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YEU Convention 2021 – Disconnections. Take your power back call for participants!

Venue: Thessaloniki, Greece

Dates (with travel): 20-27/11/2021 

Everything is fast-paced nowadays – countless information, scrolling, without even digesting and understanding situations people are simply moving on, afraid of staying behind and not being up to date. Up to date with what? Anything. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO),  studies show that 50 per cent of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, and 75 per cent begin by the age of 24. Worldwide, an estimated 10-20 per cent of young people experience mental health disorders. WHO points out that “the expanding use of online technologies, while undoubtedly bringing many benefits, can also bring additional pressures, as connectivity to virtual networks at any time of the day and night grows”

Chronic stress and other related issues inhibit the functioning (and indeed the development) of the prefrontal cortex which is fundamental for learning and social interaction. It also inhibits the capacity to focus on activities and decision-making. This is a problem that affects all young people to a greater or lesser degree. For some it develops into serious mental health issues, but for all the ability to manage stress would be a very substantial benefit. Though the family environment can provide support to help, unfortunately not all family environments do, which makes it especially important to provide young people with approaches to self- management of stress. 

The main idea of the project is twofold – to support youth workers/trainers/facilitators/organisers of international and local youth work activities in maintaining and improving overall wellbeing (self-care, prevention of burn-out and nurturing positive thinking attitude) and, at the same time, equip them with a wide range of attractive, interactive, dynamic mindful methods which are suitable for working with young people to empower them to love themselves as they are and care for themselves and each other . 

These tools can be used regardless of the topic and would be flexible to implement in various youth work related projects and initiatives.  

What makes this project different is that participants (youth workers/trainers/facilitators/organisers of international and local youth work activities) will first experience new and different methods and techniques themselves and then adapt the youth work approaches, tools or methods they are usually using when working with young people, because, knowing their own contexts, they will know what would be realistic to implement. 

This activity is, therefore, not only about wellbeing but about adapting youth work to be more resilient and responsive to issues and problems young people are experiencing every day and that youth workers can support overcoming or at least making them less dramatic. 

In the scope of the project Disconnection – take your power back, YEU International is organising its 39th Convention. 

The history of YEU began in 1980, when the non-formal Catholic group, from Germany, decided to make an international camp in the Bavarian Alps, on the beautiful lake Koshelsee, during the summer of 1981. The participants were youth from Italy, Austria and Germany. The same group organized a camp next year in Schrottenbaum Muhle, under the theme “Symbols in our lives“, with much more participants than before. And it started… After this event, the group decided to organize a very big camp, in the same place every year. This event was one of the main events which influenced the development of YEU the most. Year after year, young people are gathering to get to know each other and discuss a topic of interest. 

Due to COVID19 pandemic and its impact, 39th YEU Convention is a bit shorter and adapted to the circumstances. Still, it is a great opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, empower each other and grow together. 

Objectives of the activity are: 

To introduce and explore the principles of mental health and wellbeing (including energy, focus, resilience, self-awareness) among youth workers from different contexts (geographical, cultural etc) and incorporate them in their local and international youth work practices 

To improve youth workers’ skills and knowledge to be more efficient, adaptable and responsive to issues when working with young people in situations of disadvantage as well as personal lives 

To adapt the youth work related tools, approaches, methods based on different experiences, contexts and practices 

YEU is looking for participants!

Participant’s  profile

– The participants should be aged between 18 and 30 years old, preferably

– The participant should be involved in the youth sector and, ideally, work on organising activities with and for young people on regular basis

– willing to actively participate and contribute to the development/adaptation of tools and testing them in their local communities after the event 

– participate throughout the whole duration of the event and organise a follow up event in their local community 

YEU is covering up to 70% of travel costs (within travel costs limits set by YEU International for each country) visa costs, accommodation, food and COVID19 tests if legally required. 

If you are interested in participating, please apply here no later than October 15th 23:59 CET. 

This project is supported by European Youth Foundation.

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