Youth Workers for More Inclusive Europe Training Course in Yerevan

Youth Workers for More Inclusive Europe

From the 19th to 25th June, 2017 the Armenian Progressive Youth (APY) NGO hosted an International Training Course “Youth Workers for More Inclusive Europe” in Yerevan. The project was organized in partnership with Youth Council of Valencia from Spain and supported by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme.

The Training Course was designed for youth workers and youth organizations, which are willing to play a greater role in the areas of migration and refugee crisis as well as youth de-radicalization as its main consequence. The project gathered 26 youth workers in Armenia who were coming from Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Ukraine. Through the Training Course our participants learnt about existing practices and examples in the field of migration where NGO’s and active citizens have gone beyond their capacities to fill the gap left by national and regional authorities and to support people arriving to Europe. At the same time, participants also learnt how to be better prepared to contribute to the resolution of the refugee crisis and improve the policies of integration of refugees in European societies.

Many of the participants mentioned that the Training Course helped them to learn more about migration in the EU and non-EU countries and how to tackle hate speech towards refugees and migrants. According to the feedback received, we can conclude that the participants especially liked the meeting with Syrian-Armenian refugees and gained knowledge about the situation of asylum seekers´ and refugees in Armenia.

Gaining local knowledge about Armenia, the hosting country, was an added value to the project. Participants were especially interested to learn about the migration problems linked to the Syrian-Armenian community. They were thankful to be given more information and perspective about this topic thanks to the intervention of volunteers from Armenia who told about their experiences and provided inputs.

The entire Training Course and its activities have contributed to the knowledge of participants who have developed numerous skills, such as critical and creative thinking, analysing ambiguities around the controversial issues and improving problem-solving skills. First and foremost, the participants got in-depth knowledge on the concept of migration, thoroughly examining the main causes of hatred towards refugees and getting to know the current state of affairs in Europe. By using peer to peer learning approach, we have created a safe space for participants to learn a lot from each other.

The academic part of the project put forward crucial topics such as respect to human dignity, freedom, equality, respect for human rights, including the rights of refugees and migrants. Moreover, the acquisition of competences has been guaranteed by means of non-formal educational tools provided by the professional trainers throughout the project. Apart from the educational side, the project was comprised of cultural exchange activities such as the intercultural evening as a space to exchange national cuisine, dances, music and create a real multicultural atmosphere. To recapitulate, owing to the project, our participants have been armed with new skills to become more aware and active towards refugee and migrant integration in their own societies and to be actors of change who foster tolerance, solidarity and open-mindedness.

We really hope that our participants are empowered to be a multiplier of knowledge in their own country of origin and they will do their best to impact their peers either personally or through more structured presentations. Surely, this will motivate other young people to deal with similar experiences, to get to know the European programs, and in particular Erasmus+.

“SKYE” Club’s Future Trainers’ Meeting

World Vision Armenia in partnership with Armenian Progressive Youth NGO and several Yerevan-based organizations is going to launch a SKYE Club in Yerevan.

The SKYE Club (Skills and Knowledge for Youth Economic-empowerment) model is a holistic and integrated approach to helping disadvantaged youth develop the skills, behaviors and attitudes necessary to obtain sustainable livelihoods and participate constructively in their communities. This is achieved through group based training and support services.

The club is going to operate in Yerevan and will bring together 25 Syrian-Armenian and local young people based in Yerevan for weekly meetings and training focus on soft skills development, personal growth, employability and IT skills.

Armenian Progressive Youth is going to select several outstanding volunteers who will take part in Training of Trainers as well as a coaching and mentoring process conducted by the professionals at World Vision Armenia. They will be leading the SKYE Club and facilitation the learning process of the participants.

On the 2nd of November 4 of the candidates had their first meeting to deliver presentations and workshops to demonstrate their trainers’ skills and participate in the selection process. All of them will undergo a final selection and will join the trainer’s team.

Many thanks to #Article3 Club for hosting us in their warm and friendly environment.




Unity in Diversity? From Challenges to Opportunities

From 30th of March to 7th “Armenian Progressive Youth Progressive Youth” NGO together in partnership with “Active Ukrainians in Europe” NGO launched a multi-layer project entitled as ‘Unity in diversity? From challenges to opportunities’. The project gathered 32 youth workers and youth educators from Armenia, Denmark, Georgia, Italy, Moldova, Poland,Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine  in Yerevan, Armenia to discuss how current military conflicts and migration processes affect young people and analyze the current migration challenges in Europe trying to offer solutions from the perspective of youth work.

12967419_1160384577314220_72783385713376247_oAs a response to the recent refugee crisis Armenian Progressive Youth NGO has also organized a conference on migration and youth. The conference aimed at highlighting the importance of youth workers and young people in the public debate on migration and discussing how youth workers can use the intercultural dialogue tools to combat intolerance towards migrants and refugees. The Conference involved Civil Society Organizations, youth workers, experts, academics, young migrants and refugees from Armenia,Denmark, Georgia, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Sweden,Turkey and Ukraine.

Kateryna Bublyk, a participant from Ukraine, says that the word “unity” in her language means standing close to someone,  supporting each other, feeling safe and friendly. “It is the sense of a fellowship, and it doesn’t matter what nationality, religion, sex or social status the other person obtain”, she says.

Maya Zakhova, 31 years old from Denmark, adds that for her these topics are very important because she is herself an immigrant in Denmark. “Copenhagen is very multicultural city and I’m a part of it. For me “unity and diversity” are not just words but daily reality.”

