From the beginning, one of the main priorities of the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) formerly known as European Voluntary Service program, is the integration of young people with fewer opportunities.
The program Strategic Partnership was created to extend the target group on the one hand and to modify the eligibility conditions and the evaluation of Erasmus+ on the other hand. The Project “Europe for all” which was conducted from 2018 – 2020 was part of the Strategic Partnership between different European organizations: A&M Scotland, Porta Nuova Europa (Italy), Association "Inspiration" Ruse (Bulgaria), Jugendakademie Walberberg (Germany). Furthermore in this consortium the "non-formal education" research unit of the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne participated conducting the scientific evaluation and the process consultancy.
Thanks to many years of experience with young people with fewer opportunities, the European consortium realized projects that have a regional impact. The aim was that regional organizations working with the target group will increase the ESC activities and create networks for further cooperation and to use synergies.
The project reached out for the following objectives:
Overall, the number of participants with fewer opportunities in European Solidarity Corps (ESC) projects was supposed to be increased by the network "Europe for all".
- Exploring the conditions for tailor-made ESC projects that ensure a successful European Voluntary Service for young people with fewer opportunities.
- Offering training measures for the regional organizations (associated partners) which want to get involved as hosting or sending organization. The long term goal is to enable those organizations to apply for and carry out ESC projects of high quality by themselves, especially for young people with fewer opportunities.
- The regional conditions for international mobility measures are supposed to be improved by establishing cooperations with regional politicians who are working in the field of youth policy. In this way, the visibility of ESC projects can be improved in the municipalities, the matters of young people can become part of the political agenda permanently and -hopefully- necessary resources will be provided.
- Dissemination of the project results to other regional and national organizations working in the field of international voluntary services (or considerung to do so).
The conclusions of the project were proposed to the European Agencies to contribute to the development of the European Solidarity Corps.
Several activities will took place in order to achieve the objectives:
- The coordinating partner organizations of the Strategic Partnership established regional networks of hosting and sending organizations in all of their countries. Those organizations took part in the mentioned regional training activities and conducted the mobility measures.
- Heart of the project was the realization of 17 long-term and short term volunteer projects within the regional networks for young people with fewer opportunities.
- Meetings between the consortium, the regional networks, young people and regional politicians was part of the project, e.g. to evaluate the project progression and to reuse those insights for further implementation or to promote the project.
- Developing peer to peer education and blended learning concepts. Young people were substantially involved in the development of those concepts to give them a voice and to guarantee that their needs and concerns are met.
- Dissemination of the project results, taking practitioners, researchers and politicians into account as well as the public.
The final objective was the involvement of the participants, giving them space to take an active role, express themselves and share their experience. The methodologies were: project management, presentations, field visits, team building, diversity management, systemic counseling, conflict resolution, creative methods, peer education and mixed learning.