Minority Youth Training Course Announcement

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Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 19:36:38 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: Minority Youth Training Course Announcement 

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Erika Komon <Erika.Komon@eycb.hu>

Minority Youth Training Course Announcement 

Long-term Training Course:


A training course on empowerment of minority youth in Europe

1. Why is this course organised?

50 years after its creation, the Council of Europe pursues its role in
strengthening pluralist democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
In today's Europe, this means paying particular attention to the
development and consolidation of civil society, based first and
foremost on participation and on the removal of obstacles to
participation. Following on from the experiences of the European Youth
Campaign, the Youth Directorate of the Council of Europe is
particularly concerned with issues regarding the integration and
participation of minority youth, within an intercultural educational
perspective. At the political level, the Heads of States and
Governments, at their summit in Strasbourg in October 1997, have
identified work for Education to democratic citizenship as one of the
priority work fields of the Council of Europe for the coming years.

In its declaration on the follow-up to the European Youth Campaign of
1995-1996, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
acknowledged the relevance of training activities for minority youth
work, and the necessity to open up the relevant Council of Europe
structures to representatives of minority organisations and to
representatives of civil society, in general. Other developments in
Europe, such as the enlargement of the Council of Europe to Russia and
the signature of the Caucasian states to the European Cultural
Convention have further confirmed the need for educational activities
which aim at facing the challenges of multicultural societies.

Since 1997, the Youth Directorate of the Council of Europe offers this
training course to deepen the networks and contacts created during the
European Youth Campaign and to contribute further to the empowerment
of minority youth in Europe. The previous courses "Participation and
Citizenship" were evaluated positively and therefore the programme
will continue as one of the priority activities of the Youth
Directorate's annual training programme. 

It is in this spirit that the aim of this course is to train and
empower minority youth leaders to develop projects and associative
strategies committed to the advancement of a civil society based on
participation, intercultural education and Human Rights in a European
perspective. The projects and commitments resulting from this course
will create synergies to help overcome situations of exclusion and
discrimination caused by racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other
forms of intolerance.

2. The concrete objectives of the training course are:

- to support/promote minority youth participation, within the
framework of consolidation of civil society
- to discuss and enhance the representation of minority youth in
European youth associations and structures;
- to reflect on issues such as identity, nationalism, Europe,
discrimination, social exclusion and majority-minority relations and
their relevance to youth projects;
- to exchange and analyse today's challenges posed by racism and to
initiate innovative projects on participation and citizenship and
document good practice;
- to develop practical approaches and methods for translating
solidarity, empathy, democracy and citizenship into youth work
- to enable participants to prepare, run and evaluate a project;
- to provide specific skills training relevant to participants'
projects and the development of their organisation;
- to inform participants about European institutions and youth
structures and opportunities provided by their programmes and policies
on youth and minority issues;
- to motivate and enable participants to share their acquired
knowledge, information and experience as widely as possible and act as
multipliers on the issues of intercultural education, equal
opportunities and empowerment of minority youth after the course;
-  to gather contributions for the development of the Council of
Europe policy as regards minority youth in Europe.

3. Methodology of the course:

This course is a Long-Term Training Course in three phases, the second
being a project phase. The course is designed as an experiment in
learning and exchange, the participants' experience being the starting
point of the training process. The multicultural group of participants
will be a forum for intercultural learning in itself.  The team of
trainers, with the assistance of resource persons and experts, will
cover a series of themes relevant to the objectives of the course. The
course will be organised to allow for the maximum participation of the
group using active and communicative methods. During the project phase
participants will receive support from the trainers and other

The projects are an essential part of the course and of its
methodology. As a tool for learning they will allow participants to
put into practice what was learned during the introductory seminar. As
concrete initiatives they should contribute to improving the
participation opportunities of minority young people and provide
examples of good practice for the future. During the project phase,
the participants may receive support from the trainers' team,
including specific visits to projects that require them.

Criteria for the projects

Projects should aim at empowering minority young people and at
removing barriers to their participation. Empowerment and
participation should be understood in a broad sense as strategies to
overcome or counter situations of discrimination, oppression or
isolation. The form of the projects can vary according to each
country, minority and organisation. 

 providing information about existing rights and opportunities;
 raising minority young people's awareness and self-esteem; 
 organising educational or cultural activities that reflect the
interests of a given community or group of young people; 
 promoting co-operation and solidarity between minority organisations
or groups and "majority" organisations at regional, national or local

The projects should be concrete and relevant, reflecting the
situations and challenges faced by the minority or minorities that it
addresses. They can have a local, regional, national or European
dimension and aim at removing the barriers to participation of
minorities on the social, political and educational levels. They
should address a particular local community, but they can also embrace
different minority organisations. 

 to initiate a vocational training project to fight unemployment, to
start an education programme for young people during their leisure
 to overcome the apathy of young people by preparing a youth
 to set up a meeting-place for young people; 
 to organise a dialogue with other organisations or communities.  
Projects should be based on an intercultural approach. The aims and
activities undertaken by the project should contribute to a better
understanding and acceptance of minority cultures or groups and of
their rights. 

