Variety is the spice of life – try walking in my shoes
Supported by European Youth Foundation of Council of Europe, YEU is preparing for implementation of one year workplan called “Variety is the spice of life – try walking in my shoes”.
The vision behind the workplan “Variety is the spice of life – try walking in my shoes” is an open-minded and tolerant society providing equal opportunities to all no matter of the background or personal characteristics. During the one year process we want to build capacities of youth workers which will enable them to strive to this vision by adding intercultural dialogue and gender diversity as transversal issue in their everyday work: questioning current and promoting new practices by (re)thinking and (de)constructing cultural and gender norms in local communities.
The workplan will consist of 3 international activities, small research/survey and workshops in local communities. In the beginning of the process, YEU will open a call for 15 partner organizations (both YEU member organizations and non-members) which will be represented by youth workers, trainers and/or organizers – young people with experience in working on local level in multicultural communities.
In preparatory phase of Activity 1 which will be held in Stockholm, Sweden, participants (15 of them) will have a task to research about cultural and gender norms in their societies related to cycle of life: birth, adulthood and death as well as social/marital/heritage rights related legislation. With this, we want to set the grounds for Activity 1: capacity building training course on intercultural dialogue from gender perspective.
The aim of the activity is to tackle topics of cultural and gender norms, practices in various societies (regarding origin, religion) and defining new approaches, methodologies and activities that will ensure (de)constructing current ones and (re)thinking new ones.
These will be “tested” before beginning of Activity 2 through local workshops and then put into practice during annual YEU Convention with the topic of cycle of life. YEU Convention will be held in Greece, Albania and FYRO Macedonia.
Gathering 50 young people (including participants of Activity 1 who will be facilitators) and held in 3 venues each one of them will have a topic: birth, adulthood and death as most important events in human life. Presenting customs from different cultures and relating them to social, intercultural and gender issues, we hope to raise discussions on current trends in Europe today, differences among cultures and how to “handle” them in nowadays societies: to let the fear take over and close down (as we did with borders) or open up and embrace the difference even if not changing your own practices?
By using different methodologies, we want to put participants in shoes of the “Others” and let them walk a mile: only by experiencing, one can understand. The 12 days Convention will result with a follow up workshops in local communities implemented by Convention participants and monitored by Activity 1 participants. The goal is to, now, test the new approaches in local communities and understand if these would be usable for youth workers across Europe when promoting intercultural dialogue with emphasis on gender roles and norms.
Activity 3 will be an evaluation and follow up seminar to be held in Vienna, Austria where participants of Activity 1 will sum up and evaluate new approaches, methodologies, exercises and activities and present them to NFE community and other stakeholders in Austrian society for testing and feedback.
The final outcome of the workplan will be a Guidebook “Variety is the spice of life – try walking in my shoes” explaining why intercultural dialogue and gender perspective should be a cross-cut issue in youth work while offering approaches and activities to be implemented on local and international level.
Interested? Call for teams, participants and organizations will be opened soon!