Experts Discuss International Youth Work in Germany, Western Balkans

SHËNGJIN – RYCO and Transfer e.V organized an experts’ symposium entitled “Access and Barriers to Participation in Learning Mobility Projects – International Youth Work in Germany and the Western Balkan Six” in Shëngjin, Albania on 17-18 October. The participants discussed the “Access Study +” implemented in Germany in 2018/2019 focused on the barriers and obstacles young people are facing in participating in learning mobility projects.

The two-day event brought together 19 participants from the Western Balkans and Germany who work on young people’s mobility through CSOs, high schools, and research institutes or who took part in a mobility project as young people.

Addressing the participants, RYCO Program Manager Ms Bojana Bulatović presented the state of art of RYCO, highlighting the hard efforts that have been put in designing RYCO programs to better reach young people.

“Through our open calls for project-proposals, especially the part focusing on high schools, RYCO is trying to ensure that all groups have an equal possibility in attending our projects and programs. We undertake different types of research and surveys to learn about the attitudes of the young people who participate in the projects that we support but also about the ones who haven’t participated yet. The research findings help us design adequate strategies for informing and reaching better young people who have not had a chance to travel in the region be it for economic reasons, because of lack of information or prejudice towards other societies,” Ms Bulatović pointed out.

On the other hand, Deputy Managing Director of Transfer e.V Mr Andreas Rosellen said that through the presentation of the study, his organization is very interested in gathering the perceptions of various youth actors working in the Western Balkans on learning and mobility projects to see how they resonate with their findings and how these insights can be helpful in their work.

During the symposium, the participants had the chance to hear several presentations related to the topic. Ms Heike Abt of the International Human Resources Management and Mr Rosellen shared some of the insights from the Access+ study. A summary of the findings can be found in the fact-sheet accessible here.

Furthermore, Ms Slađana Petković a researcher who is also a member of the Pool of European Youth Researches shared with the participants an overview of the youth policy framework in the Western Balkans, while a researcher Ms Alba Çela presented the findings from the Youth Studies Southeast Europe 2018/2019, published by Friedrich Ebert Foundation. These findings intrigued the participants to discuss what the systematic approach of learning mobility projects is to expand the effects of the projects from individual to the community level.

The Access Study + was conducted by the Research and Practice in Dialogue (FPD), a network that supports interdisciplinary and cross-media exchange between science and practice in the field of international youth work, and child and youth travel since 1989. The network is coordinated by Transfer e.V, a non-profit association recognized as an independent child and youth services provider. The organization is focused on providing research, training, networking services on topics such as diversity awareness, formal and non-formal education, youth participation and more, to various actors working in the youth field.


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