“Super Youth Worker”
Senču prospekts 21, Garkalnes pagasts, Ropažu novads, LV-2164 Latvia, LV-2164 Ropazu novads, Latvia
A practice of processes and methods
Children and youth from the most vulnerable backgrounds and especially those who have to spend weeks and months and sometimes years in social and health care institutions face severe social, economic, and civic disparities as compared with their counterparts. Children and youth with mental and physical limitations have the right to participate fully and effectively in decisions that affect their lives. Meanwhile, they are one of the most excluded groups in society, and even under normal circumstances, they are less likely to access education, and to participate in the local community, experience intersectional and multiple discrimination as a result of their gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, origin, location and legal status, among other factors. Taking into account specific needs and limitations of the target group, ‘’Creative Workshops’’ activities are designed with a special focus on creativity to enhance personal and professional development and build self confidence so individuals can act as multipliers of the gained knowledge towards community development and diversity.
”Creative Workshops” have been implemented by volunteers for more than 10 years in Latvia and is the only this type of civil society initiative promoting social inclusion and empowerment of the most vulnerable children and young people in health care institutions in the Post Soviet region and North Europe. Activities take place in health care institution (hospital) and enhance personal and professional development, critical thinking, active citizenship, financial literacy, intercultural awareness, creativity, self awareness, boost youth participation at the local level among children and young people facing severe social, economic, and civic disparities as compared with their peers. Activities strengthen cross sectoral cooperation and capacity building among relevant stakeholders at local, national and international level, and addresses and break stereotypes on mental health and persons with mental and physical limitation. Non Governmental organization ‘’Donum Animus’’ in charge of implementation of ‘’Creative Workshops’’ is a member organization of DYPALL Network (Developing Youth Participation at Local Level) European platform, and promotes empowerment and participation of the most vulnerable social groups in decision making at the local level.
Children and youth from the most vulnerable backgrounds and especially those with mental and physical limitations are among the most marginalized and face severe social, economic, and civic disparities as compared with their peers. Majority of them have negative life experiences and suffer from discrimination and bullying due to gender or any other identification including disability. ‘’Creative Workshops’’ activities use creative tools and are implemented in health care institution with children and young people who are isolated from their peers and due to their health limitations can’t participate in activities taking place in local youth centers. Therefore activities are designed in creative way to enhance personal and professional development and build self confidence so individuals can act as multipliers of the gained knowledge towards community development and better understanding and acceptance of diversity. Activities have received recognition from health care professionals for unique and friendly approach promoting inclusion and diversity strengthening cooperation among relevant stakeholders at local, national and international level towards more inclusive society. ‘’Creative Workshops’’ have received recognition for significant input promoting voluntary work in Latvia.
Organisation and practice