What is youth work?
As defined by the Council of Europe, “youth work is a broad term covering a wide variety of activities of a social, cultural, educational, environmental and/or political nature by, with and for young people, in groups or individually. Youth work is delivered by paid and volunteer youth workers and is based on non-formal and informal learning processes focused on young people and on voluntary participation. Youth work is quintessentially a social practice, working with young people and the societies in which they live, facilitating young people’s active participation and inclusion in their communities and in decision making”.
Youth work includes a wide range of activities – social, cultural, educational, sporting and political – carried out with, by and for young people, in the context of non-formal and informal learning.
Youth work objectives
Youth work helps young people reach their full potential. It encourages personal development, autonomy, initiative and participation in society.
Who is involved?
Youth Work provides opportunities for out-of-school education, as well as creative activities organised by youth workers or professionals and youth leaders.
It is organised in various ways – through organisations that consist of young people, youth organisations, informal groups or youth services and public authorities.
Youth Work in Cyprus
Youth work is becoming a field highly appreciated in the field of youth. The Youth Board of Cyprus, as the competent government body for youth in Cyprus, implements a number of policies and actions to promote youth work in Cyprus and increase its quality.
To achieve this and as part of the Council of Europe’s (CoE) support measures to its Member States, in April 2019, the Youth Board of Cyprus hosted a team of experts from the CoE for the assessment of the situation of youth work in Cyprus and the submission of recommendations for the development of an integrated roadmap on youth work development in Cyprus.
As stated in the report of the CoE experts ‘FINAL REPORT OF THE ADVISORY MISSION DELEGATION- Recommendations for youth work development in Cyprus, there are numerous “youth work” actions for young people. However, the consolidated and common understanding of youth work and the skills required should be promoted.
At the same time, the recognition of youth work is also a priority for the youth sector in Cyprus. Although a formal recognition system does not yet exist in Cyprus, a lot of efforts are currently made in order to define and recognize youth work, the youth workers and the skills acquired through youth work.
The Youth Board of Cyprus set up a Youth Working Group to apply a holistic approach on issues related to youth work and to coordinate the actions needed to strengthen this sector in Cyprus.
How is youth work funded?
The main funding instruments of the EU for youth work are the “Erasmus+ Youth” and the “European Solidarity Corps” programmes which provide funding for mobility, training and volunteering activities. The Youth Board of Cyprus, as the National Agency for the management of these two Programmes, evaluates and subsidizes projects that are submitted by organisations and informal youth groups that are based in Cyprus and offers training opportunities for youth, youth workers and youth leaders. The Youth Board also administers the national funding scheme “Youth Initiatives” which financially supports activities implemented by youth organisations and youth groups in Cyprus.
Where can more information be found?
More information on youth work and all the relevant policies/measures that are implemented in the European countries can be found at Youth Wiki.
In addition, important documents and publications on youth work, as well as various online tools, can be found on the e-library.