June 17, 2010

Facing the Economic Crisis - Role and Possibilities of Youth Organisations

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe is looking for participants for its upcoming summer event. "To equip the youth organisations with necessary knowledge and skills for addressing the economic injustice, raising awareness of poverty and inclusion, as well as raise their capacity in practical youthwork in these areas" is the main aim of EYCE's upcoming training in field of economic justice. It will take place from 1st to 8th of August 2010 in Klaipeda, Lithuania. Learn about the details and apply now!

In February 2005 Nelson Mandela called upon the world leaders to make poverty history. He mentioned that poverty can be seen as a prison and that it is time to set the imprisoned free. This moving speech and the "Make Poverty History" campaign inspired EYCE and its Steering Committee on Economic Justice to conduct a training course on economic justice and social inclusion of youth with fewer opportunities. The training course "Make Poverty History! - Promoting Economic Justice and Social Inclusion" took place in May 2006 in Bankya, Bulgaria and focused on equipping youth leaders skills needed in order to promote economic justice in particular for unemployed youth and to work for social and economic inclusion of ethnic or cultural minorities.

During the 37th EYCE General Meeting, which took place in May 2009 in Kekava, Latvia, EYCE member organisations raised concerns on these issues again and decided that another thematic training course, concerning poverty and economic justice, shall be implemented.

The Member organisations of EYCE raised concerns, that today, when almost five years have passed since the make Poverty History campaign, and most of the European countries have experienced period of economic wealth, many of the European Counties, and in particular Eastern European countries, are experiencing economic downturn, growing unemployment and people living below the line of poverty, also the gap between the socio-economic classes is increasing.

An alarming number of young people is affected by these circumstances, mainly those coming from disadvantaged social or economic background, and many times from cultural or ethnic minority background, being practically illiterate, unmotivated and with quite few future perspectives. In many cases it is the youth organisations, who are in a position to approach these young people and bring the change.

However, in many cases, the capacities of the youth organisations are not proportional to their willingness to contribute to economic justice, inclusion and future perspectives of young people. Therefore EYCE has made a decision to implement a project, which will focus on poverty and economic justice, in the same time providing the youth organisations with concrete tools and knowledge, how they could raise their capacity in financially difficult time, such as basic skills in financial management, fund-raising and application writing.

* to analyse the current economic situation and issues of social exclusion and economic injustice in particular taking into consideration the European context;
* to explore the role, status and rights of young people and youth organisations in the underlying patterns of economic situation and to identify the obstacles young people face to achieve or maintain a sufficient living standard;
* to explore the role of church and theological approach towards poverty and economic justice;
* to review the corporate justice, ethical records of the companies and fair rules of trade and labour, as well as explore the impact of youth organisations in this field;
* to provide youth organisations with practical training in project development and management and to help the participants to develop concrete projects matching the social realities in their countries and raising awareness on issues of poverty and economic justice;
* to empower youth leaders to make a difference and work towards economic justice and social inclusion.

Profile of participants
The target group for this event are young people (18 to 30 years of age) and youth leaders from various backgrounds, who have interest and minimum experience in the field of economic justice. They should be willing to commit themselves to an open and respectful dialogue. They should also be able to actively contribute to the programme of the training course and have the capacity to act as multipliers on issues of youth participation in their respective countries. We aim at a good age, gender, denominational and regional balance.

Apply now!
Please download the application forms here

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