Are you active within AEGEE-Europe? If you answered yes, you are also a youth worker, because you are a volunteer working on the youth field. By doing this, you do not only help other young people develop, but you also improve yourself, although you can’t prove that you gained these competences. For this, AEGEE-Europe set up the COY project, together with Youth for Exchange and Understanding (YEU – Portugal), Institute of Entrepeneurship Development (Greece), Modavi ONLUS (Italy) and Cracow University of Economics (Poland). The AEGEEan spoke to Madalena Sousa, CD Assistant, to find out more!
You may be asking yourself: “What exactly is this project?”. The aim of the project is to develop a process of certification, which gives youth workers in NGOs like AEGEE-Europe the possibility to asses and validate the qualities they gained through their volunteer work. Because the ECVET-system is used, this recognition of qualifications will be valid all over Europe. AEGEE-Europe is in the project on behalf of Belgium, while also Portugal, Greece, Italy, Poland and Belgium are presented. “Each partner represents the country where it’s based and where they have been working on the dissemination of the project”, Madalena says.
The whole project started on the initiative of the current coordinator of the project, YEU, who invited AEGEE-Europe to join. “AEGEE acknowledged the potential that this project might have on social and political recognition of Youth Work”, Madalena continues. “We have been following the current European processes on the recognition of Non Formal Education and Youth Work. As a consequence of this active participation and interest, and because we believe that our members can also be considered as Youth Workers, we have been taking a more active role in the field by developing some processes.”
This is exactly the reason the project is also looking for members of AEGEE who want to participate in the pilot phase, which will take place in June 2014. In the end, the project will lead to the development of a competence profile with the necessary qualifications that youth workers should have and learning outcomes supposed to be achieved while working for an organization and in the sector in general. Participants will be tested on their knowledge, skills and competencies they have acquired informally through their work, and the successful participants will receive an European Certificate for Youth Workers of Non-governmental organizations.
Written by Svenja van der Tol, AEGEE-Nijmegen