CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS, Introductory seminar, 25 November – 2 December 2018, European Youth Centre Strasbourg

 

Training course Youth Together – social inclusion of refugees through youth work, long-term training cours.

 

Young refugees in the youth policy of the Council of Europe

The Council of Europe’s youth policy aims at providing young people with equal opportunities and experience, which enable them to develop knowledge, skills and competencies and to play a full part in all aspects of society. In pursuing this mission to secure and provide equal opportunities, specific attention is paid to vulnerable groups of young people such as refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants. In October 2015, the Joint Council on Youth adopted a Statement on the so-called refugee crisis in Europe, which highlights some priorities and calls for special attention to particular vulnerable groups, in particular through capacity building opportunities in order to achieve inclusive and peaceful societies with young refugees and asylum-seekers, and calls for support for these efforts.

In 2017, the Joint Council on Youth decided to prepare policy guidelines to protect and support refugees in transition to adulthood, in particular through the role of youth work and youth policy. This is an integral part of the Council of Europe Action Plan on protecting refugee and migrant children (2017-2019) . It should be finalised and submitted to the Committee of Ministers in 2018.

The 2018-2019 Youth for Democracy programme of the Council of Europe foresees several activities with youth organisations in this domain and is associating young refugees directly with these initiatives. An integrated approach is needed to increase the impact of each one of these measures and, especially, in advocating and recognising the role of youth policy and youth work for the social inclusion of refugees.

Thanks to the financial support of the Government of Flanders (Belgium), the Youth Department of the Council of Europe is launching YOUTH.TOGETHER – a project to associate and support local youth work and youth policy actors to the work of the Council of Europe for social inclusion of young refugees and their access to rights. In addition to supporting the Action Plan on protecting refugee and migrant children, the project also promotes the implementation of the Committee of Ministers Recommendations to member states on Young People’s Access to Rights [CM Rec(2016)7] and on Youth Work [CM Rec(2017)4].

YOUTH.TOGETHER

YOUTH.TOGETHER seeks to reduce the risks of social exclusion and violence that young refugees, especially minors in transition to adulthood, are exposed to. It supports the social inclusion of young refugees and their access to education, self-development and autonomy through youth work and non-formal education activities. The project will make use of good practices and guidelines for working with minors in transition to adulthood. The centre-piece of 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 initially developed in the European Youth Centre of the Council of Europe in the 1990s to support representatives of youth NGOs, in general, to develop and implement more effective projects for the specific groups of young people they work with. This model was later successfully applied to a variety of themes, including the citizenship and partici­pation of minority youth, intercultural learning and human rights education.

The essence of the LTTC training approach is experiential learning, learning by doing. They foresee initial training inputs received regarding the theme and how to develop a project with young people; the project will then be tested and tried out for real during the project phase at home. This project phase and the effectiveness of the training received is then reflected upon and evaluated in a further in-residence training course as a means of reviewing learning and results achieved both for the learner-youth worker and for the beneficiaries of the project.
The first phase is an introduction seminar of 8 days, through which the collec­tive learning platform is built and initial training inputs, especially around how to develop a project with young people/refugees are given. This will be held at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg from 25 November to 2 December 2018.

The second phase is the project implementation phase. Participants go home to their local context of youth work and further develop and run their project with their target groups. Sometimes, the experience of the introduction seminar changes the nature of the initial project idea with which the participant applied and has to be reviewed and adopted by the young people it concerns, in a participatory process of developing project ownership. During the project phase, participants are increas­ingly invited to participate in networking (online and offline) and further peer to peer learning experiences with other participants of the course, through e-learning platforms and interim meetings of participants, with or without members of the training team. Sometimes the organis­ers arrange regional meetings in which participants located close to each other geographically meet to discuss and further work on their project with the support of one member of the train­ing team. Individual participants are often also encouraged and supported financially to visit fellow trainees and learn from their project experiences independently.

The very last phase of a LTTC is usually 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. Also a common result is that participants decide to 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.

