How can the Charter for youth work be used profitably? The Charter sets out the common values, objectives and principles of youth work in Europe. As a reference document, it highlights the social importance of (international) youth work and can be used as a catalogue of arguments on behalf of international projects. It also serves as a basis for exchange and cooperation in Europe. The Changemakers Kit facilitates an exciting encounter with the contents of the Charter, be this by means of an interactive tool for self-assessment or good local youth work practices.

The common values, objectives and principles were elaborated in a Europe-wide participatory process to which Switzerland also contributed, and were presented at the third conference of the Europe goes Local project in 2019. That the various nations have anything in common is not at all self-evident, given that the reality of youth work is different in each of the participating countries.

Despite major differences at national and international level, the Charter helps youth workers share with each other about the quality of their youth work and realise joint projects.

One common denominator relates to exchange at an (inter)national level. The contributors to the Charter were unanimous about the importance of exchange in youth work. Young people need to be advised and informed about their rights and options for taking part in exchanges. They should also be inspired and offered support

  • “to meet across all kinds of barriers and borders, in order to socialise, exchange experiences and ideas, organise, learn from each other and take action;
  • to be active citizens and exercise influence in society, including taking part in political decision-making;
  • to be open to the world and to actively engage in” regional, national, European and international projects.

Changemakers Kit – the online toolkit for the Charter

What approaches are adopted by youth work outside Switzerland in order to work with disadvantaged young people? The Changemakers Kit provides an insight into Nuotta coaching from Finland that aims to provide young people with social skills and prevent inequality and exclusion. Sweden’s Knowledge Centre for Open Youth Work reports on its code of ethics that supports youth workers, for instance, in adopting the correct basic attitude towards their different target groups. Further good practices concerning the contents of the Charter and youth work topics form part of the online kit. The kit also contains explanations and background information such as on the role of the youth worker and a library with useful documents and links. In addition, the kit offers an interactive self-assessment tool and the opportunity to plan next steps for improving youth work in a given area.

If you would like to organise an international project, you can find out more from the Youth in Action website and contact the team for advice.