From local to global: FRI and YEU
What is it like to stand in front of 150 people? - My colleague asked recently.
Well. It is not as scary as to know that both my mum and the boss watched the presentation online on Facebook. So it was awesome :)
What is a “FRI-Camp”?
It is all about youth needs, enhancing of skills, support of emerging leaders and community development. Something that FRI is doing across Ukraine for 15 years and something that is being done all across Europe by you ;-). The recipe for our most successful local project "FRI-Camps" is: living in tents, non-formal education and volunteering at the kitchen. There were 17 camps in 2016, and 26 are planned for the summer of 2017, while some camps have been delivered each summer for 13 years already! We are covering various topics of youth activism, human rights, leadership, entrepreneurship and arts. Most importantly, we are bringing together young people from all over Ukraine to facilitate cross-regional dialogue and create communities of young people free of stereotypes and prejudices.
FRI-Camp is a peer to peer initiative. Average participant's age is 18-24, same is for the organizing team. Today's participants can join FRI, get experience in civic activism and soon be the organizers of FRI-Camp themselves! In fact, camps are a great tool to boost youth participation at the local level, and they have been one of the means in achieving the count of over 1000 active members in FRI nationwide.
Experience to share.
Numerous youth camps are done all across Europe every year. Our key points are to create atmosphere of friendship and care, provide only relevant trainings and practical skills, invite experienced speakers and empower youth to make change. We don't chase grant support, it is all possible thanks to an affordable participation fee and close cooperation with local business. High priority in recent years is engagement of internally displaced young people and youth with fewer opportunities.
This word summarizes my one and a half day at the COMEM. I don’t think I remember all of the names of all these wonderful people, but I totally felt the spirit of a truly European community.
As a former leader of FRI I know that we have a deep connection to YEU core values and mission. So for me being an ambassador of YEU in front of 150 persons at COMEM is being sincere in telling a story of the impact that youth work is creating and also a great chance to showcase our work in Ukraine. What we all have in common globally is understanding that the leadership comes through volunteering and hard work in our local communities.