Inter Alia’s strategy for Youth 2021-2023
Youth is connected to change, experimentation and fluidity. Social, economic and cultural circumstances constitute “youth” a diverse experience as to its duration and the space for exploration it provides. The period between the dependency of childhood and the “independence” of adulthood is always formative for youngsters and their emotional, social and professional development.
Since its creation, Inter Alia seeks to empower youngsters, to articulate their needs, and shape their environment. Inter Alia tries to achieve these aims by inspiring and enabling civic and political engagement, and by helping youth discover and utilise skills and competences in order for them to be able to claim their space in private, professional and public life. Inter Alia holds that the empowerment of youth requires acquisition of both theoretical and practical tools in order to lead it to action. In this context, Inter Alia aspires to:
- Engage youth in sociopolitical dialogue and enhance its effectiveness in influencing decision making;
- Empower youth and increase employment opportunities through training, skills’ development, and participation;
- Confront interpersonal and intergroup stereotypes and enhance intercultural understanding among youth.
Inter Alia’s strategy promotes this agenda through enabling interaction among youngsters and connecting youth with experts (policy makers, scholars) as well as through activities promoting peer learning, self-help and collective decision making. It is grounded on field work, research and continuous interaction with youth, youth organisations and institutions. It thus fosters more diverse, inclusive and engaging activities that can attract more youngsters and stakeholders. Moreover, the strategy foresees actions to support youngsters and youth organisations in implementing activities, enhancing local connections and international network and developing their capacities.
Inter Alia’s work plan in the field of youth has four main pillars: Education, Political Engagement, Research and Cultural Awareness. It includes different fields of action (advocacy, community development, intercultural understanding, youth work, active citizenship, civic education) and applies different methods and tools to test, exchange, promote, implement and up-scale good practices at different levels (local, national, European, international).
The specific objectives of our work-plan for the upcoming 3-year period are to:
- Engage youth in social and political dialogue and to enable their input in the EU processes through fostering debate among youth and with stakeholders on challenges of democracy in Europe.
- Empower marginalised youth through activities that enable them to advocate for their rights and by fostering contact between the “majorities” and “minorities”.
- Cultivate empathy and inter-cultural exchange by enabling mobility, cultural exchange and volunteerism both in the EU and beyond.
- Upgrade the role of youth organisations by advocating for more effective funding models, establishing quality standards, further recognition of non-formal education by national and EU authorities and making recommendations to authorities.
Inter Alia’s strategy puts in action the existing know-how of its members and builds on previous projects, while attempting to introduce new viewpoints, notions and methods. Effective partnerships render the plan attainable. Complementarity of approaches and fields of expertise is a central factor for the selection of our allies and partners. Broad geographic coverage in line with the respective social needs and the capacity of partners to mobilise local communities, experts and stakeholders, are equally significant. Most partnerships build on existing initiatives while new ones are added, based on partners’ profile that fit to the priorities of the network and could offer fresh inputs that diversify its impact.
The strategy is driven by regular consultation with target groups. Inter Alia and its partners work with local communities in order to specify, prioritise and tackle social challenges through action. Stakeholder analysis is an important preparatory step for most activities, aiming at stakeholders that have high influence on target groups in the sense of high power and high interest in the mission and vision of Inter Alia. In addition, the plan includes parties that currently hold low power but have significant dynamics in their fields and could grow through participation in planned activities. Different groups are targeted by different activities. Yet, there is an emphasis placed on the role of professionals in the field of youth due to the significance of their role in supporting youngsters to navigate themselves out of personal, social and economic predicaments in a cohesive and sustainable manner.
The strategy opts for diversity and foresees quality action regardless of scale. It includes action taking place at local level and remote areas, to regional, to European and global in the context of specific projects. In this way, beyond their specific aims, the projects will contribute to the diversification of networks, partnerships and stakeholders. Funding will be sought by different sources and sectors in order to remain able to follow the agenda and pursue the vision for Europe Inter Alia holds, with as little external limitations as possible.
Summary of the Work Plan for 2022
Two years since the beginning of the pandemic, Europe remains in a state of shock and denial. While the effect of the pandemic on public healthcare will eventually subside, the social and economic impact has not yet started unravelling. A grim future lays ahead; particularly for youth. Recent crises exemplified that economic stagnation, unemployment, frustration, poverty and lack of sustainable life prospects hit younger populations the hardest and offer ground to anti-social behaviours and political choices. In this framework, Inter Alia’s work plan 2022 aims to:
- Enhance youth engagement and empowerment through democratic education, advocacy and civic participation.
- Empower marginalised youth through activities that will enable them to advocate for their rights and by fostering contact between the “majorities” and “minorities”
- Advocate for effective prioritisation and budget allocation of EU policies in the field of youth.
- Enable contact, exchange and collaboration among youth organisations and with other stakeholders at local, national and European level.
