Inclusive youth organizations – inclusivity for quality youth work

On 20 November, in Ljubljana, organized by the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth (URSM) and in cooperation with the Youth Council of Slovenia (MSS), the National Consultation of the Youth Sector was held. The theme of this year’s conference was, like last year, quality in youth work. With the aim of informing and researching various aspects of quality, thematic workshops were held, with 4 workshops, including a workshop led by  Ljubljana Pride Association entitled Inclusive Youth Organizations – Inclusivity for Quality Youth Work.

Through participatory methods, attendees of the open-space workshop were encouraged to identify, reflect and share the challenges of integrating different marginalized groups into all levels of action.

The first part was devoted to exploring the concept of an inclusive youth organization. In smaller groups, participants talked about what inclusiveness in youth work means to them, the Slovenian context,and how the topic of inclusiveness is addressed in the youth sector. Through individual reflection, reflection on our activities in youth societies, organizations and centers, as well as discussion on the wider field of youth work, we have come to the conclusion that Slovenia does not have a systematic approach and that there is a great need for a structured and comprehensive approach to integrating young people from marginalized groups in the youth sector.

The Finnish and Irish models of a structured approach to inclusiveness and inclusive organizations were presented as examples of good practice. A draft of one of the self-evaluation tools for the work of organizations in the field of inclusion and non-discrimination, being developed by Ljubljana Pride Association in collaboration with partner organisations from Finland, The Peace Education Institute (RKI) and Ireland, National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), under the Transformation of Hate Speech in a Youth Environment (Erasmus + Youth in Action) project was also presented.

In the second part, the participants became acquainted with the emerging tools, manual, and, on the basis of the specific inclusive practices presented, explored how they can be implemented at different levels: organizational, volunteer work, human resources, public relations, advocacy, and in direct work with young people. The workshop concluded with a reflection on why it is important to act inclusively and how this contributes to better quality work in our organizations.

The consultation also included the awarding of NVQ certificates (National Vocational Qualification Youth Worker) and the national awards to the youth sector for 2018. Among other things, NVQ certificate was also awarded to the President of the Ljubljana Pride Association, Simona Muršec.Published on: mlad.si

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