INFORMATION, YOUTH WORK AND WEB 2.0

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Nowadays internet plays a key role in our lives so it is possible to say that the online and the offline environments are highly intertwined. Specifically, young people use the internet for entertainment, socializing and gaining information. It has been observed that young people usually seek for two kind of information, one of them is different types of opportunities in education, employment and training and the other one is “answers” to several types of questions related to psychology, health and sexuality. For instance, young teenagers may look for information about sexually transmitted diseases or how to terminate an unexpected pregnancy, since they feel uneasy to discuss these topics with their peers, parents or school counselors.

Due to the development of web 2.0 applications each one of us can produce and consume information simultaneously. As a result, it gets harder to assess the validity of information found on the internet. In my opinion, the youth information infrastructures in Europe (Eurodesk, ERYICA, Youth Information Centers etc.) and the youth organizations have a really important role in providing high quality information to young people. It is also important to enforce the already existing cooperation between youth information infrastructures and youth organizations.

Moreover, the provision of high quality information is correlated with the active participation of young people online and offline. First, they know that their opinion can be heard and thus contribute to the development of youth policies. Secondly, they become aware of different forms of active participation, especially the structured dialogue and finally young people become strong actors on decision making processes. Cyber bullying is definitely a barrier of the online active participation of the young people; as a result, EU and youth stakeholders should cooperate in the development of infrastructures in the field of online hate speech.

It is obvious that web 2.0 gives us unlimited possibilities to educate young people about several social issues, motivate them to participate online and inform them about opportunities around the world. Personally, I believe that all kind of youth infrastructures should cooperate in order to provide young people with high quality information.

Maria Strati
NM Journalist, YEU International

The article was published on “YEU INTERNATIONAL NEWSMAIL SEPTEMBER 2013”.

Social Networks and Youth

social media and youthSocial networks became an important dimension of our lives, especially if we refer to young people who could be characterized as “digital natives”. Generally speaking, social networks have a strong impact on the way we communicate and interact with each other; consequently they may play a key role in the thematic areas of education, social inclusion, active youth participation, information and employment. As a result, the users of social networks should develop a responsible attitude in the digital arena based on the values of respect, human rights and privacy.

It is more than obvious that the rational use of social networks provides young people a unique opportunity to express their opinions and also exchange views with people from all over the world. As a result, the voice of young people is raised even more which leads to the empowerment of youth organizations. On the other hand, the young people should be careful regarding the content they post, i.e. they should not reveal some details concerning their private lives or make comments that may offense someone.

According to some researches, nowadays employers tend to shape the profile of their future employee by searching him/her on facebook, twitter, linkedin etc. Furthermore, some HR professionals use linkedin even for the recruitment process. As a result, young people should be focused on which kind of information they reveal and also on what they post. It is said that some people got fired and some other did not get a certain job because of their “digital identity”. On the other hand, some people got the “job of their dreams” or a promotion due to the fact they created a professional profile in various social networks and also because they participated in discussions and groups.

To sum up, the rational use of social networks may improve the lives of young people in many areas. However, young people, youth workers, educators and other relevant stakeholders should be educated and get informed on the emerging opportunities and challenges of these social networks.

Maria Strati
YEU Journalist

Source: YEU INTERNATIONAL, NEWSMAIL MARCH

European Youth Capital: Support Ganja!

Young people in Ganja are very excited nowadays… Why? Because they are the candidate city for being the European Youth Capital in 2016! A very active NGO, Bridge to the Future is just in the middle of this fascinating process. Aysun Zeynalova and Jeyhun Ashirov from Bridge to the Future… They both think that Ganja is ready to be recognized as European Youth Capital, what do you think?

Can you provide some information about the city and the role of the youth in Azerbaijan and specifically in Ganja. Why Ganja should be nominated as a youth capital?
Ganja is the second biggest city of Azerbaijan. There are 4 universities and 4 colleges in Ganja, that’s why we have lots of youth representatives here. There are 90 thousand young people in Ganja, so it represents the youth power of the city. Ganja has been chosen as the Azerbaijan Youth Capital of 2012, since there are lots of active NGOs and youth organizations located here. Now our city’s goal is to become the European Youth Capital of 2016. We believe we can achieve this goal, since Ganja has a great support from local NGOs, institutions, universities, colleges and youth centers. We consider our city as a good candidate for the European Youth Capital, since Ganja’s speed of development increases day by day.

