Erasmus Plus 2022 | NECI

In 2022, we started successful international cooperation with the Network for European Citizenship and Identity organization from Cyprus. Since January 2023, we have been involved in an international project financed by the Erasmus+ grant program called "Non-formal Learning for improving youth work in diverse settings" (2022-1-CY02-KA151-YOU-000053968).

Non-formal Learning for Improving Youth Work in Diverse Settings

The organizer of this project is the Cypriot organization Network for European Citizenship and Identity in Cyprus (NECI EU). Participants from 7 countries take part in the activity - Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Romania. This project is intended to support informal education, through which representatives of partner organizations will share personal and professional experiences, contribute based on their competencies, cooperate, regardless of background, and develop a cooperation program.

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Advance Preparatory Visit

On January 20-23, 2023, an advance preparatory visit of all participating organizations was held in Cyprus, with NECI EU as the host organization. The aim of the APV are the following topics:

(a) To discuss the objectives of the project and find out how these objectives can cover the needs of the partners,

(b) To analyze the context of youth, youth workers, local community and national level of each partner and align objectives with their needs and

c) To design and organize activities that meet the objectives in accordance with letters a) and b) and at the same time to decide and agree on the desired impact and the final plan of visibility, dissemination and evaluation.

Personal Development Activities

During the following month, on February 18-25, 2023, we were participating in an international activity aimed at the development of non-formal education in Cyprus. 

Our timetable was full of theory and practical activities such as basic project concepts and Erasmus+, types of education, key components in the youth field, the role of the youth worker and developing and improving the competencies through non-formal learning. On the last day, we visited the local Cypriot school and tried to implement our new skills in practice. 

Youthwork for overcoming society's current challenges

Our cooperation with NECI EU continued and we took part in the seminar on Professional development activities from 7th to 12th May 2023 in Paralimni, Cyprus. Partners of this project  Network for European Citizenship and Identity Cyprus, CED Romania, Asociacija Tavo Europa Lithuania, Walktogether Bulgaria

Project No. 2022-1-CY02-KA151-YOU-000053968 | #YWvsChallenges #necieu #erasmusplus #myjump

According to the latest available data from 2021, there were approximately 105,000 foreigners living in Slovakia, which represents roughly 1.9% of the country's population. The largest groups of immigrants in Slovakia come from Ukraine (approx. 56%), followed by Romania (approx. 10%), Vietnam (approx. 5%), Bulgaria (approx. 4%), and the Czech Republic (approx. 3%).

However, in general, the most common challenges related to immigration in Slovakia and other countries can include issues such as integration into society, language barriers, cultural differences, discrimination, employment, and access to education and healthcare. These challenges can have a significant impact on the well-being of immigrants and their families, as well as the broader community. It's important for governments, organizations, and individuals to work together to address these challenges and promote a more inclusive and welcoming society. Additionally, youth work in Slovakia may face challenges related to funding, recognition, and support, as well as issues related to engaging young people and addressing their diverse needs and interests.

(Picture: Dr. Ivana Čergeťová and Ing. Ondřej Horký, who represent information about Slovakia.)

There are several challenges that the youth work society in Slovakia is currently facing. Some of the most common challenges include:

  • Lack of Funding: Youth work organizations in Slovakia often struggle to secure funding, which makes it difficult for them to offer quality services and programs to young people.
  • Limited access to resources: Many youth work organizations in Slovakia have limited access to resources such as training, materials, and equipment, which can hinder their ability to provide effective programs and support to young people.
  • Social Inclusion: Youth work organizations are often tasked with promoting social inclusion and reducing social exclusion. This can be a challenging task, particularly in areas where there is a high level of poverty, unemployment, and social inequality.
  • Lack of recognition: Youth work is still not widely recognized as a profession in Slovakia, and there is a lack of support and understanding from policy-makers, educators, and the wider public.
  • Digitalization: As more young people spend time online, youth work organizations are increasingly expected to use digital tools and platforms to engage with them. However, many organizations lack the necessary skills and resources to do so effectively.
  • Mental Health: Youth work organizations are increasingly called upon to provide support and guidance on mental health issues. However, many organizations lack the necessary training and resources to provide effective mental health support to young people.

The partner organization from Bulgaria mainly presented problems related to parenting and preventive programs, pure educational system, customer basket, social media. The Romanian partner brought us closer to the challenges related to addictions and the possibilities of working in an outdoor environment with youth. The partners from Lithuania mainly communicated the heated situations connected with the distortion of information in the media, especially in connection with the current war in Ukraine. In Cyprus, the Internet and the sharp increase in social network users were perceived as the main factor in youth work.

The opinions of different countries and the problems they encounter help us perceive the situation from a global point of view and at the same time can be an inspiration for us to create preventive programs.

Dissemination activities

After returning from Cyprus, we contacted several of our clients and cooperating organizations and carried out dissemination activities. We presented our new ideas and shared our experiences.

In our partner organization and personnel agency Heat And Lark on 19.5.2023 in Prague, Ondřej Horký led a workshop about our new experiences and internationally acquired information. The goal was to present the situation in other European countries and thus contribute to supporting the labour market.

And since we are flexible and we also work in nature, we also share our experience with clients at workshops focused on personal development. Ondřej Horký did not miss the opportunity and immediately carried out dissemination activities with several of them :) 18.5.2023 in Beroun.

On May 10, 2023, we presented a project for colleagues in our organisation, and in the NGO named "Spolu vpred", in which Ondřej Horký is the professional guarantor of activities focused on career counselling for people with a lack of opportunities in the labour market. The presentation was made in the form of an online seminar.