(WSBERO/Genève) – The European Scout Region’s Youth Empowerment Study Session (YESS), which took place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, from 2 to 6 September 2015, brought together over thirty participants and youth workers from all around Europe, including six participants from the “Big 6”: WOSM, WAGGGS, YMCA, YWCA, IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Association.

Exploring, discussing and apllying the concept of Youth Empowerment

Exploring, discussing and apllying the concept of Youth Empowerment

During this Study Session, the participants explored, discussed and applied the concept of Youth Empowerment in several forms:

  • by discussing personal, political and social perspectives of Youth Empowerment and active European citizenship;
  • by explaining and using the concept of empowerment in future work in the National Scout Organisations (NSOs) and Associations (NSAs);
  • by gaining knowledge on what empowerment can be and why it is relevant for Scouts and youth in the 21st century;
  • by exploring how to take a more active part in society;
  • by developing ideas on how young people can be empowered to have a greater impact on their own development and the development of society at local, organisational and political levels;
  • by being inspired to work on ways and methods to empower children and young people in their NSOs and NSAs.

To achieve this, a series of workshop sessions were held, with input from expert facilitators. Besides, there were two open spaces every afternoon with presentations from representatives of the “Big 6” youth organisations, which provided a valuable input from non-scouting youth organisations’ perspectives.

Small Group Work analysing the six startegic priority areas of WOSM

Small Group Work analysing the six startegic priority areas of WOSM

Finally, João Armando Gonçalves, Chairperson of the World Scout Committee, gave the participants a special mission: working in small groups (patrols), the participants looked at each of the six strategic priority areas of WOSM (youth involvement, diversity and inclusion, educational methods, governance, communications and external relations, and social impact). Their mission was to  think about how WOSM could achieve its vision of reaching 100 million members by 2023 from a youth empowerment perspective. Each patrol was asked to develop a research question, exploring the assigned priority area in the context of youth empowerment, active European citizenship and the spirit of entrepreneurship, drawing on content from the three dimensions of Youth Empowerment discussed earlier during the Study Session (personal, political and social perspectives), as well as on the participants’ own thoughts, opinions, and independent research. This patrol work yielded very interesting outcomes, which will be made available shortly on the YESS website.

This Youth Empowerment Study Session (YESS 2015) was also the second “recruitment pool” for the “European Route” organised in the framework of next year’s Roverway 2016 (RW’16), the first one having been Agora 2015. This means that participants of these two events can now apply to this special Route at RW’16, where they will prepare and facilitate workshops and training sessions for Scouts and Guides participating at Roverway, while also having lots of fun.

(text: Ida Mikkelsen and Joana Osório, images: participants of the event)


Rupert Schildböck
About The Author

Rupert Schildböck

Rupert comes from Austria and is the Executive Assistant to the Regional Director. His responsibilities include internal and external communications and administrative assistance in Regional events.

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