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Derfor er jeg frivillig

By Lærke Rahr Futtrup

Familie og venner spørger mig tit, hvorfor jeg egentlig er frivillig. Nogle af dem mener, at ungdomsarbejde og frivilligt arbejde er spild af tid og ressourcer.  Jeg er dybt uenig, og det findes der der tre vigtige grunde til.

Den første er, at de oplevelser og den viden, som mit frivillige engagement har givet mig, har lært mig mere om mig selv og den verden, omkring mig, end jeg nogensinde vil kunne forstå. At være frivillig er blevet en fast bestanddel af min identitet. Arbejdet har været direkte med til at forme den person, jeg er i dag, og gjort mig mere nysgerrig, åben og eftertænksom. Jeg har lært om adskillige kulturer, traditioner, skikke og sprog. Jeg har lært andre etniske og nationale mindretal at kende, samt forstået deres livssyn. Jeg har beskæftiget mig med migration, social ulighed, seksuel orientering, køn, etnicitet, sundhed og klimaforandringer. Jeg har styrket mine færdigheder indenfor projektplanlægning, haft øjenåbnende samtaler og sat spørgsmålstegn ved mine egne holdninger. Jeg er blevet direkte formet af alt det, jeg har oplevet igennem ungdomsarbejde, og vigtigst af alt har arbejdet gjort mig til en bedre medborger.

Den næste grund er, at jeg med mine egne øjne har set, hvordan ungdomsarbejde engagerer, aktiverer og udvikler unge. Det skaber liv i lokalforeninger, samarbejde mellem organisationer og projekter på tværs af landegrænser. Ungdomsaktiviteter spirer nye tanker og overvejelser hos deltagere, og som frivillig ungdomsleder findes der ikke noget, der er bedre, end at være vidne til denne udvikling. At kunne lede unge mennesker igennem en uges lærerigt program og personligt se deres horisonter udvides er helt ubeskriveligt.

Den tredje og sidste motivation bag ved mit frivillige arbejde er min taknemmelighed. Ønsket om at ville skabe værdifuldt indhold for unge mennesker er opstået, fordi jeg selv har haft fantastiske oplevelser som deltager. Min frivillighed er altså et forsøg på at give en brøkdel af noget uendeligt tilbage. Det er ved at planlægge fede aktiviteter og uforglemmelige oplevelser, at deltagere motiveres og inspireres til også at blive frivillige en dag. Vejen derhen er utrolig lærerig, og den handler først og fremmest om personlig udvikling.

Jeg har oplevet, at min frivillighed er lige præcis det, jeg vil have, den skal være. Den kan være forhåbningsfuld, frustrerende, inspirerende, sjov, øjenåbnende og overraskende. Den kan efterlade mig klogere, end jeg var før. Den kan introducere mig for venner for livet og give mig uforglemmelige minder. Der er meget arbejde at tage fat i som frivillig, og det er ikke altid, at man kan komme det hele til livs. Men man er i det mindste godt på vej, og denne følelse af fremdrift er helt essentiel. Jeg er frivillig, fordi det er en af de mest værdifulde fritidsinteresser, jeg nogensinde har haft.

Jeg har nu været aktiv hos Sydslesvig danske Ungdomsforeninger (SdU) siden 2013, Nordisk Samorganisation for Ungdomsarbejde (NSU) siden 2015 og Youth of European Nationalities (YEN) siden 2017. Og jeg har ikke tænkt mig at stoppe foreløbig.

Youth work during covid-19

By Lærke Rahr Futtrup

Covid-19 put a momentary stop to many projects, and youth organisations are still learning how to facilitate activities and manage restrictions in these new times. The pandemic seemingly came out of the blue, and in many ways it has been a huge eye-opener to NGO work. While the corona-virus is first and foremost a health crisis and an economic crisis, it is also most definitely a cultural crisis. Our cultural input has been reduced to streaming movies from the comfort of our beds, and we have been stripped bare of our social life with all its cultural aspects. Culture plays an extremely important role in our society, and it is in our music, traditions, sports, literature, language and social gatherings, that we find the inspiration for many other things in life. It is through culture that we experience a sense of belonging and community, and that is why youth work is so incredibly important.

But does the worldwide corona virus have any positive sides? Have we been able to take anything good or constructive away from all this frustration and longing for normalcy?  The answer is yes.

The feeling of community has both seemed very distant and very obvious during all of this. Closed borders and entire lock-downs have definitely been restrictive, but in some ways we have still been able to connect through youth work across the Nordic countries. Since we have all been together in this, we have shared the same experiences, which has brought us closer and urged us to help the most vulnerable in society.

