“Minorities of Europe – the Branch for Baltic and Scandinavian States” (Latvia) in everyday work in Europe and beyond work with different groups of young people, in particular minority youth, aged from 13 till 30 and coming from different background, including young people with physical disabilities. While working in Latvia and on international level organization faced the situation when physically disabled young people are not active and do not participate in public life. At the same time, there is almost not any dialogue and cooperation between this group of society and young people without disabilities. Since 2009 “Minorities of Europe – the Branch for Baltic and Scandinavian States” has worked on developing partnership with Estonian and Asian partners in order to develop this project.
In Asian countries non-formal education is not introduced and developed at all, in Estonian and Latvian conditions it is not widely used as an effective tool for increasing of participation and integration of young people with fewer opportunities. There are only few mixed-ability youth activities and projects implemented in project partners countries. Therefore, all partners together have developed this project “Participation for All through Non-formal Education”. The project, by all its activities, addresses challenges and gaps mentioned above and contributes to the positive change of the present situation by strengthening the dialogue, exchange and cooperation between young people, youth workers, NGOs and other structures in the field of non-formal education and youth work on active participation and integration of young people with fewer opportunities.
What is "Participation for All through Non-formal Education"?
The Participation for All through Non-formal Education project is an innovative 12 months programme between four organizations working with young people in Latvia, Estonia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Aims and objectives of the project
The overall aim of the project is to increase participation in public life and integration into society of young people with fewer opportunities by promoting the non-formal education and building the capacity of youth organizations and structures from Latvia, Estonia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan workring in the field of active participation and integration of young people with fewer opportunities, in particular ones with physical disabilities.
- to introduce non-formal education as an effective tool for youth work in the field of active participation and integration of young people with fewer opportunities, in particular those with physical disabilities;
- to create better access of young people with fewer opportunities, in particular those with physical disabilities, to non-formal education;
- to combat exclusion of young people with physical disabilities by building the bridge between young people with physical disability and those without disability within and between project partner countries;
- to offer mobility possibility for 32 young people with and without fewer opportunities to take part in the youth exchange in Uzbekistan to discover and understand the situation with participation and integration of young people with physical disabilities in project partner countries, to contribute to intercultural learning of young people coming from different cultural and physical backgrounds, and to provide opportunity for young people to develop multiplying initiatives to be implemented in their respective countries;
- to develop non-formal education and youth work competences and capacities of youth workers, youth leaders and representatives of NGOs and other structures to contribute to the effectiveness of their work with physically disabled young people;
- to exchange the experience and good practices in the field of non-formal education and active participation and integration of youth with physical disabilities in the projectpartner countries;
- to develop recommendation to different bodies and organizations, including European Commission, in the field of increasing active participation and integration of young people with physical disabilities, referring to combating poverty and social exclusion – the annual priority of the Programme;
- to set up an e-platform on the web-site for recent and future collection, exchange and dissemination of information, experiences and good practices working on active participation and disability issues through non-formal education and mixed-ability projects.
- to build up a network and sustainable partnership among partner organisations for development and implementation of future non-formal education youth projects, in particular mixed-ability youth projects, in the frame and outside of the Youth in Action programme.
Main features of the project
This project meets following permanent priorities of the “Youth in action” programme, i.e.:
- Participation of young people,
- Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities,
- Cultural diversity,
- European citizenship,
and reffers specifically to the annual priority of the call, i.e. combating poverty and social exclusion.
Participation of young people
The aim of the project is addressing the topic of active participation. Besides that, the project will use participatory approach in all its activities. Young people will be involve in all stages of the project, i.e. they were involved in the preparation of project proposals and will be actively involved in preparation, implementation and evaluation of the activities and project itself. During the youth exchange and training course participants will be offered an opportunity to facilitate some parts of the programme, to take the responsibility for social activities and energiser parts. Job-shadowings will let not only to get to know with the realities, but also practically run different activities in accordance with the need of young people and organizations. Different activities of the project will let participants (young people and youth workers) to develop new competences in the field of non-formal education, participation and integration of young people with fewer opportunities. This will help participants after the activities to take responsibility and multiply the new experience by means of new local initiatives and international projects.
