The Enter! project 2009-2012
A preparatory seminar was held at the beginning of March 2009 in Budapest to set a clearer framework for the project, review the current needs and issues related to the project’s aims, take stock of already existing initiatives, define the overall approach and develop an operational model for its planning and implementation. Quality criteria for the project were identified and an informal network of potential partners for the project was established.
The central component of the project is the long-term training course that prepares and supports youth workers and youth leaders working in disadvantaged neighbourhoods with young people who face difficulties in exercising their social human rights. During the course, the participants develop their skills and competencies in setting up projects for integration and in sharing them with colleagues across Europe. During the course, participants also develop specific projects with young people, based on active participation, intercultural learning and human rights education, and also address specific challenges in their access to social rights. These projects provide the practical basis for learning about how to promote the social rights of young people and how best to use youth research for youth policy action.
A seminar on gender equality in youth projects, held in Strasbourg in June 2010, deepened the work done by the Directorate of Youth and Sports on “gender matters” and gender-based violence, with a special focus on gender equality in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The seminar made several proposals for the inclusion of a gender equality dimension in Enter!, and in the projects set up by the LTTC participants.
A consultative meeting on youth information and counselling held in Budapest in June 2010, discussed ways to improve access to information for young people and youth workers in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, including the role of young people in producing and providing information. Links were made with the LTTC through some of the participants’ projects; very interesting examples of successful synergies between youth work and youth information were provided, amongst others, by ERYICA (the European Youth Information and Counselling Agency) and by JES, a project on recognition of young people’s competencies in Antwerp, Brussels and Gent (Belgium).
New ways of participation in multicultural youth work were shared and discussed at a seminar in Budapest in June 2010. The programme and recommendation focused on the participation of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods and the ways to support unrecognised forms of participation while working towards equality in the access to existing structures and processes of youth participation.
A joint conference was held together with the Directorate General of Social Cohesion of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in July 2010, within its project on Social Mobility. The conference focused on the social mobility of young people and the factors that support and hinder it, including the role of youth work and non-formal education. The conference highlighted the relationship between social inclusion and social mobility, and called for more research on the role of youth work in supporting the social mobility of young people, social mobility being a clear indicator of access to and exercise of one’s social rights. One of the conclusions of the seminar was that social mobility and geographical mobility of young people are closely linked. Giving young people and opportunity to leave their neighbourhood and experience other realities is an important factor for their personal and professional development.
The experiences provided by the practice of the LTTC projects and the insights provided by the seminars are the basis for the policy recommendations and guidelines to be prepared in 2010 and finalised in 2011. To this end, a seminar on access of young people to social rights – the youth policy approaches takes place in December 2010. The seminar is organised in co-operation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (the Congress) and the Directorate General of Social Cohesion. The seminar will draw on the conclusions of the various activities of the project and identify the areas for youth policy recommendations. It will also propose a process for finalising the recommendations and the consultation process associated to it.
In 2011, an experts group is to be composed to prepare and finalise the policy guidelines and prepare a draft recommendation by the Committee of Ministers on access to social rights of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
The involvement of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the project is foreseen in a large-scale event – the Enter! Youth Congress – through which young people from across Europe will meet and provide input to and feedback on the policy recommendations. The congress is planned as an opportunity for young people to develop their intercultural skills and to plan or initiate their own activities. The Enter! Youth Congress is to take place in Strasbourg in the autumn of 2011.
The project should be concluded by an evaluation and follow-up seminar in 2012, where the evaluators of the project, partners and stakeholders will draw lessons learned and make proposals for furthering the work on social inclusion of young people.