Olga Sevcenco, 26 years old from Moldova, describes that for her the training is about inclusion of immigrants, which is highly relevant at this time. Melanie Celina Jane Marchand, 36 years old from France, concludes that the project was about how to get united even if we are coming from different countries. How to create an awareness of the different problems that migrants can go through and in that way create tools to make them feel 12891097_1156090134410331_508253120229537994_obetter in their welcome countries and give them the opportunity to build their personal and professional live. From the trainings, she continues, I got a more precise idea of that is going on in different countries in Europe and inspirational ideas for new joint projects.
Tatiana Prodan, 27 years old from Moldova, adds , “We must understand that the refugees do not come to out country to harm us, they flee from their countries to find better living conditions. That is why we should not marginalize or exclude them”
. Kateryna Bublyk recognizes the importance of these topics in her home country: “As military actions are hold in my country, a lot of people are forced to leave their houses and move with their families all over Ukraine. Trainings like these help us, the Ukrainian youth workers, to overcome the difficulties in communicating with our own refugees.”

Olga Sevcenco stresses that one of the highlights from the training was the session were they were giving theatrical performance based on given12983991_1163573413662003_8122491659337591728_o

scenarios: ”It was very challenging to put ourselves in the place of an immigrant, to act as them and to receive feedback of others etc. From my point
of view, unity, is a term that can be interpreted differently by everyone but the most important is that it brings us together and remind us to respect each culture, vision and diversity. She adds that: ”also, the project was a great opportunity to learn a about culture and history of wonderful and amazing Armenia. The breath taking view of Ararat and delicious Armenian cuisine is still in my mind and heart.”

”After “Unity in Diversity”, Kateryna Bublyk inserts, ”I became more active in social life. Now I try to take part in the majority of projects and activities organised by our local NGO “Centre for European Initiatives”. And I like it! I feel like even being just a simple local citizen I still can participate in the city life, do something good and change the world.”12970881_1161312393888105_5060455718478023478_o

Let’s Make it Home – Seminar on Inclusion of Refugees/IDPs in Hosting Communities

On 14-22 April 2016 an international seminar “Let’s Make it Home” took place in Sumy, Ukraine. The aim of the seminar was to empower youth and NGO workers with tools and practices in working on inclusion and humanitarian support of IDPs and refugees in hosting communities.

The seminar involved 36 youth workers and youth activist with experience in conflict resolution, physiological therapy, cultural studies, human rights, project management, law, social work, and health care from 12 countries (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK, Ukraine, Turkey) working with IDPs and refugees in their communities.

The methodologies of the seminar was based on non-formal education approaches such as: intercultural, experiential and participatory learning, problem analysis, panel discussion and sharing good practices to promote greater cohesion and integration between host communities and refugees/IDPs.

The participants of the seminar identified issues that had arisen in local communities hosting IDPs and refugees. Main issues named by the participants were lack of integration, acceptance and communication among hosting communities and IDPs/refugees, as well as indifference and refusal faced by the migrants.

The practical outcome of the seminar is drafted recommendations by the participants for local authorities, governments, and educational institutions, local, national and international NGOs working in hosting communities.

The developed recommendations are expected to contribute to prevention of possible conflicts in local communities; and ensure intercultural dialogue between various parties involved.
Additionally to it, the participants developed follow-up initiatives focused on the integration of refugees and IDPs in their local communities.

The project was implemented by NGO “Center for European Initiatives” (Ukraine) and NGO “Active Ukrainian in Europe” (Sweden) in cooperation with Youth Peace Ambassadors Network and with financial support of National Agency of Erasmus + Programme in Sweden.

Recommendations for Integration of IDPs and Refugees in HCs

International Training Course on Migration and Youth is Being Launched in Yerevan

Current migration’s processes largely affect youth since a tangible percentage of migrants are young people. In reality, many young people face discrimination at their home, public domain and very often are subject to bullying. What is more, youth is often excluded from the public debate and discussions; their voice is hardly heard. And here, youth organizations and youth workers are often the ones who promote intercultural dialogue through human rights education among young people.

“Armenian Progressive Youth Progressive Youth” NGO together in partnership with “Active Ukrainians in Europe” NGO launches a multi-layer project entitled as ‘Unity in diversity? From challenges to opportunities’. The project will gather 32 youth workers and youth educators from Armenia, Denmark, Georgia, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine from 30 March to 7 April in Yerevan, Armenia to discuss how current military conflicts and migration processes affect young people and analyze the current migration challenges in Europe trying to offer solutions from the perspective of youth work.

A conference on Migration and Youth will be hold within the project on April 5th which will highlight the importance of youth workers and young people in the debates on migration and discussing how youth workers can use the intercultural dialogue tools to combat intolerance towards migrants.

The youth workers will come up together to analyze the emigration and immigration situation in participating countries and to find out the causes of migration, to share experiences and best practices of integrating young migrants in youth organizations.

The most important outcome of the training will be the development of Recommendation paper and Toolkit for the youth workers. It would include the participants’ best practice examples (various games and exercises on intercultural communication, inclusion tools) and recommendations on the work with young immigrants. It will help to avoid prejudices and cultural misunderstanding. The ToolKit will be uploaded on Salto Tool Box to make the material accessible for other youth workers to be applied in their daily youth work.