Youth Empowerment and Social Transformation

Dates: November 2016 – December 2017
Venue: Georgia
Funded by: Erasmus+ programme, German National Agency
Hosting organisation: Academy for Peace and Development

EU countries and its Eastern partners are being challenged by cuts of individual and collective rights in the last years, and by an uprise of ultra-nationalist and anti-EU social and political movements that represent a thread for the maintenance of these rights and the amend of those that have been already set aside. The cuts on the rights and the populist ultra-nationalist uprising differ on its intensity depending on the country and regions, but are happening nowadays at an increasing speed within the EU.

Youth and youth CSOs can contribute to trigger positive changes through social, economic, legal and cultural movements, and therefore reinforce the structures that guarantee the observation of basic rights for citizens in Europe. Youth organizations, though, are often lacking long-term strategies, international perspectives, are easy to manipulate and have a poor understanding of the processes of social transformation and the role they play on them.

Against this background, the project proposal aims to empower youth CSOs by strengthening their understanding of processes of social transformation and increasing their competences on developing initiatives that include strategic planning and social transformative approaches. Therefore, 24 youth workers from Germany, Poland, Spain, The United Kingdom, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia will participate in the project.

The objectives of the project are:
– To strengthen the understanding of youth empowerment as a tool for social transformation in youth CSOs
– To increase the use of systematic and long-term approaches to social transformation in youth CSOs
– To exchange good practices for youth empowerment work and social transformation among the participating organizations
– To establish transnational links between CSOs in the youth sector and translate them into project-based partnership for needs-based social transformation

The project will include two e-learning modules, two residential training courses, and follow-up events.

1st e-learning module (4 weeks, online, February/ March 2017):
> Exploring concepts and theories for youth empowerment
> Exploring concepts and theories for social transformation
> Discussing the main elements of these concepts among the participants
> Identifying local examples and initiatives using these approaches in the countries represented

1st Training Course (Rustavi, Georgia. 27 March to 04 April 2017):
> Deepen into the concepts and theories of youth empowerment and social transformation
> Deepen into the logics of theoretical frameworks and how this affects the work of the CSOs represented (value-based frameworks)
> Provide participants with tools for community-based needs assessment
> Serve as a platform to discover challenges and initiatives in different countries

2nd e-learning module (4 weeks, online, May/ June 2017):
> Provide with tools for analysis of community based problems
> Support the usage of analytical tools to process the results of the community-based needs assessment
> Provide participants with space to share and follow the work of the other groups, and go through a peer-to-peer learning and multiplicative process
> Introduce the basic theories of Theory of Change and Logical Framework.

2nd Training Course (Kobuleti, Georgia. 12 to 20 of June 2017):
> Deepening into the conceptual understanding of theory of change and logical framework for social transformation
> Developing strategic value-based theories of change for social transformation addressing the needs identified during the e-learning modules and using the intervention points defined
> Planning follow-up activities in cooperation between the organisations

Follow-up events (July-September 2017)
All participants will organise a small scale local event in their communities. These events can take the following shape:
> Informational event about the project
> Educational event about social transformation
> Discussion/ debate about social change and youth work
> Any other event organised by the participants related to the topic of youth empowerment and social transformation

The project involves 24 youth workers from Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the United Kingdom, Poland, Spain and Germany.

Blog of the project

We will publish updates about the project on the blog:

Narrative reports of the residential training courses

1st Training course – Narrative report
2nd training course – Narrative report

Partner organisations involved in the project

Armenia: KASA Swiss Humanitarian Foundation
Ukraine: Chernivtsi cell of allukrainian organisation “PORA!”
Georgia: Academy for Peace and Development (APD)
Belarus: Respublikanskaje pravaabaroncaje hramadzkaje abjadnannie ‘Bielaruski Hielsinkski Kamitet’
Poland: Fundacja Studentow i Absolwentow Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego BRATNIAK
United Kingdom: The ASHA Foundation
Spain: Nova – Centre per a la innovació social