Creating
new spaces

Youth work promoting democratic values and active citizenship

Collaborating for high quality
Wednesday, 9 December 2020  •  11:15 AM  •  Workshop room 15

The promotion of democratic values and active citizenship is a key area for youth work. However, in recent years in a number of countries the spaces for civil society and thus for youth work seem to shrink and the preconditions for fostering democratic awareness, enegagement and solidarity amongst young people are limited. It needs to be discussed to what extend youth work in Europe can and must address politically sensitive topics and how actice and critical engagement as well as solidarity among young people can be strengthened.

Dr. Filip Coussée

Youth work is about recreation, but also about association and education. It is all about the central question how to balance young people's aspirations and society's expectations.
I am working in a youth help provision. We try to work together with schools and youth workers. As a reseacher I focused on the history of youth work in Europe and on the social and pedagogical mandate of youth work.

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Yael Ohana

Specialist of intercultural political education. Works at the intersection of educational practice, research, policy. Learned youth work at the Council of Europe’s European Youth Centres. Went on to become an educational advisor. Implemented the Directorate of Youth & Sport’s educational programme & youth policy activities. Practice focused on racism, discrimination & disadvantage (1996 - 2005). Founded Frankly Speaking – Training, Research & Development in 2005. Developed in the direction of evaluation, research, policy development & the facilitation of the strategic processes in the youth and civic sectors (2005 - 2019). Joined Open Society Foundations’s Berlin Office in 2019. Still active in European youth work & political education. Latest work on political education: ‘What’s politics got to do with it? European Youth Work Programmes & the development of Critical Youth Citizenship’.

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Melanie Jacobs

Melanie has been active in EU youth programmes for over 20 years. Her background is in NGO work and international volunteering. She started working for the Austrian Erasmus+ Youth National Agency in 2007, where she has been responsible for a wide variety of Actions, among others the European Voluntary Service, Youth Worker Mobility projects and Strategic Partnerships. With the start of the European Solidarity Corps, her professional focus shifted to setting up this new programme in Austria. She took up the position of Deputy Director of the Austrian National Agency in 2018. She also has been involved in establishing the European Solidarity Corps Resource Centre and now co-ordinates its work. Her fields of expertise are inclusion and international mobility, and she is an avid explorer of solidarity.

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