The participants in the LTTC will be put in contact with other practitioners and with stakeholders on youth and refugees policies at national and European level. They will also be invited to associate their projects with other relevant initiatives at European and national level, such as those being implemented within Erasmus+, notably Becoming part of Europe and the Salto Ressource Centre on Inclusion.

The project YOUTH.TOGETHER is developed and implemented with the cooperation and support of a variety of partners concerned by the objectives of the course, including
The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Migration and Refugees
The Children Rights Division of the Council of Europe
The project “Becoming Part of Europe” of national agencies of the Erasmus+ programme
Voices of Young Refugees in Europe
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (tbc)
The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (tbc)
The European Youth Forum (tbc).
The participants in the LTTC will be encouraged and supported to connect with initiatives undertaken by these partners, notably on national level.

The LTTC is a rich and complex process that mobilises and involves participants/learners, their sending/partner organisations and the projects (with young refugees) that they seek to implement.

THE PARTICIPANTS AND THEIR LEARNING PROCESS IN THE LTTC

Each participant in the course is, at the same time:
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 for social inclusion of young refugees.

The individual learning path of each participant in the course is planned together with the 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. This will also incorporate the training needs related to the project implementation. 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 additional to this formal recognition, the participants in the LTTC will be able to network with other actors at national and European level and, to the extent of their intentions, to integrate or constitute networks of activist and advocates for the social inclusion of young refugees for the same of human rights and social cohesion across Europe.

Competencies addressed

The programme of the LTTC will be organised so as allow the youth workers/refugees taking part to develop their personal and professional youth work related competencies, with 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.

The course will also address generic professional youth work related competences related to the following functions of youth work as described in the Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio:
Addressing the needs and aspirations of young people
Providing learning opportunities for young people
Supporting and empowering young people to make sense of the society they live in and in engaging with it
Actively practising evaluation to improve the quality of the youth work
Contributing to the development of their organisation and to making policies / programmes work better for young people
Developing, implementing and evaluating projects.

The sending organisations: true partners in the LTTC

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 during the LTTC because it provides participants the framework to learn, develop and implement their project. It is also the organisations that provide a specific expertise and experience and values related to citizenship and human rights that make the LTTC projects for social inclusion, human rights and citizenship. Finally, it is expected that it is also with the organisation that the LTTC participants and the beneficiaries of their projects will remain active and advocate for social inclusion.
The organisations are thus expected to provide institutional, educational and, where relevant, logistical support and resources to the participants’ projects. The sending organisations may be different in nature and legal status, such as:
Youth organisations and youth councils
Refugee-led or refugee oriented organisations and institutions
Human rights organisations
Educational institutions; youth and community centres
Informal organisations and networks of volunteers
Local and regional authorities

The organisations involved in the LTTC will be invited by the Council of Europe to networking opportunities, notably in the follow-up to the LTTC, and be given visibility to their work in the Internet site and the publications produced in YOUTH.TOGETHER.

About the projects

During the course each participant is expected and required to develop a local or national youth work project for the social inclusion of young refugees. Each project must seek to address a specific situation or challenged by young refugees, or by local communities, in a given specific social context. Each project must comply with the following criteria:

1. Support the social inclusion of young refugees, preferably at local level by applying a rights-based approach
2. 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
3. Consider a consistent project cycle (needs analysis, preparation, implementation, evaluation…)
4. Contain specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-framed (SMART) objectives
5. Have a clear action plan and consistent activities
6. Be based on realistic expected results and foresee time for follow-up
7. Be potentially feasible.

The Council of Europe will not provide funding for projects; this is the responsibility of the participants and their sending organisations. Information and advice about potential funding opportunities will be provided to the participants, in addition to project management competences. In the philosophy of the YOUTH.TOGETHER it is recommended that local partnerships be developed to enable the projects feasibility, especially in view of securing their sustainability and impact.

