The project We Belong - Exploring Europe’s Unity in Diversity was co-funded by the European Union Program ERASMUS+, Key Action 2 Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices, Strategic Partnerships for Youth (KA205), under the Grant Agreement nº 2019-2-FR02-KA205-016241.
The project YOUTH FOR COMMUNITY BUILDING was co-funded by the European Union Program ERASMUS+, KA154-YOU - Youth participation activities, under the Grant Agreement: 2022-2-PT02-KA154-YOU-000091301,
Exploring Europe’s Unity in Diversity
Youth 4 Community Building
The core values for which the motto of the European Union, United in Diversity, stands are fundamental for ensuring lasting peace, social cohesion and societal welfare.
In this project, which started in 2019, we've tried to create a set of resources that tries to engage young people in exploring the concept of Unity in Diversity in specific application areas, thus demonstrating the concept meaning, validity and practical application through the political and societal structures and mechanisms of European society is built upon.
In the wake of the recent crises (Economic crisis, Refugee crisis, Brexit, the Covid-19 Pandemic and more recently the War in Ukraine), the challenges the European Union are confronted with, have resulted in the rise of Euroscepticism, Extreme Right Movements, raise in hate speech, intolerance, discrimination and racism.
With this project, we aim to introduce a combination of informal training approaches, tools and instruments in order to assist young people to understand, orientate themselves and find fulfilment in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic society.
This way we hope to help engage young people in exploring the concept of Unity in Diversity in specific application areas, thus demonstrating the concept's meaning, validity and practical application through the political and societal structures and mechanisms European society is built upon.
The Courses you can see in this platform, are the result of various stages during which the project has been in development.
The Project Team hopes that the work here presented, which you may access freely will support you in the work with the young generations and thus contributing to a better Europe and Future.PROJECT COORDINATOR:
- VIA CHARLEMAGNE (France 🇫🇷)
- FUNDACJA AUTOKREACJA (Poland 🇵🇱)
- XENIA (Austria 🇦🇹)
- IZMIR VALILIGI (Turkey 🇹🇷)
- REDEFINE (Portugal 🇵🇹)
The Intelectual outputs of the We Belong Project, represent the tip of a Big Iceberg.Since 2019, when the project was approved for funding, the Consortium as been working together to achieve a set of outputs that will support and allow all the interested users to develop competencies in the working areas. Now we are abe to visualize though the intellectual outputs the result of this work, in the form of:
- FREE YOUTH CENTER (Bulgaria 🇧🇬)
- A e.learning platform, developed in moodle, which will support the integration of all the materials and courses, allowing its dissemination and usage by all the interested
- The We.Belong Training Course for Young People, in which young people may be able to access different modules made available for them
- The We.Belong training kit for Youth Workers and Educators, created to support educators and youth workers in the exploration and teaching of the contents developed for the young persons.
Both the courses contain an a similar structure and module distribution, namely:
- Module 1: Migration, Diversity, Asylum and Inclusion
- Module 2: Civic and democratic rights and freedoms, Political representation, Participation
- Module 3: Education and training, Employment and Career Development
- Module 4: Environment, Pollution, Animal Rights
- Module 5: Social justice, equity and equality
- Module 6: Technology, Innovation and Globalization
Each one of these module includes theoretical material, examples and exercises, and was developed by one of the partner organisations.
The project’s main goal is to promote empowerment, participation, active citizenship and social cohesion, with focus on disadvantaged youth and young people at risk of exclusion, as it places great emphasis on the acquisition of the positive, life affirming values democratic culture encompasses, such as respect, tolerance, cooperation and social responsibility.
We aim to introduce a combination of informal participatory and training approaches, tools and instruments in order to assist young people to strengthen their citizenship skills and reach fulfillment in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic society both on local and European levels.
To reach these objectives, we designed a methodology based on peer and participatory learning, as research shows that learners are much more likely to engage when they are encouraged to construct their own personal identity and sense of belonging.
The activities making part of the project include:
The formation of Youth Councils in the partnering countries, and cultural activities to promote community building locally.
The organization of both local and European training sessions(physical and virtual) and study visits on democracy, active citizenship in participation, locally and internationally, in order to strengthen their active citizenship competencies and assist them in learning more about other European young people facing similar challenges, as well as exchanging ideas and experiences on resolving them.
Introduce young people to e-learning and e-participation tools and digital storytelling as they are powerful instruments for both individual and group expression, participatory learning and social influence/outreach.
Increase the European awareness of young people from disadvantaged communities through leading them to engage with their peers from other countries and learn from one another. The European cooperation will allow also our organisations to exchange good practices and improve the quality of our youth work.The project consists of the following activities:
- ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP AND PARTICIPATION TRAININGS (levels 1 and 2)
These trainings will be carried out physically in both partner countries(Setubal, Portugal and Vidin, Bulgaria) and will be divided in 2 mastery levels:
1. Democracy Enthousiasts: This level of the training will introduce young people to the concepts of democratic life, participatory structures, democratic institutions, and will guide them to conceptualise, design and implement the structure, regulations, and functioning modalities of their own youth councils.
2. Participation Wizards: The second level aims to take their competencies further and explore the multitude of ways they can express active citizenship. This level will explore topics such as social action, creating a successful campaign, volunteering, community building and dialogue, reaching out to decision makers and democratic institutions etc.
- LOCAL YOUTH COUNCILS
- It will create permanent youth councils that represent the central learning activity and the long term result we want to achieve with the completion of this project.
Our objective is the youth councils established by this project to continue to function as lasting, permanent structures after its completion.
All other learning activities are designed to support this objective.
The Local Youth Councils are designed as participatory, democratic bodies for youth in the neighbourhoods, where young people will periodically gather to discuss challenges and socieatal issues relevant to them (among themselves and with local decision makers), brainstorm solutions, define community objectives, create plans of actions, design activities, campaigns, formulate proposals and adress decision makers, instituions, and other relevant stakeholders.
With the youth councils, we introduce a learning by doing approach, as we believe that the best way to promote active citizenship among our young people is to support them in creating and managing a democratic, participatory youth structure.
In the project we have included two meeting sessions of the youth councils, to be held after the completion of each training level (month 8 and month 16). During the first session the youngsters will vote and establish the "institutional" foundations of the youth councils, its structures, comitees, functioning etc., while during the second, where decision makers will also join, they will focus on community priorities, challenges, social action and campaigns they will carry out.
- COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS
- These events will be organised locally by the partners and are designed to bring young people together through cultural activities. We have designed them as street community events, where young people will cook meals together, create a musical and dance programme.
- MOBILITIES BETWEEN PARTNERS
- It will be organised two mobilities between the partners, one to Bulgaria, and one to Portugal, where will give chance to youth delegations to get to know better our partners communities, discuss the challenges they face, learn from each other and explore innovative solutions together.
- VIRTUAL TRAININGS
- The project also includes two virtual joint trainings on the topics of E- Democracy and E- Participation, and on the topic of EU and Youth.
- ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP AND PARTICIPATION TRAININGS (levels 1 and 2)
We.Belong Training Course for Young People
- Teacher: WeBelong Administrator
- Teacher: Peter Beacock
- Teacher: EBRU CAKMAK OZCAN
- Teacher: Pierre FRUSTIER
- Teacher: Kasia Kowalska
- Teacher: elsa moulinié
- Teacher: laurence rovelli
- Teacher: Luany Silva
- Teacher: Miglena Slavcheva
- Teacher: Rafael Sousa
- Teacher: Fatma Susam Özsayın
- Teacher: moodle. test_teacher
- Teacher: Christof Thöny
- Teacher: Nikolay Tsolov