Reinforced and upgraded youth group methodology on building healthy relationships
When children move into early adolescence, they begin to take on new gender roles, often reinforcing socially and culturally conventional gender norms related to being women or men. These roles have an impact on the decisions that people in early adolescence make in relation to sexual and interpersonal relationships, which can affect their health and wellbeing throughout the rest of their lives. Gender norms and beliefs have significant implications for both girls and boys in terms of child marriage, early school leaving, pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted infection risk, violence exposure, depression, physical violence, substance abuse and suicide. Such differences are socially, not biologically determined. Mental health issues need to be addressed as part of adolescent well-being and in order to ensure health throughout people’s lives, it is crucial that countries address gender inequality, violence and healthy relationships in early adolescence.
To answer these identified needs, through the adaptation and piloting of the Youth Group Methodology (YGM), developed by MARTA Center, as well as through qualitative and quantitative research in the field of youth well-being and violence, the project Re-GROUP has set as objectives to: - reduce risk factors for youth (ages 12-18) to become a victim or a perpetrator of violence; - build capacities in the field of youth work by adding to relevant research and adapting a culturally specific methodology thus prevent violence toward and among youth; - expand the size and impact of youth violence-preventing actors through training, popularization and multiplication of the methodology; - through broad consultation and cooperation with many local actors, create data-backed policy recommendations for each reality; - through further local activities and international cooperation within and after this project, take part in achieving Sustainable Development Goals #4, #5 and #16.
The project, comprised of four project partners from EU countries
Latvia: MARTA Centre https://marta.lv/en
Bulgaria: The Future Now association https://tfn-bg.com/#/en/
Romania: The Romanian Center for Innovation in Local Development (CRIDL) https://cridl.org/
Spain: Asociación Mundus https://asociacionmundus.com/
Project, during its 22 months of implementation, will engage youth workers, educators, young people, decision- and policy makers in the project countries and the EU.
This will be done through the following activities:
- Adapting and piloting the YGM in several communities in each partner country;
- Conducting two international youth worker trainings, which will improve competences and support research efforts for the project;
- National youth worker workshops in every country, with which to engage an even bigger number of youth workers and educators with the YGM;
- Conductive an extensive qualitative and quantitative research on the well-being and violence in youth in the partner countries;
- Creating Policy Recommendations together with a wide network of actors in the field of youth, with which to address the policy framework, as it relates to youth and their well-being (including violence prevention);
- Promote the topic and the project results across youth and youth workers’ communities across Europe (via 4 National Multiplier events, an International conference and many informal meetings with stakeholders, as well as with a broad online campaign).
The impact of Re-GROUP will span across the following target groups:
- Youth workers, who will be participants in the Re-GROUP activities will increase their capacity for working in relation to gender equality, violence issues and youth sexual education. Participants will improve awareness of all forms of violence, experienced among and towards youth, and gain concrete methodologies, to prevent and combat it.
- Youth (as direct beneficiaries) will gain competencies of building healthy interpersonal relationships through experiencing YGM; gain understanding and knowledge when, how and where to ask for help and search for support mechanisms for victims, perpetrators and/or bystanders of violence among and towards youth. The application of YGM also leads to numerous other positive results in youth.
- Intervention sites of YGM implementation will raise awareness and increase sensitivity towards violence, acquire methods and educational tools on how to address a variety of topics, important for youth, and support them in creating and maintaining healthy relationships.
- Policy makers engaged through dissemination activities and presentation of national policy recommendations will be invited and advised to critically analyze existing situations in local and national level and take needed steps towards combating violence among and towards youth.
The Re-GROUP project partners are highly motivated to create worthwhile products and activities for this topic and will work to provide the best possible assistance to youth workers and educators, as well as the best strategically-aimed guidelines for policy makers and for the future of Europe!
Project Start Date: 2020-10-01
Project Total Duration: 22 months
Project End Date: 2022-07-31
Project is co-founded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.