Sunday, 30 August 2009

British patners - Intercultural Navigators

We have two representatives of the Intercultural Navigators from the UK - Aime and Sarah:
Sarah is working for
YDance (Scottish Youth Dance), the National Youth Dance Agency for Scotland.
Aime is not formally involved with young people but has always had an interest in working with them. In 2003, he initiated and implemented a six month project that linked newly arrived ethnic minority young people in the UK with career advisers so they can be informed on how the UK employment system works. Currently he is working on the possibility to launch another youth project that involve young people discussing current issue they face in the UK and potential solutions to these problems.

Here is some information about Intercultural Navigators project:
Recent research carried out by British Council shows that Europe’s next generation of leaders are truly concerned about intercultural issues. In response to their concerns, the British Council has initiated Intercultural Navigators – a project that will deal with the challenges that we face in this multicultural world.

Intercultural Navigators will develop groups of young leaders in Europe who can easily ‘navigate’ within and between different cultures – who are aware of their own cultural backgrounds and who are able and open enough to accept, respect and understand other cultures. A large-scale project will be organised in partnership with a diverse group of institutions and experts working in the area of leadership development and intercultural literacy from the UK, Europe and Africa.

The participants - “Navigators” will be able to contribute to current debates surrounding issues such as:
· Diaspora communities and their relationships with home and receiving societies,
· The unprecedented movement of people between new and old EU member states,
· The importance of intercultural competencies in global business,
· How well integrated intercultural understanding is in policy making at a all levels,
· How well leaders from ‘fortress’ Europe, Africa and other regions are linked together,
· How well developed is participation at all levels of society and is this participation having a positive impact when addressing the roots of violent extremism.

The Intercultural Navigators project will run in 16 European countries with 30–70 participants in each country, who will all come together in a global on-line community and share experiences and knowledge in the field of intercultural dialogue. Participants will be enabled to effect change in their own countries, institutions and communities based on participation, consultation and the creation of an enabling environment.

Who are Intercultural Navigators?
The Intercultural Navigators Programme seeks to bring together those with a desire to make a significant positive contribution to society; people who are want to learn, are open minded, curious, and willing to share their own experiences and at the same time actively seek new perspectives. The programme aims to achieve a balance of diversity in terms of religion, gender, disability, ethnicity, class, sectors (private/public/civil society) and geographical balance (rural/urban and regional/provincial), in order to reflect and impact across society at country level. The selection criteria will be centred around your potential to make a genuine difference.
About this last sentence – are we not solidifying these differences if we make them explicit – AI says ‘The language use makes your reality’?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Partner from Poland - POLITES

POLITES is an NGO, established in 2002 in Szczecin, Poland. We have decided to fulfil our dreams and to create a non-governmental organization, which would activate young people on the local ground.

Our field of action includes the youth, academic community and the local communities - the city and region.

Our goal is to initiate and to support the cultural, educational, scientific, sports and ecological activities. We also want to spread the charity, organize and promote voluntary and establish international relations. Our Association supports as well other ways of self-cultivation.

We run local and international projects as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Eurodesk-Regional Inquiry desk in Szczecin, Voluntary Center in Szczecin, European Voluntary Service and Leonardo da Vinci projects.

We collaborate with many European NGO’s to promote intercultural dialogue and cooperation through Youth in Action activities. We are open to new and international activities!

The way to tell much more than with words...

Saturday, 1 August 2009

What is Mission ACTivate Network (MAN)?

MAN is a feasibility meeting initiated by a group of youth leaders that were attending a training course on youth participation in the summer 2008 in Athens. Organisation representatives have decided to jointly create a project to initiate a more active involvement of young people in society. In the following year a network spread a bit so we now have partners from Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Turkey and United Kingdom.


However, during the training courses it was almost impossible to find time for more thorough discussions on project ideas. The participants in the Mission ACTivate course agreed that we wish to try bringing them to reality anyways. We decied to organize a feasibility meeting as a chance to discuss and possibly prepare a project we can later pursue in our local communities and as partners in transnational activities.
The meeting is hosted by an NGO, called Zavod Bob, and will take place in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The main working methods will be workshops where participants will present and also try some ideas. We plan to already implement some ACTivations in the city of Ljubljana during the meeting.

Who are those ACTivators???

In the meeting we will be gathering strenghts from 10 organisations, ACTive in 9 different countries throughout the whole Europe:

- Belgium/Flemish: Equal People Squad
- Belguim/Brussels: European Youth Press
- Greece: Acro NGO
- Hungary: Magyar Zanemuveszeti Alapitvany
- Italy: So.Cul., social cultural training and management
- Poland: POLITES, Centrum Wolontariatu przy Stowarzyszeniu
- Portugal: H2O, Arrouquelas Younsters Association
- Turkey: Art Students
- United Kingdom: British Council Intercultural Navigators
- Slovenia: Zavod Bob

The venue

Participants will be staying in Hostel Celica. Celica ('A cell' in English) is an artistically renovated former prison turned into a hostel, situated in the centre of Ljubljana. We will also use hostel's seminar room for most of our 'intellectual' activities ;).

Celica was appointed as the hippest hostel in the world by Lonely planet in 2006 for it's unusual accomodation offer and the vivid atmosphere. You can experience to sleep in one of 20 artistically renovated former cells with bars on the door and the window.
Besides cells there are also multi-bed rooms (4, 5, 7 beds per room) with bathrooms, a dormitory (12 beds) with a male and a female bathroom and a wheelchair friendly room for up to 2 physically challenged and 1 accompanying person with wheelchair adjusted bathroom.

The hostel also has a very interesting history. The building used to be a military prison from 1883 until 1991 when Slovenia claimed its independence and the military barracks were left empty.
In 1993 the authorities of Ljubljana City started to demolish the building despite the initiatives of Metelkova Network who wished to turn it into a multicultural centre. To prevent the demolishing, a group of approximately 200 Metelkova Network supporters occupied the buildings and virtually protected them with their bodies. The city authorities turned off the water and the electricity to make them leave and many of them did due to the unbearable conditions. But the most persistent stayed…
A group of them, including Janko Rožič, architect, were joined in the Sestava Association with the idea to turn the former prison that used to confine people into an open and welcoming place, a meeting point for international travelers. The project was later financially supported by the City of Ljubljana and the Student Organization of the University of Ljubljana. The creative planning, renovation and transformation took 10 years and during that time more than 80 artists from all over the world participated in the project. The first travelers spent the night in Hostel Celica in 2003.

In case the explorer within you wants to know more about this interesting place, you can read and see more on

The host - who is Bob?

Bob is an NGO, founded on SEP 13th 2007. We are primarily aiming at young people with less opportunities aged from 13 to 30. Our basic aim is ensuring their active participation in society and in social development, especially for those they do not have a public voice or their voice can not be (or is not) heard.
One of the very important aims of Bob is offering international activities for youth in our area. From our past experience it was an opportunity for them to see their situation from a different point of view and helped them finding new solutions for their issues. And not only for them – the experience was very similar for the youth workers! That is why working on Youth in Action programs is our strong interest and desire.
As we are 'new kids on the block' as an organization we are very interested in making contacts with potential partners and generating ideas for future projects – Mission ACTivate Network can be a great opportunity for starting good quality international projects!!!