INVENT: Inclusive youth work for community development
INVENT is a multilateral Strategic Partnership between Fryshuset and Armenian Progressive Youth and 125Procent that seeks to develop, test and promote inclusive and innovative approaches in youth work, with a focus on marginalized and vulnerable young people. Through this partnership, we aim at developing, testing and sharing innovative and inclusive youth work practices, training modules and support materials, which will improve the quality of youth work delivered by organizations involved in this project and beyond. In the core of this Strategic Partnership project is the need identified among youth workers, youth educators, youth organizations, youth centers, local municipalities and other youth work providers in the communities of participating organizations. Inclusion and effective outreach remain a challenge among many organizations. That is why the project will equip the youth work providers with necessary toolbox, methods and practices, to help them increasing inclusivity and diversity-orientation of the service provision to young people and improve the outreach to young people with fewer opportunities, youngsters at risk of marginalization and radicalization.
- Designing and testing innovative training modules, working models, learning and teaching events and support materials;
- Fostering inclusive youth work in selected communities in Armenia and Sweden
- Promoting development and recognition of inclusive youth work through non-formal education in Yerevan, Armenia
- Training the trainers who will be able to carry out trainings based on training modules and developed methodology on local level
- Creating working and teaching models which will help participating organizations to provide continuous support to young people with fewer opportunities (focusing on NEETs, refugees, migrants, ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ+ youth)
- Building capacities of marginalized young people and providing personal and professional development through non-formal education
- Empowering youth workers, trainers, educators and youth work providers to develop strategies to implement effective outreach to marginalized young people and sustain fair inclusion policies
- Strengthening cooperation between involved partner organizations and exchanging innovative youth work practices.
The need for socio-economic activities and employment programs for youth in Yerevan has been identified in different researches and policy papers as well as in the 5-year development plan of Yerevan Municipality. Unemployment and social integration are among the most important issues facing young people in Yerevan. Based upon the experience and knowledge of the organisations, through previous meetings with stakeholders and available studies and research the following local needs and constraints have been identified:
- Limited knowledge – particularly among youth – on participation, educational programs, volunteering, non-formal education and mobilityopportunities;
- Lack of entrepreneurship skills, knowledge and competences and absence of innovative approaches fostering socio-economic inclusion, especially for disadvantaged youth;
- Traditional, technical and knowledge-based courses are still more common and the need to provide youth with more transferable skills so that they are socially and professionally adaptable;
- Young people are fragile in the labor market, with lack of legislative framework, low access to training and funding opportunities and networks remaining undeveloped with limited experience in sharing/coordination;
- Limited engagement of government and public agencies in the youth sector;
- Lack of access to the same rights, opportunities and safe spaces to get involved and to be heard as well as lack of tools and strategies of engaging marginalized young people and young people at risk;
- There are few initiatives and projects aimed at empowering young people, especially those based in ”poor districts” of Yerevan. Most of the existing programs are mainly targeting children and schools but not young people and young adults who live in those communities.
Fryshuset and Armenian Progressive Youth believe that different perspectives, experiences and knowledge are crucial to ensure that the project is built upon young people’s actual needs.