On 1-2 June 2018, the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) took part in Strasbourg to the biggest youth festival in the European Union called the YOFEST. More than 8000 young people came from all over Europe and even beyond, to discuss worldwide challenges and find the best way for building safe, fair and sustainable economies and societies. LLLP was a partner of the European Youth Forum, the main organiser of the event to conduct an activity in one of the thematic hubs. It was a good opportunity to ask young people about what would a “super-animateur” be, what skills and other resources does he need.
The interview were very fruitful and helped to gather good practices from the EU of youth workers or volunteers working with disadvantaged groups. For a participant from Spain, the main issue is that often volunteers lack the “big picture” and are not always well aware of all the public services available for the hard-to-reach youth such as in field of health, career guidance, financial support and so on. Moreover, they do not always know what is the root cause of their situation, which hinders their holistic understanding of the issue and limit their capacity to help these target groups. In France, one said there is a scarcity of professional training for youth workers and it is too expensive.
Why youth services do not succeed in reaching out to disadvantaged young people? “Because they are too chilly” said a participant. According to him, they have a lot of prejudices and some fear in reaching out to them. Therefore, there is a need to raise their awareness and train them to improve their outreach. COMANITY project aims at responding to this issue, by building a bridge between mainstream institutions and hard-to-reach youth.