The maxed-ability nature of the youth exchange will contribute to the integration of the young people with physical disabbility and inrease their participation in public life trhough non-formal education activities.
Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities
Project is focused on increasing of participation and integration of young people with fewer opportunities, in particular those with physical disabilities. The mixed-ability and equality principle will be used through out the project. The project will ensure the participation in the youth exchange 50%/50% of young people with physical disabilities and without one. They will live and work together. It is planned that after the youth exchange and later on they will cooperate and implement the activities and international level projects developed during the project. This will be the new approach to this type of projects when youngsters with physical disabilities and without are brought together in one project in order to reach common goals and accumulate common experience, as usually only one of these groups is considered.
The training course and job-shadowings planned in the projects will develop competences and capacities of youth workers, youth leaders and representatives of NGOs and other structures in the field of non-formla education. It is planned that after participation in this activities they will imply new experience in their realities and contribute more effectively to inclusion and integration of young people with physical disabilities more effectively.
Selecting participants for all activities within the project the Applicant and other partners will try to ensure the inclusion and participation of youngsters from disadvataged background and areas, unemployed youth, young women, thus, ensuring the participation of young people with fewer opportunities and preventing any kind of discrimination against candidates.
The project will encourage participants to reflect on issues actual for Europe and Asian countries, including issues related to future of Europe and impact of cooperation between European and Asian countries in this respect. Young peole and youth workers will have a chance to identify common values with other representatives of their and partner countries in spite of their cultural and ability differences. The young people – participants of the youth exchange will have a chance to understand their role in building of civil society and Europe/world they would like to live in. The project focuses also on the development of recommendations and different mixed-ability non-formal education actions/projects in the field of increasing active participation and integration of young people with physical disabilities.
The project promotes cooperation between young people, youth workers, young leaders, NGOs and other structures representatives from programme and partner countries. The project by itself and methods are specifically chosen in order to give the opportunity for all sides involved coming from different cultures to get to know each other better, to develop empathy, to build the understanding of each other culture, values and believes. It will also develop cohesion and promote tolerance among participants and partners as well as increase the opportunities of civil society organizations from both regions and their cooperation in the field of non-formal education activities for active participation and integration of young people with physical disabilities.
Combating poverty and social exclusion
The project raises young people’s awareness on everyone’ responsibility in tackling marginalisation and exclusion based on disability ground, and promotes inclusion of groups with fewer opportunities. The project actively directly young people with physical disabilities, at the same time ensuring the mixed-ability approach, thus, encouraging exchange and cooperation between young people with and without disabilities. The project focuses on the issue of disability in our society by introduction of non-formal education as an effective tool and contributes to the development of multiplying non-formal education activities and recommendations for different bodies, including European Commission, for development of youth work on disability issues.
The target group of the project:
- 32 young people aged 18-25 from Latvia, Estonia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan selected to take part in the youth exchange, accordingly 50%/50% representing young people with and without physical disabilities;
- 44 youth workers, youth leaders, NGO and other structures representatives from Latvia, Estonia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan selected to take part in the training course, job-shadowing activities and youth exchange.
Working language of the project
The official language of the project - Russian.
Project activities and schedule
Initial partners meeting , January 16th - 20th, 2011, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Preparation of young people for the youth exchange, January - March 2011, in each partner country
Youth exchange, March 18th – March 26th, 2011, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Multiplying activities, March 26th – October 26, 2011, in each partner country
Training course for youth workers and youth leaders, May 22nd - 30th, 2011, Riga, Latvia
Job Shadowing of youth workers in Estonia – July 2011
Job Shadowing of youth workers in Kazakhstan – August 2011
Evaluation meeting, October 2011, Riga, Latvia
MINORITIES OF EUROPE -THE BRANCH FOR BALTIC AND SCANDINAVIAN STATES, LATVIA
- PUBLIC ASSOCIATION “ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES SHYRAK”, KAZAKHSTAN
- MTU NOORTEUHENDUS SIIN / YOUTH UNION SIIN, ESTONIA
- REGIONAL SCIENTIFIC CENTRE OF EMPLOYEMENT LABOR PROTECTION AND SOCIAL SECURITY OF POPULATION, UZBEKISTAN