Last week saw the launch of a new two year project: Be Part: Feel Your Part, an Erasmus Plus funded Key Action 2 project. To kick off this new project, we gathered the new partners in Volunteering Matters’ Hackney office to have an inaugural meeting. Be Part: Feel Your Part brings together partners from Austria (Jugend am Werk and E.N.T.E.R. GmbH), Denmark (FO-Aarhus), Germany, Italy (A.R.E.S.), Portugal (Municipio de Lousada) and the UK (Volunteering Matters); some of whom Volunteering Matters and Volonteurope have had the pleasure of working with previously on Erasmus Plus funded projects such as INCREASE, and others who we were meeting for the first time.
The new project will be working on political approaches on the local level for young people at risk of social exclusion, its aim is to engage with youth workers in the field of social environment and social care. The outputs of the project will include a training programme for these same youth workers, providing concise and comprehensive training on how to engage with young people around the planning and implementation of democratic participation projects with young people.
This programme will enhance the quality of youth work in Europe, and the training offered will provide the necessary skills and competences to tackle the challenges faced by Europe’s ‘lost generation’. This ‘lost generation’ of young people in Europe are already facing high unemployment rates, diminishing future prospects in terms of home ownership and stability, loss of social cohesion and challenges around the ongoing refugee crisis. These factors all contribute to one in five young Europeans desiring autocratic and nationalistic leadership in their respective countries, with their increasing disengagement from wider European society fomenting an inclination towards non-
In a first step towards countering this, Be Part: Feel Your Part brings together partners from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the UK, to counter these ongoing challenges, and to help young people access new democratic outlets and processes. The partners bring extensive experience in working with and empowering young people, creating and executing training programmes, and effecting change in their communities.