"To fully implement all visions and changes it will take a lot of patience and hard work as well as constant following of the desires of youth and their demands. The exact methods I don’t think will ever be certain but with a careful combination of the place, situation and time while combining old and new ways it can easily be achieved."
- Dime Elenov, North Macedonia
EUROPEAN YOUTH FORUM
The European Youth Forum supports implementing political recognition of Youth Work with 47 countries of Council of Europe they agreed that Youth Work should be promoted and developed at the national level of member countries. This can be implemented by being more networked with international organisations. As well as be more aware of and connected with the young people, young workers that are participating in the projects and work. It needs to be implemented while being well connected and knowing what is needed to provide the quality youth work and being aware of all of this process that would address the challenges, this allows implementation to have more impact with initiatives at a local level.
EU-COE YOUTH PARTNERSHIP
According to the European Union-Council of Europe Partnership, the Mapping of existing tools and practice and the Compendium of testimonies/stories are both direct outcomes of their Plan of Action and likewise other actions proposed, they are embedded in at least two of the seven headings of their Plan of Action: political process, promotion and campaign. The Mapping and the Compendium aims to more precisely respond to: promotion, campaigns and knowledge. Indirectly, working on those products also means to tackle one more ‘area’: quality. The objectives under this section include working on a common understanding of and joint commitment to the quality of non-formal learning/education within Youth Work. They also cover the bringing together of all relevant stakeholders, practitioners, policy makers and researchers. This section highlights the need to build on existing good practices in order to further promote the implementation of quality assurance in non-formal learning/education in youth work.
Through providing the connection between local and international organisations, the use of local youth councils and national youth councils, to contribute to consultations, to get in touch with National Agencies and use possible spaces they offer / many go beyond the management and implementation of the Erasmus+ programme and have many other types of activities and projects. The new EU Youth Strategy aims at establishing more connections with local youth work and young people. We all know how complex and hard this is but the intention is genuine, and we think grassroots NGOs could seize the focus on youth dialogue. As part of this will be online, it should be even easier, to some extent.
"I believe in the UK we need more investment into youth work by creating youth centres & regular events for youth. There a fewer youth centres around, all whilst stress rates, depression & anxiety are on the rise. Investing in youth can ensure young people have greater satisfaction in life, are less likely to turn to crime & feel able to achieve their goals. Youth centres should be invested in to provide a space where young people feel free & comfortable, away from daily stresses."
- Lauren Duffy, United Kingdom
Implementation of Youth Work Visions
Responsible educational and other relevant public authorities should recognise and value youth work as an important contributor to community cohesion. This can be done by:
consulting youth workers on the development and implementation of policies and strategies that are of concern to young people from disadvantaged communities;
providing funding to youth organisations and ensuring that funding procedures are clear and simple;
facilitating the provision of lifelong learning opportunities for youth workers;
facilitating an exchange of expertise between youth workers and other professionals working with young people;
improving the working conditions and the status of youth work;
national and local policies should support youth organisations and youth workers, through legislation if necessary, to help them deliver “best practice”non-formal education and learning programmes;
"The first step would be setting up a quality policy framework, as I see that the policy in Estonia is well set up and clear, while in North Macedonia is not really clear. The framework gives clear directions on how to establish the youth work. Another important aspect/step is setting up pre-conditions for youth work in terms of space for youth centres, human resources (youth workers), materials for them to operate actively. The third step would be developing the system for their constant education and development, and sharing practices and experiences within the different youth centres. Additional work on specific competences of youth workers, but also establishing good and engaging tools (especially online ones) is needed in order to fit the realities of the young people."
- Matej Manevski, North Macedonia
Funding for Implementation
Community programs for youth are funded in a variety of ways. Funds for the implementation of various youth activities usually are provided in the national budgets, as well as in the budgets of the autonomous regions and local self-governments, including the contribution of different EU funds, participation of the private sector, youth activity associations and other national and international programmes and donors.
Finding the right Funder
There are wide range of trusts, organisations and companies that give grants to youth groups. Identifying the most appropriate funder for your group can be the most important stage of the application process, as it will avoid time wasted applying to funding who are not suitable. As a minimum you will want to check that a funder :
· Gives grants in your geographical area
· Is interested in your field of work and the people that will benefit
· Gives grants of the amount you are looking for
· In addition, you should think about:
Matching your aspirations to the funder's needs and funding priorities - don't try to squeeze your project into a set of funding criteria that are not really appropriate;
Tailor the amount you request to the funder's past giving;
Go for a quality approach rather than mailing circular letters to a large number of funder's. Some funder's don't like to be the sole funder on a project, while others do;
Read the guidelines and don't be afraid to give them a call;
Remember, you might not be successful, so it's important to have other potential funder's to apply to.
"When I arrived there, at first it was hard for the young people to be open with me but slowly they felt comfortable and they were coming to me to just talk, tell about their days, ask for advice. In the English Club that I was organising, except games for relaxing we were also doing workshops where they could talk more about their families, friends, how they make them feel… I was always so surprised to see them speaking openly and not only in front of me, but also in front of the other children. What young people really want and need is someone they trust and who will be there not just to listen, but also support them in their decisions and respect their opinions. "