Alumni Network

The Alumni network streamline beneficiaries of EU mobility programmes in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus such as Erasmus+ Youth in Action and European Solidarity Corps programmes as well as existing networks, such as Young European Ambassadors (YEA), EaP Civil Society Fellows, etc. into a unified network. The Alumni network consists of 60 EU4Youth Alumni from the Eastern Partnership countries and 10 Alumni from Russia.

Aim of the network

The main goal of the Alumni network is to strengthen the inclusion of disadvantaged youth groups from Eastern Europe and the Caucasus in accessing and benefiting from the opportunities offered by EU mobility youth programmes in non-formal education or other forms of civic engagement, offered by another donors and local initiatives.

Objectives

  • To provide the Alumni Network members with continuous competence development in designing and implementing educational activities for young people;
  • To provide the network members professional guidance by youth workers/mentors in their work with young people;
  • To support better engagement of disadvantaged youth groups in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus into opportunities provided by the EU;
  • To promote EU values and EU’s positive role in the region;
  • To provide peer support and guidance for disadvantaged youth groups with the aim to engage them in the projects under Erasmus+ Youth in Action, European Solidarity Corps and EU4Youth programmes;
  • To establish and develop sustainable links between disadvantaged young people and youth organisations in the region;

Who are the Alumni?

  • Young persons aged between 18-30;
  • Residents of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia);
  • Committed time and effort to voluntarily involve into Alumni Network activities in his/her local community;
  • With experience in participating and/or coordinating project(s) in the frames of one of the EU funded initiatives, such are:
    • Erasmus+ Youth in Action (youth exchange, youth workers mobility),
    • European Solidarity Corps,
    • EU4Youth programme,
    • Young European Ambassadors,
    • Civil Society Fellowships.

The key activities of the Alumni network

Onboarding training course: each selected member of the network is invited to take part in on-boarding training course for youth workers (6 day course).

Mentorship support: Alumni are supported by professional youth workers - mentors. Mentors guide Alumni in their learning process, as well as in the process of implementation of local initiatives for the disadvantaged youth groups.

Local initiatives for disadvantaged groups: Each Alumni is invited to develop a local initiative for the group of disadvantaged youth groups in their respective communities. For the implementation of the initiatives Alumni can be paired with a fellow Alumni or other local activists. Alumni can receive funding in the form of small grant as well as organisational and mentorship support. Alumni are expected to dedicate at least 4 hours per week for implementation of their initiatives on voluntary basis.

Final evaluation event: At the end of the year, Alumni are invited to take part in the final evaluation event where they can share their achievements, learnings and findings with each other and wider audience.

Benefits for Alumni

Youth Worker Training: Alumni are offered a fully funded 6-day long training course on youth work with the aim to improve key generic competences of youth workers in order to improve quality of work with young people, based on principles of youth work and non-formal education. The training course programme is built for the development of the following competences of youth workers:

  • Understanding of reality and life of a young person, one is working with;
  • Methodological competence in applying non-formal education for youth work;
  • Understanding of youth work values and principles;
  • Awareness of roles and functions of youth worker in youth policy implementation on a grass root level;
  • Competence in working with youth groups;
  • Ability to develop youth work programmes and methodological approaches;

Programme of the training course is based on the methodology of non-formal education and experiential learning. Training course will consist of various activities, work in groups, educational methods outdoor and indoor, and have time for personal reflections. Highly qualified international team of trainers delivers the training course.

Application of learning and mentorship support: In addition to the training course, Alumni are offered a mentorship support by a professional youth worker. Mentors support Alumni in their learning process, in designing and implementing educational events for the disadvantaged groups, in dealing with challenging situations and providing additional learning opportunities and materials for further personal development.

Recognition: Each Alumni gets recognition in the form of certificate, coverage on various communication channels, opportunities to participate in additional activities and opportunities to meet public officials.

Management

The Alumni Network is co-managed by the EU4Youth Coordination and Support team and the SALTO Eastern Europe and Caucasus Resource Centre with support from the ‘Young European Ambassadors’ (part of EU Neighbours EAST team). The Alumni network is implemented with the SALTO EECA network of Info-Centres for Erasmus+ Youth in Action and European Solidarity Corps as well as members of the Youth Trainers Learning Community.

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