In Europe, the engagement of youth in community life has always represented an important factor for the development of communities. Since the Covid-19 pandemic has started, the communities who practice youth work face different challenges: the lack of financial support from private and public institutions, decrease in visibility, the disengagement of youth, contribution of youth work to address the challenges, needa of young people due to the new trends of innovation with digitalisation and social media.
Moreover, youth work faces the development of quality, and lack of support to recognize the youth worker as an active agent in the community. Many young people feel remote from their communities, facing social exclusion and the needs of young people with fewer opportunities including those who live in rural areas have changed regarding digitalisation, engagement and active participation. In this sense, in order to build stronger and more resilient communities, it is needed to empower youth with the tools to interpret and understand the dynamics of the place they live in and foster their development to be as individuals and as citizens. The COM project is linked to the priority of increasing quality, innovation and recognition of youth work.
The major goal is to develop tools and methodologies for youth workers as a means to better identify community youth challenges and to empower young people with fewer opportunities, including young people from rural areas through the approach of digitalisation, non formal education, investigation and cooperation.
The main objectives of the COM project are:
- Producing a larger set of tools for youth workers through digitalisation methods, non formal education, to strengthen their capacities in order to support and engage young people with fewer opportunities, including young people in rural areas and developing competences for the less experienced organisations in this field of the application.
- Contributing to the support and the recognition of the youth workers in the local communities of the countries, by promoting youth work with practices which increase their visibility at the European level, dialogue with the stakeholders, respond to their needs, thanks to a transnational cooperation.
The concrete results of the COM project are:
- to carry out a training and a seminar on digitalization and social networks for youth workers to develop their transversal competences to target young people with fewer opportunities and including those who live in rural areas;
- to carry out a working session with debates, mapping visit, and a workshop for youth workers to promote youth social inclusion and active participation, and put young people first in their communities;
- to investigate, and develop research and carry out local surveys and focus groups to support youth work in local communities, by gathering knowledge, developing critical thinking, analysing youth work processes with stakeholders.