The overall objectives are:
- Improve the effectiveness of empowerment methods;
- Contribute to democratic modernisation and increased competitiveness of Europe;
- Enabling exchange of experiences and knowledge;
- Matching less experienced with more advanced regions;
- Ensuring transfer of identified good practice into mainstream programmes.
EYERP will address these objectives by:
- Developing and testing methods on youth empowerment promotion and entrepreneurial thinking.
- Conducting regional studies.
- Identification and exchange of best practises.
- Performing a joint intercultural analysis where similarities, differences, strengths and weaknesses are identified.
- The analysis will be transformed into action plans with policy recommendations.
- The research analysis and testing of methods will result in a User’s Guide for Youth Empowerment Practitioners and Beginners.
- A European network for youth empowerment and entrepreneurship promotion to ensure the dissemination of project results.
In the process of the research in EYERP, a few questions have emerged, to which we decided to find answers: what do we mean by definitions and common positions? How would that abstract idea look in practice? Consequently, we had to further investigate ideas for possible methods. So some of these questions clarified our goals and objectives as every partner had to search for a method that they thought could be an example of a good practice according to our common approach and the criteria we defined.
But how do we know what impact these methods really have or what aspects should an effective method consist of? These questions led us to another round of hard work and research, not least because we did not agree on whether these could or should be measured empirically, but because they required further research and discussion. As a result, during the project we involved some other organizations and practitioners in our research.
Typically, the methods offered on empowerment, participation and entrepreneurial thinking are based on the non-formal learning process. The learning opportunity in which the young people can experience how to become more powerful and creative, is a central characteristic of the non-formal learning approach. For example, the methods that are being tested promote the following topics and agenda:
- Promoting dialogue and interaction between youngsters around a certain topic.
- Providing cameras to the youngsters and letting them project the vision about their lives through photography.
- Promoting critical thinking and dialogue.
- Treating social taboos as open and objective themes.
- Motivating the youngsters to get active, and thus empower them to turn their ideas into real activities.
- Letting the youngsters view their own identity through the mirror of an encounter with another culture, its’ people and identity.
- Letting youngsters see how leaving home develops their self-esteem and independence.