The Erasmus+ Here To Stay partnership
We are the Erasmus+ Here to Stay (HTS) strategic partnership, consisting out of five partners from the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. Our mission is to target the shrinking civic spaces in Europe and the implications it has on young people. Youth become less engaged as European Citizens and are limited in their fundamental rights to gather and express themselves freely. Some of the results of these developments is the disengagement of youth in decision-making processes and their social exclusion which prevents young people from becoming agents of social change.
The HTS programme is an initiative to counter this trend of shrinking civic spaces and increase the engagement of youth through civic spaces. We aim to create an enabling and productive environment for youth work to facilitate the process of involving young people in decision-making processes and use of civic spaces. Our way to enrich youth work and reach young people and get them to participate actively is by focusing on the social aspects we believe youth like the most: sport, dance, music, and arts.
We envision three long-term results for European youth and youth work:
- We aim to inspire young people and youth workers to actually claim civic space in their environment, leading to an increase of youth-led civic spaces.
- We envision an increase in youth participation and engagement in these youth-led civic spaces
- We aim to create an environment in which young people are actively involved in the decision-making processes that affect their lives and communities.
What makes the HTS programme innovative is that it gives concrete examples of civic spaces and how they are applied. Civic space is often used in a general context, but this programme attempts to give concrete examples of interventions and recommendations that contributes to the construction of civic spaces (Ansley Hofmann, INEX).
To achieve our mission and the long-term results, we have designed the following outputs:
- First, we gain insight in the critical success factors for claiming civic space for young people by European youth work. This will be translated into a written research report where at the end recommendations for youth workers are presented. Interested to read this research report? See our first output for more information.
- Our second output is an open and interactive virtual space for the exchange of good practices and inspiration of new initiatives. This is where we are right now, the OUR CIVIC SPACE website. This virtual space is a platform for youth, youth workers and youth work organisations, presenting a wide range of good practices and the opportunity to exchange thoughts and experiences.
The virtual space is one of the strengths of the HTS programme I believe. A place where youth workers and young people from different nations gain knowledge about civic space and where they can get in contact with each other is amazing. They can share their experiences and solutions to help each other (Edit Gyuris, OSA).
- We develop a youth space toolkit for youth workers to help and support them in facilitating youth to claim civic spaces. The toolkit consists of practical knowhow and provides guidance and resources for implementers.
- We organise an international youth work training in Romania in which European youth workers are introduced to the toolkit and equipped with the necessary means, knowledge, and inspiration to use it.
- Last, every partner will organise a national multiplier event in which we promote our first three outputs, building capacity of European youth work and ensuring the dissemination of the programme outputs for youth, youth workers and youth work organisations.
Want more information about our outputs? Click here.
We are entering a very crucial time in history with pressing social and environmental issues, a time in which people will have to make a choice between growing and developing civic responsibility collectively or contributing to a more individualistic and polarised society. In this regard, this programme should help people to find initiatives and encourage them to decide for the first choice (Ansley Hofmann, INEX).
The HTS partnership consist of five partners from the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. One of the strengths of this partnership is the division of organisations and the expertise they have. Together we bundle our knowledge and skills and do the very best to reach our mission and goal. Want to know more about our organisations? Click here.
Written by ISA