What is going to be the contribution of “Bridge to the Future”?
Bridge to the Future Youth Public Union is the most active youth NGO in Ganja. It organizes lots of local and international projects. Bridge to the Future contributed a lot to support our city on the road to the European Youth Capital.

How will you promote the active participation of young people in the society?
The participation of young people in our society is very important for our city on the road to the European Youth Capital. We want to guarantee our youth participation by providing them with new projects where they can get involved and actively participate.

How will you promote multiculturalism or ethnic integration and international youth co-operation?
As we know, Azerbaijan is a multicultural country. As the second biggest city of the republic, Ganja city also contains different cultures in itself. The guests from other countries have a chance to see different cultures in one city. We consider it as an important cultural opportunity for them. It makes us believe that if Ganja becomes the European Youth Capital of 2016; it will provide our guests with that opportunity and will show the deepness of Azerbaijani culture. Ganja is already well-known for its amount of international projects. Different NGOs in the city organize different international projects where they convene the representatives of other countries. It provides our project participants and the citizens of the city with a chance to experience a cultural exchange. We know that if Ganja becomes the European Youth Capital of 2016, our city will host more foreign guests from all over the world and many more international projects will be organized.

How will you empower young people to engage?
The youth representatives of the city are already highly motivated to participate in the projects and contribute their skills. In order to motivate all the youth representatives, our committee will organize different movements, projects, workshops, events, campaigns and festivals for them. That will encourage them to be more active in the youth field.

Which other relevant stakeholders will you involve (i.e. municipalities, NGOs, public authorities etc.)?
Since our committee has a close partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, we have already involved the governmental institutions into our campaign. But in order to involve the NGOs and public authorities, the committee will build a partnership with local institutions. We believe in the power of the future partnerships, because the local institutions have already shown us their support and desire to be a part of the campaign for European Youth Capital 2016.

How will you promote volunteerism?
Volunteerism is the field that is highly appreciated by our youth representatives. Youth in Ganja gets more and more into volunteerism. There are lots of volunteers in many NGOs of the city. If Ganja gets chosen as the European Youth Capital of 2016, new NGOs and new centers will be opened, so it will provide our youth with new places and opportunities for volunteering.

What kind of easily accessible communication channel will you use to provide information about the activities e.g. websites, social networks etc.
The local support committee already has a website and a facebook page for providing people with some information about our activities. Since Bridge to the Future has cooperated with the local TV channel, they will help us to promote our activities on TV. We will also have adverts in the local newspapers and websites.

Do you want to support them? Here you go: https://www.facebook.com/SupportGanja?fref=ts

Interviewed by Maria Strati
Newsmail Journalist, YEU International.

 

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Support Ganja European Youth Capital 2016 in the Social Networks:

The interview was published in the February Newsmail of the YEU International.

Young People with Fewer Opportunities

A bilingual publication of the Eurodesk Cyprus about the young people with fewer opportunities. The term “young people with fewer opportunities” defines the young people who do not have the same opportunities as their peers because they may face one or more of the following situations:

  • Social obstacles
  • Economic obstacles
  • Disability
  • Educational difficulties
  • Cultural differences
  • Sexual orientation
  • Health problems
  • Geographical obstacles

Topics:
Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities.
The needs of the Young people with fewer opportunities.
“Youth in Action” Programme and Social Inclusion.
Manuals for youth workers.
Read more HERE.

Useful Links:
Social Inclusion Tkit 8
SALTO and Inclusion
SALTO Inclusion Resource Centre

A school project about  social inclusion

Workforecast: The work forecast for young people

Europe is called to tackle the problem of youth unemployment. There is not doubt that the young people is a vulnerable group. In some countries the youth unemployment reaches the 60%. The young people are facing the danger to be excluded from the labor market.
The website “Workforecast: The work forecast for young people” allows the users to check the weather forecast for their country and take action by writing to the national Minister of Labor. So, get informed and take action for brighter working days!!!

