Mine Vaganti NGO coordinates the Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnership in the field of Youth “We’ll Let Youth In”, in cooperation with a Consortium composed of 2 international partners from Romania (CECIS) and Sweden (IFALL). All partner organizations are directly engaged in supporting disadvantaged categories of NEET youths through the management of Youth Centers as specialized facilities wherein disadvantaged young people are involved in recreational and educational activities delivered through NFE targeted at empowering them with soft skills, employability skills, civic and social competences.
The project will last a total 24 months (March 2017-February 2019).
Many youngsters in European countries face the harsh realities of marginalization and social exclusion in their daily lives.
In this respect, the problems faced by disadvantaged NEET youngsters– which represent the main target category in the daily operations of Youth Centers managed by partner organizations- are particularly severe and wide-ranging, as is their overall socioeconomic vulnerability.
Indeed, these youngsters face substantial disparities with their peers in realms as disparate as education, employability, personal development, civic and social participation. Among the most visible symptoms of the foregoing disparities is a substantial percentage of early school leavers as well as engagement in socially and personally disruptive conduits (drug/alcohol abuse, vandalism, violence, petty crime etc.) among disadvantaged NEET youngsters.
A SWOT analysis coordinately enacted by partner organizations further identified the aloofness of disadvantaged NEET youngsters from institutional circuits of education and support (Schools, Associations, Political Parties etc.) as one of the main factors underneath the partial failure of formal setups in providing a comprehensive approach to ensure social integration, employability and personal development of these fragile categories.
The context outlined above calls for the development of an integrated educational approach building on existing structures where disadvantaged youths are involved and supported as well as instruments of education capable of engaging youngsters for socially meaningful purposes by “speaking their language”.
The present cooperation provides such an approach by promoting the role of Youth Centers as crucial links between youngsters and formal structures of education, employability and participation as well as by enhancing the role of NFE as an educational vehicle by which sensible youth target groups can be provided with the attitudes, soft skills, basic employability skills, civic as well as social skills necessary to fully and proficiently participate in education, labour market and global community life.
“We’ll Let You In” (WLYI) foresees to attain the aforementioned goals through a strategic cooperation wherein disadvantaged youth NEETs from each partner organization will be involved in three mobility experiences in which they will enter into contact with peers from other partner countries, attend common educational activities delivered through Non Formal Education related to each partner’s area of expertise as well as work on the development of shared outputs.
At the same time, partner organizations will engage in a sharing of knowledge, best practices and NFE tools whose results will be disseminated in the internal structure of each organization, increasing staff professionalism and by consequence the quality of NFE activities delivered in Youth Centers. Promotion and dissemination of outputs and materials by partners through a variety of online and offline tools will make sure that the results arrived at in the context of the present project will sensibly enhance and support Youth Centers and NGOs throughout Europe.
– Fostering empowerment and inclusion of disadvantaged NEET youngsters through international mobility, peer-interaction and Non Formal Education.
– Raise awareness among policy-makers, NGOs, stakeholders and the general public about the role of Youth Centers as hybrid structures (recreational/educational) supporting youth integration and development (in particular of the most disadvantaged youth categories) through NFE and as such narrowing disparities and gaps left by the formal education system).
– Exchange knowledge, best practices and NFE tools among NGOs from different European countries as a means to collect national/cultural backpacks and toolkits of NFE in order to improve professionalism of youth workers, variety and quality of educational activities delivered in Youth Centers with a view to enhancing quality and effectiveness of youth work in Europe.
The main element of innovation of the present project is represented by the nature and the scope of the partnership in relation to the target group we aim at impacting: disadvantaged youth NEETs.