This is a reference for Mieke Neven McMahon

Youth Discovering Erasmus+ Project Lab

The training activity took place
in Barcelos, Portugal
organised by Erasmus+ Youth In Action Portuguese National Agency
26-30 November 2019

Aims & objectives

The main aim of “Youth Discovering Erasmus+ Project LAB" is to encourage youth workers to use Erasmus+ within their local contexts and increase the participation of young people in international youth work through the Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme

Objectives of the event:

=> To increase the participation of young people and organisations in the Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme;
=> To encourage and support the strategic use of Erasmus+ as a tool for inclusion & capacity building of organisations;
=> To increase the capacity of organisations for international youth work;
=> To support establishment of long-term quality partnerships.
=> To gather and promote results & good practices on national and transnational level.

Expected results:

=> The participants are expected to develop new partnerships and project ideas and should be able to submit an application to E+: Youth in Action Programme;
=> Increase the number and the quality of projects submitted by organisations/informal groups coming from disadvantaged areas;
=> Increase the participation of young people from disadvantaged areas in E+: Youth in Action Programme;
=> Develop new partnerships and projects among the participating organizations;
Increase the competences of participants to better understand the core principles of developing quality inclusion projects involving specific target groups;

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

the team consisted of Sara Serrão (PT) and myself, support by Petar Dukic (IE) and Angela Santos(PT)

There were 24 participants, representing non-profit organizations, youth centres and schools from disadvantaged areas (rural, urban or remote such as an island) or working with young people from disadvantaged areas. Participants were from 5 countries: Estonia, Portugal, Romania, Ireland and Albania

Training methods used & main activities

The chosen methodology provided the participants with basic skills and formal information (concerning the programme, how to build up projects and methods of Non-Formal Learning) and encouraged the participants to commit themselves to cooperation in an international project in the frame of Erasmus + YOUTH after the Project LAB. The programme did not include an in-depth presentation of E+ Youth since this information is given in the national preparation sessions given by each NA.

The content was introduced through interactive motivational activities, presentations, working groups and other learning methods of non-formal education.
Contact-making and partnership building was an integral part of the seminar.
The LAB mainly focused on key action 1 possibilities in the frame of the Erasmus+ programme ( mobility of young people and mobility of youth workers), with a specific focus on Inclusion projects.
The activities were supported by a Booklet and visual tools created specifically for the LAB.

Outcomes of the activity

All participants agreed that their own and the organisation's objectives were reached and that the event helped them to find partners.

Participants felt that they developed during the project LAB and that they feel more ready, motivated and secure when thinking about applying for an Erasmus+ project.

Participants developed 6 youth exchanges and most feel positive about able to apply for these projects.

Quote from participant:
"The Project LAB gave me a great boost to continue working on with youngsters. Although I have been working in the youth centre for only 2 years - their lives and problems can sometimes overwhelm you and they come from harsh backgrounds and it is much. But during the LAB I saw other people doing the same kind of work. And it empowered me when others shared their stuff. One of the best things we did in our group was the tree of problems and solutions. Yes, there are a lot of problems, but it was a great reminder that there are a lot of solutions too (which are harder to see, but they are there). And there is HOPE! And I think I found a new perspective in my work for the youngsters. I wanna keep doing, what I know best. I want to empower them because there was someone who empowered me when I was a youngster."

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

I was a facilitator for the seminar

I worked on this training for 3 days as a full time trainer.

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