Newsletter of the Eurodesk Cyprus: Cyprus EU Youth Conference

The EU Youth Conference of the Cyprus Presidency held in Nicosia, Cyprus on 11-12-13 of September 2012. The topic of the conference was the “Youth Participation and the Social Inclusion of young people with migrant background”. The conference  broadcasted in the European Youth Portal.

The Eurodesk Cyprus participated actively in the conference by disseminating the updates in the social networks and by collecting testimonies of youth delegates.Furthermore, the Eurodesk Cyprus prepared a bilingual interactive newsletter dedicated to the EU Youth Conference.

The topics of the newsletter are:

 

  • Cyprus Presidency: “European Youth Conference”.
  • Interview: Mohamed Yassine Ennaem: A young person with migrant background who lives in Cyprus.
  • Youth delegates and volunteers share their experience.
  • Joint Recommendations of youth delegates and Directors-General for Youth.

The newsletter is available HERE.

Useful links:

EU Youth Conference of the Cyprus Presidency: “Youth Participation and Social Inclusion”

The EU Youth Conference is a part of the Structured Dialogue procedure that was established  by the Council of the European Union to engage the youth in the decision process. Young people may shape the EU policy on topics that directly affect them through public consultations in each member state and the EU Youth Conference. Each TRIO Presidency sets an overall theme  and then each presidency sets its own priority. The main theme of the 18 month TRIO Poland, Denmark, Cyprus was youth participation in democratic life in Europe. The priority of the Cyprus Presidency was the “Youth Participation and Social Inclusion”. The EU Youth Conference took place in Nicosia on 11-12-13 of September. During the conference of the youth delegates and Directors General of EU Member States discussed how youth participation leads to the social inclusion of all young people, with emphasis on the inclusion of young people with a migrant background and the importance of the participation of young people and youth organizations, especially in decision making for the creation of inclusive, democratic and prosperous societies. The joint recommendations of the youth delegates and Directors General of EU Member States was based on the outcomes of the national consultations in each member state. Find more information in the official website of the Cyprus Presidency. Useful Links:

See also: Newsletter Eurodesk Cyprus April: “Structured Dialogue”

USE Exibition

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Open Cyprus in Europe

From Guimares to Nicosia #goUSE

The United States of Europe – a travelling exhibition about European identity and today’s Europe – on exhibit in Nicosia from 17th September.

  • Loukia and Michael Zampelas Art Museum;
  • Nicosia Municipality ‘Old Market Pallouriotissa’
  • Pharos Arts Foundation: The Shoe Factory
  • Temporary Space
  • The Classic Hotel – the gallery
  • Goethe-Institut – the gallery

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Graffiti for Peace

 Another Initiative funded by the Small Grants Programme “Youth Powers”.

The young people of Cyprus gathered and express themselves through the art of Graffiti. The initiative was an idea of Petros Herakleous and was funded by the Small Grants Programme “Youth Powers”. The aim of the project was to promote the peace and reconciliation among the Greek and Turkish Cypriot youth through the art of graffiti. The project had the support of the Greek Cypriot organization “Peace Centre” and the Turkish Cypriot association “E.M.A.A: European Mediterranean Art Association”.

The project implemented in four phases. In the first phase it the participants and the artists disgusted about the political perception of the art and how the artists may endorse the ideals of peace and reconciliation through their work. During the first phase, the participants developed their skills in the art of graffiti with the help of experienced graffiti artists. During the second phase it took place a demonstration by graffiti artists. In the third phase groups of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriot youth created their own graffiti. In the fourth phase it took place an exhibition of the art work of the participants  to the public in Limassol and Famagusta.

The Buffer Zone became a place of art, creativity full of “youth” and “power”, the art work of the participants is still there giving a positive message. The young people from the two communities met each other and exchanged views through the art of graffiti leaving behind any kind of stereotypes. The youth of Cyprus gave the message of peace.

Congratulations to Youth Powers Cyprus, Petros Herakleous, Peace Centre and E.M.A.A: European Mediterranean Art Association.

Find more information about the project HERE.