Our Italian member Diaconia Valdese (Waldensian Diaconia) ran the project “EUROPE 4 ALL?” from 2014-2015 through an Erasmus+ grant of 98.359 Euros for European Voluntary Service (EVS) activities, training for youth workers and youth exchange.
In view of the recent enlargements of the European Union, the project “EUROPE 4 ALL?” wanted to explore the options for the EU to be an active actor in social change in and out its borders in order to ensure social inclusion, effective citizenship of marginalized groups, youth employment, and the building of a multicultural and peaceful society in an innovative way.
The specific objectives of the project were:
- To share and develop new working tools for project development and non-formal learning with youth on the following themes: European citizenship, intercultural / interreligious dialogue & conflict management, and social inclusion;
- To offer networking and new international partnership opportunities, which will be able to involve program and partner countries by sharing challenges, questions and contributions, together with organizations based in Ukraine and Israel, with the aim of developing new projects within Erasmus +;
- To increase young participants’ transversal and technical skills and competences, and to promote the recognition of these competences, both at national and European level;
- To promote the meeting between participants of long and short term mobility (Youth Exchanges and EVS) within Erasmus + through communication opportunities and the sharing of common knowledge.
The partnership consortium benefited from previous collaboration and moreover of a proven experience in these fields, and it includes 8 social organisations:
- Commissione Sinodale per la Diaconia (CSD – Diaconia Valdese), Italy, coordinating organisation
- Volontariat International au Service des Autres, l’Année Diaconale, France
- Asociación Iniciativa Internacional Joven, Spain
- Nes Ammim Communication Center, Israel
- Living Hope, Ukraine
- MRSZ Alapitvany Onkentes Diakoniai Ev., Hungary
- NGO Volunteers Sfera, FYROM
- ProAtlântico – Associação Juvenil, Portugal
The project involved 54 participants: 38 young people aged between 17 and 30, and 16 youth workers, from 8 countries: 5 EU countries (Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Hungary), 1 from a non EU program country (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), and 2 Partner countries neighbouring the EU: Israel and Ukraine. 32 of the 54 participants were young people with fewer opportunities (difficult suburban areas, rural and mountain areas; disadvantaged families).
5 interconnected activities were included in “EUROPE FOR ALL?”:
- 3 EVS activities: 5 young people from program countries to Italy; 1 young volunteer from a partner country (Ukraine) to Italy; 4 Italian young people to two partner countries (Ukraine and Israel)
- 1 training and networking activity: 16 youth workers from all partners (8 countries) who will meet in Italy.
- 1 youth exchange activity: 28 young people from 4 countries who will meet in Italy.
Through this project Diaconia Valdese set-up multimedia (web-blog) and printed (notebook) “Youth Working Tool”, collecting experiences, methods and materials, which will be useful for also for the future work with young people on the following themes: inclusion; transversal and technical competences and skills; multicultural coexistence. Young participants had the opportunity to increase their skills and competences for their employability, both at national and international level, also through the participation in other opportunities within Erasmus +.
The project gave the youth workers the opportunity to establish and to strengthen new transnational partnerships, and to increase the competences which can be used in their daily work.
Find out more about the project here (IT).