Work with marginalized young people

Issues facing young people, especially those from marginalised communities and those who are excluded are a top priority for interdiac. A programme of learning and publication geared to the needs of those working directly with young people as paid workers or volunteers has been developed. The interdiac programme is focused on the empowerment, inclusion and active participation of young people.The focus on this issue has been developed in a series of workshops, which were held in different contexts, including Georgia and Serbia. The group together created a Handbook called ‘Make Change Yourselves’. Follow up training seminars have also been organised in several contexts including Armenia, Moldova and Estonia.

Subsequent programmes have been concerned with developing the knowledge of the Handbook and creating support networks among those using it. From this process have come publications of case studies and a statement on values in working and learning with young people.

The programme is mainly geared to the needs of all those working directly with young people in youth work, social work or diaconia, as paid workers, volunteers or activists. It has a social focus on marginalised young people and is geared to the need to promote non-formal learning.

The learning is focused on the theme of the empowerment, inclusion and active participation of young people from disadvantaged social backgrounds and affected by different kinds of social exclusion and poverty. The involvement of young people in civil society through their organisations or through other civil associations and opening opportunities (local and international) to youth volunteering, as well as working on social inclusion, are among the main topics of the programme.

The series of seminars and workshops:

Workshops in Tbilisi and Novi Sad

The workshops introduced new analytic and methodological approaches to working with excluded young people. The programme expanded and diversified participants’ capacity for promoting social inclusion and enabled the transfer of this to their respective countries. Specific themes included analysis of the impact of social exclusion on young people and eco-social and inter-cultural understandings of young people in their specific context. Participatory and intercultural methods of work were emphasised. The period in between the workshops included a practice based element and contributions to developing a handbook. The role of networks in the support of good practice was emphasised.

A handbook for youth workers, community workers and others involved in diaconia and social action was produced. It introduces innovative and effective approaches to tackle the social exclusion of young people.

This project initiative was organised by interdiac with cooperation with local partners, interdiac Honorary Council member organisations: Ndoba in Georgia and the Ecumenical Humanitarian Organisation in Serbia.

Training in Yerevan

The training contributed to gaining new knowledge, skills and competences on how to approach to marginalised young people and how to work with them. To meet this, among other methods, the materials and methods that are included in the new interdiac Handbook and on the accompanying DVD, which is a part of the Handbook, were used for this purpose and further developed.

Further, the project created a resource bank of trained trainers who can promote youth and community development in local environments and regions, as well as the building of partnership and networking.  The programme supported process based learning focused on active listening, reflection and a collaborative approach.

The on-going development of a platform for mutual learning between the professionals, volunteers, activists and other young people related to interdiac was supported.

This training was organised by interdiac with cooperation with the local partner, and Honorary Council member organisation, Armenia Inter-Church Charitable Round Table.

Seminars in Moldova and Estonia

The seminars built on the outcomes of the learning process initiated and undertaken with the partner organisations through the Mobile Workshops in Tbilisi and Novi Sad and the follow up training in Armenia. In particular, the project drew out the strategies and developed a process for the ethical use of the interdiac Handbook ´Make Change Yourselves´ (the output of the project of Mobile Workshops) and to create a support & exchange network for the multiplicators.

The seminar was organized by interdiac with cooperation with the partner organisation Moldovan Christian Aid and the partner organization Estonia Evangelical Lutheran Church, Department of Diaconia and Social Action.

Evaluation Seminar in Dnepropetrovsk

Participants in the interdiac ´Mobile Workshops´ in Tbilisi (Georgia), Novi Sad (Serbia) and Yerevan (Armenia) and Seminars in Pilistvere (Estonia) and Chisinau (Moldova) prioritised participation, empowerment, inclusion and the value based approach as key issues to be dealt with in the light of an overall theme ´Social inclusion, participation and empowerment of marginalised young people´.

The interdiac Handbook ´Make Change Yourselves, - a handbook for the empowerment of young people in their everyday life’ which is available from interdiac, is the result of learning programme, which aimed both to provide an innovative learning and networking opportunities and also to create a handbook based on the experience of the learners.

The Evaluation seminar reviewed the working, learning and networking processes of all the interdiac ´Mobile Events´ throughout the years 2010 & 2011 and examined the impacts of these processes on both the participants & organisations and local communities. A diverse group of stakeholders from particular local and national contexts were identified to participate in the evaluation seminar which also defined and developed evaluation methods for the future.

The seminar was organised by interdiac with cooperation with Congregation of the German Evangelical-Lutheran Church of St. Katharine DELKU, Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine).

Feasibility visit in Dnepropetrovsk

The idea for this international event was developed at the Evaluation seminar in Dnepropetrovsk. The evaluation dealt with the issues of personal and professional learning with interdiac, the improved competences for personal and professional life and the possibilities for dissemination.

Based on the examination of the impacts of international learning activities on individuals, communities and organisations in respective contexts, the feasibility visit prepared the operational processes & activities by which new networking and practice related learning can be undertaken.

The feasibility visit was organised by interdiac with cooperation with Congregation of the German Evangelical-Lutheran Church of St. Katharine DELKU, Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine).


The interdiac Handbook ´Make change yourselves, - a handbook for the empowerment of young people in their everyday life’ and the publication,  ‘Ethical orientation on social work and work with young people’ as well as the detailed reports of the workshops are available from the interdiac office.


International Academy for Diaconia and Social Action
Dukelská 264/5
737 01 Český Těšín - Czech Republic

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