ALL DIGITAL AWARDS 2017: Digital Resource 'Yep4Europe Methodology'

BEST DIGITAL RESOURCE FINALIST

Yep4Europe Methodology

Maks vzw and Yep4Europe Consortium

Resource website: http://www.yep4europe.eu/outputs/

Year created: 2016

Number of people benefited: 

RESOURCE DESCRIPTION

YEP4Europe is a project as an answer to the current refugee crisis in Europe and the fact that young people need up-to-date digital and media literacy skills, to be able to use digital technologies to address the social issues around them.

The project addresses the need to develop innovative methods for enhancing digital skills of young people and to promote their active citizenship at the same time. Digital skills are developed in parallel with skills for civic participation in dealing with current social issues. In the project, the partners design a methodology for empowering young people to address issues related to migration, look for solutions and provoke action using digital tools.

While the project was aimed at youngsters age 16 to 29, the methodology itself is aimed at facilitators all across Europe, to use Digital Storytelling, digital photography and online media in a productive way, increasing citizenship and digital literacy.


INNOVATION

The YEP4Europe combines digital literacy skills and active citizenship in young people. The use of especially Digital Storytelling with this age group is still a new territory and the methodology aims to create a pathway for other facilitators. They receive insights on how to prepare for such an endeavour, necessary conditions and so on. The methodology is adaptable to all matters of topics and not just to citizenship and the current refugee crisis.

At the same time, the methodology is more than just a PDF to download. During the project and on the website, several online learning tools and platforms were used to increase reflection and prompt active thinking in the youngsters.

It is also an advantage that the project was a multinational one, leading to a varied input for the methodology. There are cultural influences from Brussels, Zagreb and Barcelona, as well as different digital skills and
expertise. This creates a mix that would be hard to recreate as a single organisation.

IMPACT

In the Bootcamp, a group of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds, age 16 to 29 received the opportunity to travel from Brussels and Barcelona to Zagreb, to meet with refugees stationed nearby in camps. This experience was not only a first application of the methodology, but also a unique opportunity for the youngsters. Through their blogs and the continued contact in the Facebook group, they express a deep change in their lives.

Many of these youngsters found a connection between their own stories and those of the refugees, instead of only an initial confrontation. This changed their viewpoint on migration and active citizenship drastically.

Since then, facilitators in youth work and beyond have been free to use the methodology, all across Europe. The organizing partners hope to be able to recreate the Bootcamp experience in 2018.

For the youngsters from Brussels, the YEP4Europe project was a transformative experience, traveling to Zagreb and participating in storycircles with peers from refugee backgrounds. They made new, international friendships and formed a strong bond of solidarity.

The biggest success of this project are the videos made by the participants. These are all very strong Digital Stories, that continue to touch people’s hearts and call for action. You can view these  HERE.

In his blog, Haron described how his view on immigration and refugees has changed. He had already known some stories through his mother, but his first real conversations happened in Zagreb. He says, “This project has a major impact on me: I look at refugees differently. I saw that the refugees have a hard life and that the European countries don’t want to have anything do with them. It was truly good and I learned a lot more on the refugee issues.

SCALABILITY / TRANSFERABILITY

The international nature of this project and methodology makes it very easy to localise. The cultural differences have already been taken into account. The resource is in English for easy internationalisation. Also, it can be applied with any level of technology, from the cheapest tablet to digital cameras.

However, for a local translation, there would be human (and therefore also financial) input required to translate the methodology without losing the nuances. 

Topically, the methodology was designed to increase active citizenship and engage youngsters around migration. However, this methodology is easily adaptable and scaleable to any topic that lies close to heart. Digital Storytelling and Journalism, as well as the central mantra “Find-Tell-Act” are easily applicable to all topics and a universal tool for engagement.


The methodology allows for youngsters from any country to tell their story, despite digital skills or disadvantaged backgrounds and show it to the world.

Check other finalists for ALL DIGITAL AWARDS:

Digital Resource 'CoderToolkit'

Digital Resource 'Get Smarter'

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