participants across the country.
The event, which is held annually in 17 different towns in Bulgaria, is dedicated to the healthy lifestyles. The participation of youth from Plovdiv was coordinated by the Youth Centre Plovdiv that holds the Council Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres since 2018.
The centre has a special focus on working with young people and healthy lifestyles.
This year’s festival programme included a youth panel titled "No day without a night: what supports us and our opportunities in days of uncertainty" which was organised by youth workers from Youth Centre Plovdiv, who shared examples on how to spend time at home productively, discuss natural ways to restore health and prevent diseases and the use of healthy products with young people.
In responding to the Covid-19 crisis, the Eurog KDYS in Killarney - which holds the the Council Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres since 2017 – has been strategic in its reorganisation of vital services to respond to the evolving needs of young people and communities in Kerry County in Ireland. As a response to this new normal, recent initiatives of the centre have included:
Data gathering and analysis of the number of young people who are currently being supported in crisis; the geographical spread of the community based responses; and the exact amount of time given to initiatives responding to Covid-19. The data also provides knowledge on how the centre can support the young people on an innovative and up to date basis.
KDYS online: the centre has reconfigured its website so it reflects the organisation’s work in the current climate. Recent initiatives uploaded have included KDYS Online Family Support Service, educational resources and KDYS’ Online Club - a weekly positive activity programme for young people and their families.
Media Campaigns: the centre is enjoying unprecedented levels of engagement across all its platforms and KDYS young people collaborated with colleagues in Italy on a Facebook video campaign entitled #iminandimstayingin, detailing common realities being experienced across Europe. See more here
The centre is about to launch a second video campaign on European citizenship and solidarity based on the experiences of a French ESC volunteer and how Covid-19 had impacted on his placement in Killarney. This scope of this campaign is to be broadened in the coming weeks to encompass the similar experiences of other ESC volunteers currently stationed across Ireland.
Since the lockdown started in Luxembourg by mid-March, the Marienthal Youth Centre which is an integral part of the National Youth Service in Luxembourg and quality labelled by the Council of Europe since 2018, have taken a number of initiatives to respond to the Covid-19 situation.
The initiative “Keeping kids active“ is a new website that provide ideas for activities for children of different ages during the confinement period. The website includes several categories of activities which are renewed daily: Use your Head, Be Creative, Caring for Others, Keep Moving, and Tinkering workshop. The website has been further developed with additional resources such as Links (virtual museum visits etc), Advice of the Day, Daily Motto, and Ideas for Keeping a Logbook - and even a magic activity offered by a Luxembourg magician performing on stage in Las Vegas. The website has been a collaboration of many people from the SNJ and with the involved the educational teams of Marienthal and Hollenfels youth centres. Up to date, the popular website has had 60.000 unique visitors.
A second website “Active at Home” was launched to provide ideas for families to keep active during the lockdown. It offers a series of easy physical activities than can be practiced indoors or outdoors, that include game elements for the younger users. The website has been set up in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports and another SNJ youth centre – the nautical base in Lultzhausen and their educational team. Up to this date the website has had 30.000 unique visitors.
Both websites are available in Luxembourgish and French.
Timisoara Youth House has been very active in introducing a variety of measures to counter negative impacts of the crisis. The centre, which youth led and holds the Council of Europe Quality Label since 2016, is placing huge emphasis on providing effective support to the community in cooperation with local authorities.
Based on the principles of participation and solidarity, the aim of the Youth Centres UP II is to bring together 270 young local and international volunteers and involve them in solidarity activities in Timisoara’s community and to set up another 10 local youth centres through the city’s neighbourhoods. Due to the current Covid-19 situation, the initial purpose of the project has been broadened, providing young people with the opportunity to take part in humanitarian actions.
The project takes up a wide range of activities as a response to Covid-19, such as providing support within the call centre of Timișoara’s Social Assistance Directorate; delivering pharmaceuticals, food etc. provided by the authorities to the elderly and to people in need; conducting campaigns to raise funds for the people in need in Timisoara. The project is funded by the European Solidarity Corps and implemented with the institutional cooperation with The Directorate of Social Assistance of Timisoara.
Eco Center Radulovački, is a youth centre in the town of Sremski Karlovci, Serbia and initiated by Vojvodina Environmental Movement. The youth centre has a special focus on developing sustainable local communities and is holding the Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth centres since 2015.
As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the centre initially focused on the local community and to shift their youth programme to online (youth) work. Regular online meetings have been organised with the aim to provide space to young people to stay informed, to share their experiences in an unprecedented situation and to meet their peers.
These meetings have also been a source of developing new online initiatives and to share volunteer stories. As a consequence, a digital youth club was recently created gathering young people from different local communities – for the purpose of organising game nights, cooking challenges etc. and compiling information on interesting and educational online activities. Further to this initiative, a national programme of youth clubs was recently launched together with the National Association of Youth Workers and other partners organisations in Serbia.
In addition, Eco Center Radulovački, organise webinars for other youth workers on how to use digital space to work with young people, with the focus on game platforms. Video tutorials have also been developed to explain how youth clubs work – these will soon be presented also on the website of the government as good practises.
Brežice Youth Centre which focuses on cultural youth activities, young entrepreneurship and intergenerational dialogue was the first youth centre in Europe to be quality labelled by the Council of Europe in 2013. As a response the Covid-19 situation, Brežice youth centre has adapted its working methods.
One of the centre’s main initiatives to respond to the crisis has been to coordinate the organisation of young volunteers who are supporting and helping the elderly population to go shop food, to pick up medicine from the pharmacies etc.
The centre has also organised actions where young people with their parents are sewing protection masks and then making sure that the mask are delivered to the Civil Protection Services in the region. The centre also continues to find innovative way to carry on the implementation of the regional project “Youth Incubator” that aims at ensuring a sustainable integration of young people into the labour market and enabling personal and professional development of young people.