Category Archives: Youth Work
In this part of our site you will be able to find post related with Youth Exchange programs and all the rest of our activities regarding Youth Work and initiatives supported by Youth in Action funds.
Since one of our members currently lives in the Netherlands, we had the chance to get involved and participate in a very interesting meeting located in the picturesque setting of Olde Vechte foundation. Olde Vechte Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, with a long experience in social and cultural work based in Ommen, the Netherlands.
Between the 12th and the 16th of December 2012 20 people from 13 different countries gathered up in Ommen in order to realize the second meeting of the Firestarter Network. This network started sparkling in Cork, Ireland, when under the funds of EU many performance artists gathered and created an informal network between organizations & informal groups connected to theater & performance that work in the social field. The aim of the Network is to collaborate on new projects in order to develop and enhance the use of theater within different social contexts.
During the 4 days of the meeting the participants had the chance to form a manifesto regarding the network, to discuss about future plans, to deepen in already running projects, to evaluate past activities and in general to create an unique atmosphere. They managed all together to build an administrative committee and to formulate the channels of communication of the network. They scheduled a detailed strategy plan for the upcoming months until the 3rd meeting of the network, hopefully in Berlin in September 2013. Of course there were many surprises by Small House productions, concerning a 2 days movement workshop and many cheerful nights indoors and outdoors.
Break The Couch decided not to get involved as a partner on any of the near future programs but we decided to help by documenting some parts of the meeting on video, and gain from the whole experience as much as possible. Our goal is to get ready as soon as possible to try to get funds in order to invest them in youth work, trying to motivate youngsters to break their couches.
More news to come soon…
Thank you Olde Vechte foundation and Small House productions for the opportunity!
Clearly there is something not working very well in today’s society. All members of the Break The Couch team have always been concerned with such issues.
One day we got an offer to participate in a long term project created by the NGO Citizens in Action in the subject of Solidarity Economy and if this could be something that could make a difference in some of the problems we are all facing.
But what is Solidarity Economy?
We have to admit that it took us a little bit to clearly understand it. Lets try to explain it as quick and simple as possible. Solidarity economy is a different model-type of economy based on some simple rules:
–There is a democratic way of decision making. There are no stockholders or bosses. The ones who work are the ones that make the decisions. Also there is a very small percent between the minimum and the maximum wage.
–The goal is not the profit. Anyone who is working gets payed correctly, all expenses are being covered and if there are any additional money they are not divided between the members but they are redistributed in the economy. This might mean creating new job positions or to helping other members of the society (ex. disadvantaged groups of people)
The above give you a only a small idea. There are many definitions and many laws which are different in each country so one should search the exact specifications in his own country.
Is Solidarity Economy something new?
Of course not! Such projects have been working efficiently at least since the 1960’s. There are many examples in many countries that can be used as examples. (Fair trade, Self-help, Co-operatives & Worker cooperatives, Open source etc).
But the real questions we should ask ourselves is none of the above. The questions are:
“Why didn’t we know about it’s existence?” and mainly
“Now that we know what we will do about it?”