The “YouPart Digital Toolkit for Citizenship Education and Civic Participation in Youth Work” offers practical materials for everyone who works with young people in these fields. This toolkit is the methodological result of the Erasmus+ youth participation project “YouPart: Engage. Connect. Empower”, a unique cooperation of NGO and youth workers of 12 organisations from six countries: Austria, Czechia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Serbia.
In the European Year of Youth 2022, young Europeans from all six partner countries joined YouPart not just to discuss youth participation and rights, but to fill the words “engage”, “connect” and “empower” with life. The project was particularly aimed at young people who have little access to political participation, whose voices are less heard in society and politics – but who have a lot to say. First, more than 150 participants, 13–24 years old, came together in local and national workshops. Second, 60 young people plus youth workers and members of the partner organisations met at two YouPart youth conferences in Vienna and Prague. They got to know each other face-to-face, discussed ideas and worked on demands addressed to political decision-makers at national and European level. Finally, the YouPart European Youth Demands were presented to interested MEPs at the EU Parliament in Brussels in December 2022.
Many of the activities used and adapted in the YouPart workshops and youth conferences are included here in the YouPart Digital Toolkit. Other activities were tried and tested in the day-to-day youth work of the project members and their colleagues in open youth work in all six countries. Open youth work, with its voluntary and low-threshold settings knows exactly what tried-and-tested tips and tricks are needed to address the young people, especially those who are disadvantaged in many respects. It can be challenging to raise awareness of and interest in democratic political processes, enable participation and support civic engagement. For this reason, a comprehensive toolkit with relevant methods and activities can be very helpful. Thus, a great deal of experience, knowledge and feedback flowed into the writing of the YouPart Digital Toolkit from 2023 to 2024 to ensure the practical relevance and hands-on quality of its units.
HOW TO USE THE YOUPART DIGITAL TOOLKIT
The YouPart Digital Toolkit includes 48 units in five chapters: 1. Theory, 2. Energisers, 3. Workshops & Other Activities, 4. Methods, 5. Feedback & Evaluation. In the first chapter, the toolkit offers theoretical guidelines. Focusing on practical units in the next chapters, short energisers are always a welcome introduction to workshops and other long activities, which are presented in a topic-specific chapter. Methods that can be used for various topics can be found in the fourth chapter. Finally, feedback methods and evaluation tools should not be missed.
The YouPart Digital Toolkit offers instructions on both best-practice classics and innovative activities that inspire new, fresh implementations. It presents activities that can be implemented indoors and/or outdoors and/or digitally; from some low-threshold activities that require little preparation and can sometimes be organised at short notice, to workshops that can take place over several days.
If you click on a unit, you will be taken to the website with overview information and PDF download. The corresponding PDF contains all the information with detailed step-by-step instructions. The specifications on age, group size and duration of the activities serve as a basis for orientation, but are of course not carved in stone. Many activities can be combined and modified as needed. The modular structure of the Digital Toolkit invites you to get inspiration for your own workshop design.
No matter whether it is about youth participation at local, regional, national or European level, the authors are convinced that the YouPart Digital Toolkit has something to offer for everyone.