Objectives of the LTTC

1. To support the social inclusion of young refugees and their communities, based on approaches and practices of intercultural learning and human rights education as applied in youth work projects
2. To combat misconceptions and discrimination against refugees and asylum seekers while fostering a deeper understanding of the causes, context and experiences common to many people who are forced to flee their home country
3. To address shortcomings in the protection and access to rights of young refugees in key areas across Europe, including reception centres, educational and placement institutions
4. To support and enhance the quality and visibility of youth work projects and interventions in support of the social inclusion and integration of young refugees, with a specific attention to projects involving migrants and refugees in transition to adulthood
5. To apply and disseminate youth policy measures and work practices in support of the migrants and refugees in transition to adulthood, based on the Council of Europe recommendation for the protection of this specific vulnerable group of young people
6. To support the emergence and development of refugee-led youth organisations and projects and the participation of refugees in mainstream youth organisations, including national youth councils
7. To support the implementation of the Council of Europe Action Plan on protecting refugee and migrant children through youth policy and youth work.

About the introductory seminar
The first residential seminar will take place from 25 November to 2 December 2018 at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg and will bring together 35 participants. The seminar is prepared and organised so as to address the following objectives:
1. To identify challenges and needs for social inclusion of young refugees in the local contexts of the participants;
2. To introduce key concepts and practices of human rights education in projects with young refugees;
3. To introduce the institutional and normative instruments of the Council of Europe related to social inclusion of young people in projects with refugees;
4. To develop a common understanding of the role and value of youth work for social inclusion of young refugees;
5. To support participants in planning and developing local projects for social inclusion of young refugees based on the principles of youth participation, social inclusion, intercultural learning and human rights education;
6. To clarify the educational, political and institutional nature of YOUTH.TOGETHER and the long-term training course as an important part of it;
7. To establish a foundation for cooperation among the participants based on understanding and respect of equal dignity and diversity of participants;
8. To support, prepare and review participants’ individual learning needs, expectations and objectives related to their role and projects.

Profile of Participants

The long-term training course is open for refugees and/or youth workers, youth leaders, community activists etc., who possess a direct working experience with young refugees, want to develop their competences according to the competence framework above-mentioned and intend to develop cooperation and networking at European level. They may identify themselves as
Youth and community leaders
Youth workers (paid or volunteers)
Social workers and other specialists working with reception and hosting centres or other institutions dealing directly with young refugees
Facilitators and mediators
Volunteers from or working with refugee-founded NGOs
Other associated professionals having access to the wider community of young refugees and motivated to be engaged in youth work.

Refugees and/or youth workers working with young refugees in the transition to adulthood, a particularly vulnerable group, will be given a priority.

Formal criteria
All participants must:
Be aged between 18 and 35 years (exceptions are possible);
Be able to work in English;
Be motivated to work for the social inclusion of young refugees according to the values and standards of the Council of Europe regarding youth participation, human rights and intercultural dialogue;
Be fully availability to participate in all stages and features of the long-term training course, including the setting up of a project during the project phase;
Be supported by an organisation, institution or network active with, or advocating for, the social inclusion of refugees.

The Council of Europe welcomes applications from all candidates who fulfill the specific profile of participants irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, religion, belief or sexual orientation.

Application, procedure and selection of participants

The Council of Europe will select up to 35 participants based on their motivations, learning needs, expectations and plans to act as multipliers while respecting gender equality and diversity of organisational and geographical backgrounds. A waiting list may be established. Candidates will be informed whether their application has been accepted or rejected, and if they have been put on the waiting list, by 6 November 2018.

The application form must be submitted on-line by 23.59 PM (CET), Tuesday, 30 October 2018 at https://youthapplications.coe.int/.

Financial and practical conditions of participation

Travel expenses
Travel expenses and visa fees for the training seminar in Strasbourg are reimbursed according to the rules of the Council of Europe. Only the participants who attend the entire seminar can be reimbursed. The payment will be made either by bank transfer after the seminar or at the end of the course in cash (in Euros).

Accommodation
Board and lodging for the residential training seminar will be provided and paid for by the Council of Europe at the European Youth Centre Strasbourg. The European Youth Centers are accessible to people with disabilities and can take measures to accommodate for any specific needs of participants in this respect. Please provide the necessary information in your application form.

Language
English will be the working language of the training course, both for e-learning and the residential training seminar. Participants are should be able to express themselves autonomously in English.

Further information
For any additional information about the course: eyc.programme@coe.int

 

 

October 18, 2018