The Study visit took place at KEKS network in Gothenburg (14-18 of May), and in Sodertalje (19-23 of May) within the frame work of the YOUTH WIN Erasmus+ project.
My main aim before making this mobility was to get a better understanding of the Swedish youth work system, identify similarities and differences to the Greek system and find ways to bring back the best practices and adapt them to our own reality. My second goal was to plan a successful youth exchange for August 2018, together with the municipality of Södertalje.*
The program consisted of visiting a wide spectrum of youth centers, meeting young people of different ages and discussing with youth workers and other stakeholders. We visited both privileged and underprivileged areas of the cities (Gothenburg and Stockholm). All the youth centers we visited were 100% prepared for our visit, gave us detailed presentations of their work and methods and showed us around their place of work while explaining the different activities taking place. The methods of youth work varied from street work, open youth work and planned activities or a mix of the above. The communication with the other project partners and other relevant stakeholders was very good, there was a spirit of cooperation and mutual interest in our area of work and everyone contributed with questions and relevant examples and methods from their own experience and environment.
There were plenty of new and interesting work methods demonstrated throughout the duration of the visit. The KEKS Logbook is a very efficient platform for monitoring and evaluating youth work in different situations and environments provided it is fed with information as often as possible. The ELD method is a valuable tool for identifying valuable skills, talents and character traits acquired through real life experiences. The Ockero method for alcohol prevention is an interesting alternative approach to tackling alcoholism through targeting mainly adults. The Tolerance project was a very interesting and seemingly effective method as a tool in fighting racism and nazism and could be applied all over Europe especially since the extreme right wing ideology is rising. It was particularly interesting to witness the passion the youth workers from Sodertalje demonstrated for their work and their youth center, as well as the great connection they have with each other and with the local youngsters. This connection seems to be the result of years of hard work and it was very inspiring to me.
*The municipality of Södertalje (Sweden) and the organisation KEDITH (Greece) is also engaged in planning a youth exchange project together within the framework of YOUTH WIN. In August 2018 the first youth exchange will take place in Södertälje and in August 2019 the second youth exchange will take place in Thessaloniki.
Report by Dimitris Georgiadis
European Youth Projects manager