Current practice in inclusive and diverse youth work and principles of youth work organisations in the UK, Croatia, Slovakia and Turkey and Italy were the main topics of the 2nd partner meeting of the RIDE project, which was held in Palermo on 24th and 25th May 2016. The project, which is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission, aims to collect and develop new resources for the promotion of inclusion, diversity and equality in youth work.
In the last months, the partner organisations carried out a Needs Analysis to find out more about needs and gaps in inclusive youth work, including main issues affecting young people in their countries. For this purpose, all partners organized focus group discussions and interviews with youth workers, university professors and young people. The research showed that there are fundamental differences both in the conceptualization of youth work and in the practice – while in some countries, a common definition and standards for youth workers and youth work exist, in others there is not even an educational path or an official recognition of the youth work profession. Likewise, young people face diverse problems in the partner countries: some of them are suffering mostly of socio-economic difficulties, while others struggle more with geographic obstacles and cultural differences. Partners are finalizing now the Needs Analysis Report and will then publish it on the project’s website.
Simultaneously to the research on the needs of youth work organisations, partners have also gathered information on the value base of inclusion, diversity and equality. Why should youth workers engage in the promotion of these values? And which are the principles that can guide youth workers in their daily practice? The answers to these questions are currently being gathered in the Principles and Approaches Report, which will also be available soon.
The next steps of the project will be to collect and analyse good practice examples of youth work organisations and projects seeking to include all and/or examples that are seeking to work with target groups facing specific issues. Each partner will study 4-5 such examples through the analysis of documents and interviews with involved youth workers and organisations.
Project partners are:
- University of Gloucestershire (United Kingdom) – Project Coordinator
- CESIE (Italy)
- Trnava University (Slovakia)
- Akdeniz University (Turkey)
- Croatian Youth Network (Croatia)