It has been a journey to overcome the challenge of coming up with new, creative ideas to meet in a virtual space. Because if an organisation can only exist through real-life events, how sustainable is it really? This time has proven that it is possible to have effective online activities such as meetings, webinars, e-Trainings, hybrid-activities and conferences. Social media is simply a great way to communicate. In that aspect it has also been an exciting time that has introduced new opportunities and methods of teaching in the youth work area. We will be taking these new tools with us in the future and try to develop them even further.

Volunteers have had the time to reevaluate their work and strengthen their values in their aid, and are now able to return to their work in the society with new perspective and fresh ideas. A small breath of fresh air might be what many youth organisations have been needing to be able to look inwards and create great outputs.

It seems as if structural issues have become visible to some organisations, that have had the opportunity to take a critical look at their organisation during the unexpected hiatus. Maybe new objectives and goals have been set during this time, and members have been able to look critically at their past work and their organisations history. How eco-conscious is our organisation really? How can we make our activities more accessible and diversify our list of participants? How do we ensure intersectionality furthermore in the future? How can we do better? Where do we begin?

Even though this virus has had its small beams of positive outcomes in the middle of a whole lot of bad, it will be incredible to see all our member organisations, board members, volunteers and youth leaders again in real life soon. Youth work is more important than ever in these uncertain times. NSU is looking forward to continue the work!

Julhälsning och senaste nytt från NSU

NSU Styrelse och Sekretariat

Den här tiden på året sjuder det av aktivitet inte bara i tomtens verkstad, utan även hos NSU. Vi har både nyss avklarade aktiviteter och mycket som förbereds inför 2020.

 

- Den 21-24 november hölls ”The Future” seminariet i Riga, Lettland. Det handlade om utveckling av ungdomsorganisationer och det var speciellt glädjande att se hur de 25 organisationerna som var representerade delade god praxis med varann. Centrala ämnen var ungdomars roll i organisationerna, styrelsearbete, rekrytering av medlemmar, val av anställda, projekthantering, ekonomi, digitala verktyg, organisationsstrategi och samarbete mellan sektorer. Det var inte nog att vi talade om dessa ämnen, utan vi samlade existerande källor och skrev egna riktlinjer, och detta material är grund för den digitala Dynamo kursen som vi skapar under våren 2020. Givetvis gav seminariet nya samarbetsmöjligheter mellan deltagarna och deras organisationer, och byggde på den nordisk-baltiska gemenskapen. Bilder och information finns på NSU:s Facebook sida: https://www.facebook.com/nordiskeunge/

 

- Under våren kommer vi på allvar i gång med att producera den digitala kursen Dynamo, som även den stöder utveckling av ungdomsorganisationer. Inom ramen för detta har vi nyligen publicerat inbjudan till den första verkstaden, som hålls den 14-18 april (inkl. resdagar) i Gjógv, Färöarna. Inbjudan finns på NSU:s webbplats: https://www.nsunet.org/aktiviteter. På samma plats kommer vi januari att informera om avlönade arbetsmöjligheter för unga med att producera den digitala kursen.

 

- Även NSU:s kommande föreningsmöte hålls på Färöarna, den 18:e april. Inbjudan för detta sänds till er i januari, men det kan vara värt att redan nu börja tänka på att det är val av styrelsekandidater på kommande och att nomineringar för detta bör sändas senast den 7:e mars.

 

- För tillfället förbereder vi de övriga 2020 aktiviteterna och planerar inför 2021. Ledarkursen ”Sexess” (målgrupp 20+) hålls i maj 2020 i södra Sverige, och ungdomsaktiviteten ”Be the Best Version of Yourself” (målgrupp 14+) i juli 2020 i Island. Det föreslagna temat för 2021 är att ”Bygga Broar för Framtiden”, alltså ta tag i polarisering som blivit vanligare under senaste år. Troligen kommer vi även att fortsätta behandla utveckling av ungdomsorganisationer som ett sidotema. Som vanligt kommer vi att ha en ledarkurs (målgrupp 20+) och en ungdomsaktivitet (målgrupp 14+), och i planerna finns även en aktivitet för organisationernas anställda och styrelsemedlemmar (även den 20+). Mer om detta kommer ni att se på NSU:s webbplats i början av det nya året.

 

Sist men inte minst vill vi givetvis önska er alla en riktigt Fridfull Jul och Gott Nytt År!

Latvian 4-H is rapidly walking into the spring 2019!

By Elīna Jogure, Media and international project coordinator at Latvijas Mazpulki /Latvian 4-H

With many new projects on the way, we are happy to see that the annual events are also being prepared. Although, Latvian 4-H has a densely packed event programme all through the year, we still manage to come up with new events and traditions almost every year.

The children and youngsters still focus very much on the project writing, that is the base of our actions. This spring we have various high priority project topics, which include:

- growing and exploring soy beans,

- developing board games with the plot of fairy tales and stories,

- growing multi-colour carrots for selling in addition to develop early entrepreneurship skills,

- environmentally friendly habits project,

- and a patriotic group project in military theme.