 Projects can be aimed at a particular group or minority to raise
their self-esteem and awareness, fighting prejudices, etc. but can
also be aimed to a wider public by informing, raising awareness,
influencing and lobbying, etc.   

The projects should have clear aims and objectives. For this purpose
the projects must have a beginning and an end - even if a follow-up is
foreseen - so as to allow an evaluation and assessment of the results

 to initiate a youth group or club; 
 carry out a series of training sessions during a certain time; 
 to organise a national seminar or meeting; 
 to set up an information network by November 2000.

Projects should be run by and for young people. The leaders of the
project should be youth leaders or representatives of young people
(e.g. a member of a youth organisation) and the project should have
young people as the ultimate target group or to promote their
interests as an ultimate aim. 

 the creation of a youth section in a cultural organisation is aimed
at young people, even though the activities might not involve only
young people;
 similarly an awareness-raising or information campaign might not be
addressed at young people exclusively but young people should be
actively involved in it;
 the definition of what is "young" varies according to country and
project. For the purposes of the course it should be understood as a
majority of people or participants under 30 years of age.

Projects should be carried out in the framework of an organisation or
association. Purely individual projects will not be accepted. The
nature and size of the organisation or association can vary (from
small and local to national or European organisations) and so may the
form (informal association, foundation, federation, etc.). 

Projects should be initiated during the course (i.e. before the end of
November 2000). Since the nature and size of the projects will be very
different, it might not always be possible to finish the projects
before the evaluation seminar. But to benefit from the support by the
course team and in order to allow for an evaluation, at least some
activities should be undertaken before the end of November.  

NB: Financing of the projects 

During the course, participants will receive information and advice
about different European funding sources that could be interesting for
co-financing the projects. The Council of Europe, however, cannot make
any commitment to finance the projects of the participants.
Fundraising and the financial management of the projects is the sole
responsibility of the project leader (the participant) and of the
sending organisation, group or association. 

4. Calendar:

First phase:
Introductory seminar at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, Hungary 
11 - 26 March 2000 (arrival and departure dates)

Participants present their projects and develop them with the
assistance of the trainers and the other participants according to
course contents and objectives. Basic information on European youth
work, work on the concepts of participation and citizenship and
project planning skills are the emphasis of this phase of the

Second phase: 
Project implementation
27 March to 7 November 2000

Participants implement their projects in their home country.

Third phase:
Evaluation seminar at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg, France 
8-19 November 2000 (arrival and departure dates)

Participants will evaluate their projects and the leadership-skills
training will be completed. During this seminar, contributions for the
development of networks amongst participants and their organisations
and of future Council of Europe strategies regarding minority youth in
Europe will be gathered.

5. Working languages:

French, English and Russian are foreseen as working languages with
simultaneous interpretation. However, candidates are requested to
indicate all their working languages on the application form to allow
for adequate planning.

6. Profile of participants:

Applications are welcome from:

6.1 Minority youth leaders

* who are active in European networks resulting from the Council of
Europe Youth Campaign against racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and


* who are active in local, regional or national associations and are
interested in developing strategies and projects around participation
and citizenship for minority youth.

6.2 Other youth leaders and youth workers

* who are interested in developing strategies and projects around
participation and citizenship with minority youth in their

In all cases participants should be

* willing to undergo training and set up a project within the
framework of the training;
* aged between 18 - 35 years;
* ready and able to attend for the full duration of the course;
* supported by their organisation or association;
* able to work in English, French or Russian.

7. Enrolment fees, travel costs, compensation for loss of earnings:

- Board and lodgings are provided and paid for by the European Youth
- Travel expenses are reimbursed according to the rules of the Council
of Europe;
- The enrolment fee is 54 EURO (350 FF) per participant for each
seminar. This fee will be deducted from the amount to be reimbursed
for travel expenses;
- The Youth Directorate operates a system of compensation for loss of
earnings for young workers and young unemployed people under the age
of 30 who are obliged to take unpaid leave in order to attend one of
its activities.

Deadline for applications:  28 January 2000:

Candidates must send all 4 pages of their application forms directly
to the EYC Budapest. 
Those candidates accepted will be informed by mid February and will
subsequently receive a course file with additional information.

>From the moderator: the course application forms can be received by
individual requests from Mrs. Erika Komon <Erika.Komon@eycb.hu>

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