Community Based Empowerment Strategies for Youth Workers

Empowerment theory focuses on processes that allow participation; improve control through shared decision making; and create opportunities to learn, practice and increase skills. Empowerment theory suggests that involving young people in pro-social, meaningful and community-improvement activities that young people define and control themselves, helps young people acquire vital skills, responsibilities and confidence necessary to become productive and healthy adults. .

Youth empowerment examines six interdependent dimensions: psychological, community, organizational, economic, social and cultural. Psychological empowerment improves individual awareness, awareness and knowledge of problems and solutions and how individuals can address problems that impair their quality of life. This dimension aims to create self-confidence and give young people the skills to acquire knowledge. Community empowerment focuses on improving the community through leadership development and the creation of a support network to mobilize the community to address concerns. Organizational empowerment aims to create a resource base for a community, including voluntary organizations that aim to protect, promote and defend the less favored. Economic empowerment teaches business skills, how to take ownership of your assets and how to have income security. Social empowerment teaches young people about social inclusion and literacy. Cultural empowerment aims to recreate cultural practices and redefine cultural rules and norms for young people. Through these dimensions of empowerment, programs can work to empower young people in one or more aspects of their lives.

Within this project, we want to focus on these six dimensions and integrate young people into the communities in the participating countries by increasing the capacities of youth workers to make young people act independently within their communities by using from the media of their social networks. The project proposal aims to increase the skills of youth workers to develop empowerment programs, as well as make them use the 6 empowerment pillars mentioned above to increase the participation of young people in their daily work.

The specific objectives of the project :

  • Develop youth worker skills on the issue of community-based empowerment for the inclusion of disadvantaged youth populations.
  • Develop networking skills and social networks of youth workers so that they can develop social capital within their communities.
  • Make them capable of developing new and innovative empowerment programs within their communities focused on the needs of their societies.
  • Create and implement local activities focused on the empowerment of young people but mainly focused on the empowerment of the community
  • Create new partnerships within and outside the Erasmus + program in the field of youth empowerment.

Project was implemented in 9-16th of July 2021 in Alcala la Real,Spain with the participation of 24 participants from Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Portugal, North Macedonia, Italy and Serbia.