Intercultural dialogue, co-operation and solidarity among young people in the Mediterranean area
It has become a commonplace to state that the history of Europe has been shaped by the exchanges and interaction between peoples and cultures across the Mediterranean sea. What is less obvious at present is to what extent and in which ways and spirit such exchanges will happen in the future.
The interdependence among peoples and societies bordering the Mediterranean is often stated as a political objective by all those concerned but often fails to materialise in practical, tangible terms. Instead of co-operation, young people are often confronted with suspicion, mistrust, borders and barriers, obstacles to mobility and youth exchanges that are as much the result of a fortress Europe mentality as of typical forms of xenophobia, prejudice and ignorance about each other. Yet, young people are crucial for the future of Euro-Mediterranean co-operation.
Intercultural learning has been the basis for the youth work and co-operation within the Council of Europe and it has strongly shaped the contents of training activities with young people and youth workers. It is also one of the bases of global education and human rights education as carried out by the North-South Centre and the European Youth Centres. Intercultural learning, as one of the bases for dialogue, co-operation and solidarity, has far-reaching methodological, social and educational aims that are of utmost importance in the shaping of mutual perceptions.
Educational programmes and activities that focus on promoting equality in human dignity are of incalculable value in the shaping of a sense of citizenship. Non-formal education in youth work must also consider the evolution, practice and challenges of human rights, with regard to their universality, indivisibility and inalienability, and what they mean to young people. The development of dialogue and co-operation on these issues among youth workers and youth leaders in the Mediterranean area is one of the greatest contributions that the Council of Europe can make to a better understanding among all those concerned.
The North-South Centre and the Directorate of Youth and Sport are committed to contributing to the process of dialogue and co-operation in the field of youth work. In addition to this course, other measures are also being prepared, which should be seen as complementary to the activities of the European Commission in this field, especially through the Euro-Med programme within Youth.
This training course addresses youth workers and youth leaders, as they are the carriers of experience of both youth work and young people in all the countries concerned, and because of their role as multipliers. The course may also provide a context for the development of joint projects. The course will make use of the best practices of the co-operating institutions in the field of global education and human rights education. It is envisaged, for example, that an Arabic version of Compass, the manual on human rights education with young people, will be made available for the course.
Aims of the course
This pilot training course aims to enable youth workers and youth leaders active or interested in Euro-Mediterranean youth projects to develop intercultural learning, human rights education and global education with young people, and to initiate common projects in these fields.
· To develop the participants knowledge and competence in key concepts of intercultural learning, global education and human rights education with young people;
· To develop a common understanding of the situations and challenges faced by young people across the Mediterranean;
· To provide tools for analysis of the present challenges to closer co-operation among partners across the Mediterranean, including xenophobia and racism, prejudice and ignorance, social exclusion and poverty, and unequal opportunities for social and political participation.
· To familiarise the participants with the approaches and activities of Compass (the manual on human rights education) and on how best to use it and adapt it to their local contexts and realities;
· To provide information about existing possibilities and conditions for the development of Euro-Med youth co-operation projects;
· To support participants in developing common projects;
· To identify common criteria and approaches for follow-up projects and initiatives;
· To develop an informal network of youth workers and youth leaders in the European and Mediterranean regions.
Methodology and Programme
The experiences and realities of participants, as youth workers, youth leaders or educators, will be the starting point of the programme and of the learning process. The course is designed to give participants the opportunity to experience and reflect upon the issues of intercultural dialogue and solidarity using the group of participants, their experiences and perceptions, as the basis for learning together and develop common projects. The course will thus be a mutual learning situation, where participants can compare their approaches and concerns in a dialogical intercultural approach and environment. Contributions from experts in the field of human rights and intercultural learning will provide common reference points for learning and communication. The use of experiential methods, including activities from Compass, will strengthen the practical side of the course and will also provide concrete examples of work.
Towards the end of the course, participants should be able to imagine and design common co-operation projects; information on existing funding possibilities and other conditions will be provided for this purpose.
The detailed programme of the course is being designed and will be sent to successful applicants.
Profile of the participants
This course is open for participants who are:
· Youth workers or youth leaders (paid or volunteers) active with young people in the framework of formal or informal associations, groups and projects;
· Educators and project leaders, in a broad sense of the term, i.e. carrying out non-formal educational activities with young people in any form;
· Motivated to work and to develop projects with a Euro-Mediterranean perspective;
· Interested in developing their competence in the themes of the course;
· Resident in one of the 48 European countries who are members of the European Cultural Convention or in a non-European Mediterranean country or territory;
· Aged between 18 and 35 (exceptions are possible);
· Able to work in English and/or in Arabic.
Team of trainers
The programme of the course will be designed and conducted by a multicultural team of experienced trainers, who will also be representative of the geographical and cultural framework of the course. They will be supplemented, whenever necessary, by experts and speakers for specific parts of the programme.
Application procedure and selection of participants
All candidates must apply using the enclosed application form. Applications should be sent to the North-South Centre, together with a letter of support from their sponsoring organisation or institution, if possible.
The preparatory team will select thirty participants on the basis of the profile outlined above and ensuring a balanced group (gender, geographical regions, different types of experiences, cultural backgrounds and organisations). A waiting list may be established. We aim for a balanced group of European and non-European participants.
Candidates will be informed about whether their application has been accepted or rejected, and if they have put on the waiting list, by mid-June 2002. The accepted candidates will receive further information and formal invitations from the European Youth Centre Budapest.
Deadline for applications
The application form must be sent to the North-South Centre by 24 May 2002.
Financial and practical conditions of participation
Travel expenses and visa fees are reimbursed (on presentation of the relevant receipts) according to the rules of the Council of Europe. Only the participants who attend the entire training course can be reimbursed. The payment will be made either by bank transfer after the course, or in cash (in Euros) at the end of the course.
An enrolment fee of 20 Euros is payable by each participant. This amount will either be deducted from the amount to be reimbursed for travel expenses or paid at the EYCB during the course.
Other Training Courses of the Directorate of Youth and Sport
If you are interested in a training course in international youth work, but your profile does not fully correspond with the requirements of this course, please note that the Directorate of Youth and Sport organises other training courses, including:
- Introduction to organising international youth activities
- Training of trainers in international youth work
- Training for trainers in South Eastern Europe
- Training courses within the framework of the Training Partnership of Council of Europe and the European Commission.
The North-South Centre of the Council of Europe also organises other inter-regional and global training courses, including:
· Euro-African Training Course for Youth Organisations
· Asia-Europe Training Course for Youth Organisations
· Euro-Caribbean-Latin-American Course for Youth Organisations
· Global Co-operation Training Course for Youth Organisations
· University Course on Youth and Development
Further information about these courses can be obtained from the North-South Centre Secretariat (http://www.nscentre.org; email@example.com).
Information about Compass and the Human Rights Education Youth Programme is available on the Internet at http://www.coe.int/hre