I must say that the last 2 months were really exciting for me as I got the approval to organise run my own micro-project on youthwork called Move Youthwise. Over the last month I was gathering the team and I can proudly say that I have now on board a group of highly motivated youngsters who do not fear questioning the status quo.
The first meeting of Move Youthwise took part on 14th February and was a discovery of youthwork as defined by European Union institutions.
So, what is youthwork?
Youth work encompasses a broad range of activities (eg social, cultural, educational, sports-related and political) carried out with, by and for young people through non-formal and informal learning.
The findings of the expert group detail the role of youth work and its specific contribution to addressing the challenges young people face, in particular the transition from education to employment. In this context, youth work is defined as actions directed towards young people regarding activities where they take part voluntarily, designed for supporting their personal and social development through non-formal and informal learning.
Main missions of youthwork are:
- improve social inclusion,
- build civil society,
- enhance employability,
- prevent health risks
- foster active citizenship and participation of young people in diverse and tolerant societies as well as preventing marginalisation, and radicalisation potentially resulting in violent behaviour,
- respond to the opportunities and challenges raised by the increasing numbers of young migrants and refugees in the European Union and neighbouring countries,
- address the risks, opportunities, and implications of digitalization for youth, youth work and youth policy.
We were exploring the needs of Turkish young people by running a SWOT analysis of an individual belonging to this group. We gave them the name Toprak as it can be given to representants of both genders. Toprak turned out to be a resilient and ambitious person – we even called them a fighter – who however sometimes lacks of information and motivation to take action themselves. The everyday reality of Toprak seems quite challenging, especially taken into account the difficult situation on the labour market.
Then, we discussed missions of youthwork with highlight given to those especially important to Turkish young people. During this activity, all the participants could share their experience, lessons learned and expectations towards youthwork. We also started to brainstorm a little bit on entrepreneurial mindset and its importance not only in regards to employability and entrepreneurship, but also everyday life.
At the end of the meeting we agreed that we talked enough about the difficulties young Turkish people face and that we want to start looking for solutions. I will be keeping you posted about our discoveries and conclusions from meetings to come.