From 6th until 10th of June, the European Youth Centre in Budapest welcomed 30 ESN volunteers from 13 countries and 6 trainers from the ESN’s and Council of Europe’s pools of trainers for the Study Session “Youth Work Lab”. During this week-long training, the participants had the opportunity to dive in on the topic of youth work and connect the dots with ESN’s actions.

The topic of youth work, validation of competences that youth workers develop as well as their recognition for a better position of youth on labour market, and education and training of youth workers is one of the main focal points for ESN. As one of the biggest youth volunteer organisations, one of our main priorities is enabling our members to develop valuable transversal skills. When provided with the relevant tools, information and cultivating the attitude to take action, our members are empowered to pursue the recognition of their volunteer work.

“The Study Session allowed me to learn about the impact of youth work as well as the Council of Europe's role and the role of my organisation. I realised my own role and importance as a youth worker and was motivated to learn more about the subject.” - Participant

The Study Session “Youth Work Lab” provided space for the participants to gain strong understanding of Youth Work, its principles and the approaches related to it, and it also allowed the participants to share their the realities related to their own countries.

They were able to brainstorm solutions for overcoming the challenges that youth and youth workers face along with the influence that youth policies hold. This turned out to be an important milestone for them as it helped them realise how Erasmus Student Network as an organisation can fit into the landscape of Youth Work.

“This study session helped me realise that I actually am a youth worker. I gained confidence that my work is valuable, and that I do have an impact in the communities around me. I learned about youth policies and their usefulness. Now, I'm even more motivated to bring value to the world and be more involved on the international level.” - Participant

The participants had the opportunity to explore their own skills and competences that gained through their involvement in our network, which proved to be an important step in the process of youth work recognition. This reflection allowed them to create a bridge with their Youth Work competences and brainstorm about how these can be used in an external environment. As a last part of this Study Session, the participants developed materials that will allow them to further empower the youth and its involvement in their respective societies and identify their next steps.

“It was an incredible experience that allowed me to learn in a space that felt safe to share my experience, voice opinions and understand different perspectives. The study session allowed me to expand my knowledge and understanding of the topic of Youth Work, equipped me with tools and inspired me to take action.” - Participant

“Such a pleasure to be surrounded by individuals who collectively care about the future of youth, their rights, and their opportunities. This felt like an acceleration program and now it is up to each of us to carry this flame, this torch of knowledge, deeper into our organisation.” - Margarita Kuvaldina, Training Coordinator

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