- Enable inter-cultural exchange of youth in Europe and beyond.
Approach & Activities
The work-plan capitalises on the diversity of Inter Alia’s partnerships and expertise. Our network combines non-formal learning and scholarly knowhow for dealing with contemporary challenges of youth. By enabling cooperation among different stakeholders, the work plan will enable: a. the exchange and up-scale of existing ideas and projects and their opening to more target groups and population groups b. develop new projects and initiatives with an EU-level scope and a local-level application.
The work plan focuses on education, political engagement, research and cultural awareness. The course of action spreads to the fields of advocacy, active citizenship, civic education, youth work, sustainability, cultural exchange and volunteerism. The methods to be used in the civic and educational activities are peer-learning and learning-by-doing. Regarding research activities, Inter Alia and partners will develop policy documents, organise focus groups, on-line surveys, policy-making debates and structured dialogue activities.
What you should be looking out for
Learning mobility & Volunteering
Following to the lifting of travel restrictions Inter Alia will organise or be actively involved in a series of transnational learning activities – youth exchanges, seminars, trainings, volunteering opportunities – in the fields of advocacy, cultural awareness, theatre and others. Stay tuned through our website and social media.
Positively Different Short Film Festival & Special screenings
Gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, religion, able-bodiness – are determinants of our present and future, life prospects and obstructions. PDSFF2023 focuses on their intersections and follows stories of characters, individuals and communities that experience oppression due to identities they carry. Shedding light on life paths of “others” – often through realism and humor and other times through abstraction and experimentation – the festival aims to give space to co-creation, networking and shaping of collective claims. Our aspiration is to turn PDSFF into an institution for promoting intersecting identities and raising awareness on issues of discrimination and oppression experienced by individuals and groups that fall through the cracks of representation in contemporary polities. All information here
Campaign: Life beyond EU Funding. Imagining a Different Role for Youth Organisations in Europe
We campaign across Europe arguing that structural EU funding to youth organisations needs to increase. We request that operational funding reach 5% of the overall Erasmus+ budget in the field of youth on a yearly basis. This can only be sustainable through a series of policy interventions in the system of allocation and the overall terms of operation of the youth sector on the EU level. Check out the campaign website.
A series of interactive online meetings of young people to present themselves, identify youth issues in their community based on the European Youth Goals, focused on best practices and solutions, proposing and implementing advocacy actions – https://civilsocietynetwork.weebly.com/
Public makers – Toolkit/Online Course
The course is divided in 4 modules: (1) Ways of thinking, (2) Ways of working, (3) Tools of work and (4) Living in the community. The first module will give an introduction to the open data to its students. Visualisation of the data and its accessibility are the topics that will be covered in the second module. How to use open data tools and sources to create a change in the community is what will the students of the Public makers course find out in the third module. Last but not least – the fourth module will be focused on the lobbying for change.
STEP Online Series “Social Transformation & Ecology
A series of online local seminars on issues of ecological sustainability, circular economy, environmental justice and activism. During this seminar, activities related to the STEP project will be implemented online. After the completion of the seminar series, participants will develop local sustainable intereventions dedicated to important environmental days such as the Global Degrowth Day and the International Environment Day. 5 online meetings have been foreseen.
Youth Work Fair Youth Work Fair promotes the exchange of know-how about experiences and forms of youth work, to highlight the role, prospects and challenges of youth work at local, national, European and international level as well as to inform those interested in training and skills development opportunities, both in Greece and abroad.
Our network in the field of youth involves more than 120 organisations, institutions, networks and municipalities from around the world. Cooperation is primarily made on a project-basis. However, Inter Alia has taken up an effort to include partners in a new decision making body within the organisation, the Board of Members, and to broaden the ground for statutory agreement with other civil society actors.
The work plan aims to empower youth organisations and enable partnerships thus contributing to the proliferation and diversification of networks and stakeholders dealing with needs of youth at the local, national and EU level. In specific, the work plan aims to: a. Raise interest and awareness of young people on EU matters; b. Develop skills and competences for youngsters, youth workers and educators; c. Enable contact and inter-cultural exchange between youngsters beyond national, ethnic, racial, social and gender divisions; d. Raise awareness among policy-makers on challenges of youth and push for policy reform.
Youngsters residing in Europe; Youth workers & educators; Civic and youth organizations; High-school and university students; Policy-makers; Scholars.
- Educational modules (3);
- Short-films created by youngsters carrying marginalised identities (8);
- Policy recommendations on youth policies, media literacy, open data & democracy (3)
- E-platform on youth participation;
- Performances using theatre as a tool for political engagement (6);
- Open cultural events about shrinking public space (25);
- Awareness campaigns on shrinking public space (2);
- Festivals aimed to empower young artists and raise awareness on oppressed identities (2)
Apart from EU funding, Inter Alia will continue cooperating with private and public international organisations, local and national authorities and donors.