Explore your Potential – Caucasus

Dates: October 2014 – October 2015 | Venue:Georgia and Azerbaijan
Funded by:Erasmus+ programme, German National Agency
Hosting organisations: 1- Academy for Peace and Development (Tbilisi) and 2- Youth Public Union “Bridge to the Future” (Ganja)
Activities: two international training courses hosted in Miktsiatsieli, Georgia  (4-12 April 2015) and in Ganja, Azerbaijan (16-24 May 2015)

Follow the blog of the project athttps://explore2015.wordpress.com/

Participation of young people is one of the key questions that youth workers address in their work. Concepts of participation usually refer to at least four dimensions: social participation, political participation, economic participation and cultural participation.
Unfortunately, in today`s Europe young people do often not participate in any of these societal dimensions. With youth unemployment rates peaking e.g. in Spain with over 40% young people face massive difficulties to sustain their life independently. According to the EU Flash Barometer on youth participation (2013) only 22% of young people within the EU are involved in youth clubs or any kind of youth organisations. The same survey states in the category of political participation, that voting in local, regional and national is with 56% rather low, and standing as a candidate is not an option for 79% of young Europeans.
Against this background, the project aims to contribute to the development of measures that foster the participation of young people in political, social, cultural and economic life in their countries. Since youth work holds a variety of instruments at hand to foster youth participation, the project aims to strengthen organisations in making best use of the power of educational programmes addressing youth needs by an empowerment approach that provides young people with the necessary competences to become an active part of the society in which they live.

Two training courses are integral parts of the project and aim at the following objectives:

1. Training course “Explore your Potential – Capacity Development for Youth Organisations” taking place in Georgia on 4-12 April 2015:
– To introduce civil society activists and CSO staff to systematic approaches to social change in the youth sector
– To review organisational practices in programme development and project management
– To create a portfolio of measures for successful youth participation and empowerment
– To establish transnational links between CSOs in the youth sector and translate them into project-based partnership

2. Training of Trainers “Explore your Potential – Competences for Youth Empowerment” taking place in Azerbaijan on 16-24 May 2015:
– To deepen the understand for concepts of youth empowerment and participation amongst youth leaders and educators
– To enhance theoretical knowledge and practical skills of educators in planning, implementing and evaluating educational short-term projects on local, national and European levels
– To create new workshops, exercises, role plays for youth projects
– To create European learning partnerships in the field of youth empowerment

The methods that will be used in the training courses will be taken from European training manuals such as Compass, Domino, Have Your Say, or the T-Kit series, while others will be those the selected trainers developed or use from other resources. All methods are based on the principles of non-formal education, are highly participatory and inclusive and rely on the active participation of the participants to make the educational experiences a success.
While the direct impact of the educational programmes is directed on the participants` competence development as project coordinators and youth educators, the project also aims to create an impact beyond the participants. The expected impact on the sending organisation is to use new procedures in the design of their youth activities, apply new non-formal working methods in their daily work, and to engage to a larger extend into international youth projects and to participate in an exchange of expertise and experience on European level with colleagues from other countries.

The project “Explore your Potential” involves a total of 56 participants from Latvia, Denmark, Romania, Poland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus. It is targeted at youth workers, youth leaders, and youth activists as well as at youth educators and project coordinators of youth organisations who participate in two training programmes.

Partner organisations

* Armenia:Gyumri “Youth Initiative Centre” NGO; and Youth Cooperation Centre of Dilijan NGO
* Azerbaijan:Bridge to the Future Youth Public Union (hosting organisation)
* Belarus: League of Youth Voluntary Service; and Belarusian Youth Public Union New Faces
* Denmark: Silba – Support Initiative for Liberty and Democracy
* Georgia: Academy for Peace and Development (hosting organisation)
* Germany: European Intercultural Forum e. V. (coordinator)
* Italy: APS Young Effect
* Latvia: Humana People to People in Latvia
* Netherlands:The European Institute for Democratic Participation
* Poland: European Foundation for Education and Development
* Romania: Young Partners for Civil Society Development Association
* Ukraine: Vinnytsia Regional Centre for Information “Kreativ”; Mykolaiv city youth non-profit organisation “Iskra”; and Bila Tserkva regional civic organization ‘Association ‘People’

Narrative Reports of the events

Narrative Report of the Training “Explore your potential” in Georgia (April 2015)
Narrative Report of the Training of Trainers “Explore your potential” in Azerbaijan (May 2015)

Training in Georgia (April 2015)

Training of Trainers (ToT) in Azerbaijan (May 2015)