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To read the project manual, click here.
Think Bigger is a project coordinated by Fundacja MODE – Move and Develop Foundation (Wrocław, Poland). It is developed in cooperation with Jeevan Rekha Parishad (Bhubaneswar, India), Volunteer Spirit Association (Songkhla, Thailand), and Youth Union of People with Initiative (Famalicão, Portugal). Its most important goal is to allow for a more effective collaboration in the field of youth work between partners from Europe and Asia. In order to do that, the partners must to create new standards of cooperation and apply new methods for checking the quality of conducted projects and volunteering activities.
To achieve the project’s goal, the partners need to cooperate on many levels, beginning from gathering the expertise and experiences of all involved parties. That should include gathering not only general, but also very region-specific perspectives on issues and challenges in youth work and volunteering. An important step in the execution of the project is sharing these perspectives with the partners, as well as gathering and exchanging further information about cultural and social factors that determine whether – and by what means – it is possible to realize successful mobility projects in a given country/region. Raising the awareness of such factors among the partners from various European and Asian countries is a starting point for providing a better preparation and support to participants coming from different socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds.
In general, the project provides a chance for the partners to exchange practices and experiences with regard to management, risk handling, and communication in Europe-Asia youth projects. The activities allowing the realization of the project’s goal include (but are not limited to) mobilities of youth workers and voluntary service, as well as meetings of coordinators, whose task is to cooperate in the creation of a manual and take part in multiplying events for promoting both the project and the manual.
The main goal of the project is capacity-building in the field of working with youth and enhancing cooperation in initiating joint activities in this area. Above all, the project aims to create a network between European and Latin American organizations in a way that fosters and facilitates long-term cooperation.
The second goal is to provide all partners with the opportunity to get to know each other as institutions – our structures, procedures, areas of specialization, work organization, legal environment, etc.
Thirdly, we will try to learn about the socio-economic environment in which each partner carries out their mission, and how these realities affect our work. We will also check how the target groups in each country differ from those from other countries, what challenges they face, what their needs are, and how these needs arise from region-specific aspects or how we may work to meet them. The project also aims to provide the time and space to develop and test solutions to these problems, as well as to reflect on our initial collaborative experience, and to develop further answers and ideas for future improvement.
In addition, the project aims to broaden the knowledge on the use of non-formal education in international youth work, along with specific tools and methods that can be used to implement activities such as voluntary work, youth exchanges, or other forms of youth work, including such aspects as preparation and mentoring of participants. We will also focus on adapting some tools to the region-specific socio-economic contexts in which these activities take place. It will allow us to bring our efforts closer to the needs of each of the engaged target groups.
The organizations involved in the project are: YUPI (Youth Union of People with Initiative) from Portugal, Genesis from the Czech Republic, Centro de Estudios Paysandú from Uruguay, Asociación Puente Sur from Paraguay and Enois from Brazil. The project includes long-term volunteering, job shadowing for youth workers, training for educators and many others. We will be posting updates here as soon as we have more information!