 

Apart from these, the 4H-ers are free to have different topics.

The annual events like sports games and summer camps are now being planned, while we have several new projects open and ongoing.

In the beginning of the year we started a new structured dialogue project bringing together young people and policy makers in various regions in Latvia. This project includes an opening conference, 6 visits around the country and a closing event – training for young people. The project is based on young peoples’ rights, youth policies. We want to empower the youth to do more, to want more and to be more. The first step to involve them more is to let them see and learn how the policy making mechanics work in their regions.

Another new project is competence and self-development courses project in which we urge young people to participate and make their every-day life better. It is mostly for young people who come from the countryside, but are now living in Riga. The aim of the project is to develop the skills of these young people and make them more appealing for todays’ labour market.

This is only a part of our latest events and happening. We sure have more on the way!

Danish or German

By Stine Barz

Living in Denmark, as a German member of the danish minority in Germany, you sometimes do not know how to identify. Am I Danish or am I German? Where do I belong? People in Denmark might say you are German, while people in Germany might say you are Danish.
Being part of an organisation that encourages just what and who you are and what you feel like is amazing! It connects you with people around the world, who might struggle with the exact same problem or can give you a whole new perspective on things. 


Cross-cultural youth work is a gift and a privilege at the same time. Being part of a group of young people that share the same interest and experiences, or being able to teach other young people about your background, is why youth work, intercultural youth work is so important in a world like we have today.


On top of experiences, some of the most amazing moments in life, you will also make friends across the globe!


Youth work is so regarding in so many aspects and you just have to try it out.
The feeling of being a part of something so much bigger that goes way across country lines and definitions of others, makes all of it seem even sweeter.

A Nordic Story

By Mauritz Eklund

Last week members of Saga Finland along with other Finnish participants took part in a two day Nordic level workshop in Oslo called Nordic Young Impact Storytellers (NYIS). Sweden and of course Norway were also present. 


The aim of the workshop was to teach us young participants about advocacy so that we have a better chance of getting our voices heard, now and also in our future societies. The project was developed together with Norsensus Mediaforum (Norway), Awesome People (Sweden) and Saga Finland (Finland). During the workshops we got to learn a handful of new things. For example, there was practical information on how to conduct a workshop, how to use design thinking in order to create a powerful message and using different storytelling techniques as tools to make your own messages compelling. We also learned about how to use different social media platforms as tools for advocacy and how to engage viewers by for instance using interactive tools in video making. Apart from this we also got to meet a lot of new people and create good contacts for the future.


Now we young people have a good toolbox of knowledge on advocacy and how to get our voices heard. The aim is to hopefully soon be able to conduct further workshops in our respective countries.

Sex and gender and their difference

By Julia Karttunen

There’s probably not a person who doesn’t know what being gay or a lesbian (a word which I personally hate) means. But what many people don’t acknowledge is the other queer people that belong to the now huge LGBTQA+ community. Sexuality isn’t what I’m here to talk about, though. I want to talk about the obliviousness of people when it comes to the concept of gender.

First, we need to understand the difference between sex and gender. Since yes, indeed there’s a great difference between the two terms. Sex is the biological term that indicates whether your last chromosome pair in your DNA is XY or XX, making you a male or a female. Gender is the identity you identify yourself as. Your gender can be male or female, no matter your sex, but your gender doesn’t have to be either. Other genders include agender, demigender, genderfluid, androgyne and many more. Your gender identity is just as real as your sex, even if you don’t have any physical proof of it. The concept of the two terms is pretty complex, so it is okay not to understand it completely. The most important part for you to get is to understand that a person can be other than female or male, no matter the sex.

Equality in the North?

By Lærke Rahr Futtrup

NSUs main theme in 2018 is equality, and it is deeply rooted in gender equality. 
In November 2017 the viral #MeToomovement was born, and countless survivors of sexual abuse and violence have spoken up about their experiences since. The discussion about gender and the power attributed to it, is more present in the media and our daily lives than ever. 
The “Nordic lifestyle” is often praised in the media for its good healthcare and school systems. But how much equality does the North really have? 
This is where NSU has been aiming its focus towards this year - to ask the difficult questions about inequality in the Nordic countries. Are national and sexual minorities in the Nordic countries treated with the same respect as the majority? How do we ensure integration for the people, who need it the most? How do we include those, who have less? Is equality or equity the best tool? How do we practice a good example at home in our youth organisations?

The youth of the North have had the opportunity to discuss these matters together during the events of this year, and to come up with possible solutions on a local level. It is important to recognize the inequality that plays out right in front of our eyes, and to do something about it. 

 

Nordisk Samorganisation för  Ungdomsarbete

info@nsunet.org

+358 407031948

Stusnäsvägen 102 c, 25870 Dragsfjärd, Finland