New global project: On the Move

…towards an exciting new project in 2017 all about youth mobility!

groupAs an international network, IFM and our member organisations often come face to face with the challenges of youth mobility. But we have recently confirmed an exciting new global capacity-building project funded by the European Commission to explore the importance of youth mobility and help organisations be more competent at supporting young people on the move.

Called ‘On the Move’, it is an exciting and ambitious project for 2016–2018 which will cover everything from dealing with visa obstacles to raising awareness of the challenges facing young refugees and migrants and better including them in our organisations. The project will tackle many issues, all of which are relevant to young people living in a globalised world and who do not want to be stopped by borders!

‘On the Move’ will address the numerous challenges faced by our youth organisations with the increase in the number of refugees worldwide connected with a rise in right-wing extremism. We want to look for better ways of supporting young refugees who face racism and severe living conditions in their new countries, while being traumatised by events in their countries of origin and during their flight. Many of our member organisations are already involved in campaigns and support work for those arriving in a new country. Other organisations are working in a context where more and more active young people leave their organisation to emigrate. As a network, we want to share our experiences and learn from each other to offer better support.

We also want to try and address the problems felt by IFM’s non-European partners who are aware of the great benefits of youth exchanges and other mobility projects but for whom regional mobility outside Europe is often so difficult because support structures are lacking.

visaFinally, we want to confront the fact that so often, active and enthusiastic young people from our member organisations hear from embassies that they cannot participate in mobility projects because of visa restrictions, despite being funded by government or EU grants. Severe visa restrictions were something that our members told IFM we should work on in the work plan 2013 – 2016 as it affects the ability of all of our partners to organise regional and global youth work activities that are so vital to span the world with friendship! But in 2016– 2019 we want to continue this work with more reflections on how to continue regional co-operation beyond Europe, where budget and visas restrict youth mobility for nonformal education.

There will be expert meetings, regional seminars and online courses for everyone to participate in, so keep an eye out in 2017 for ‘On the Move’!