“I’m changing Europe!”
Various Slovenian municipalities hosted study visits throughout 20021, where municipal workers and youth workers could share their good practices. These events were part of the Europe Goes Local partnership led by MOVIT, Slovenian National Agency for Erasmus+ and EU programs. It covered a variety of topics: spaces for youth, organisation of local youth work, financing, participatory budgeting and implementation of the municipal youth strategy and program, establishing local youth councils, participation, and monitoring of youth work. A total of ten study visits took place. The hosting municipalities were Ljubljana, Novo Mesto, Koper, Slovenske Konjice, Brda, Celje, Domžale, Tolmin and Brežice.
65 civil servants from 32 municipalities responsible for the field of youth participated in this series of events. Mreža Mama, National Youth Council, and the hosting municipalities were key partners for these study visits.
All municipalities were inspirational, as they shared their good practices and highlighted the importance of co-creation when it comes to an efficient local youth work strategy. Mayors, and in some cases Deputy Mayors, were also present and available to exchange experiences, Q&A sessions, and further discussions with the groups.
The study visits brought key insights that the participants can use and implement to further develop local youth work. The participants learned that the creation of a strategy is a long-term process that involves various stakeholders. The most important role in it is young people, who are the ones preparing the strategy for youth as they can best identify with the target group. A wide range of young people from diverse backgrounds should be involved in creating the content of the local youth centers’ activities and programs. This is the first and most important necessary step: to offer young people opportunities and open the door for them to be the designers of their future.
Participants also learned that the local level of youth work needs to provide a setting where everyone agrees to build open communication and work towards outlining the right tasks to ensure effective tasks division. Youth workers from the good practice examples also addressed the importance of trust within the stakeholders and commitment from all sides.
The participants shared a number of successful stories about the good practices, and about youth centers in particular.
The participating municipalities pointed out that the Europe Goes Local project, visits to municipalities, and workshops for the preparation of strategies for young people, contributed to the progress in the municipality in the field of youth work.
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