The VOICE partners saw each other again in the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, to exchange experiences on the training and youth mobilities and plan the final conference in Lisbon, May 2023.
On the 2nd and 3rd of March, transnational partner meeting number 4 took place in Amsterdam, hosted by the two partner organizations from the Netherlands, Young Perspective (YOPE – formerly known as Young in Prison) and Foundation 180. Most of the partners attended the meeting in person, but the meeting was streamed to allow representatives from Romania to attend the meeting online, which is a bravery and achievement in itself – staying tuned to the computer screen for so many hours is not an insignificant thing to do!
For new readers, we remind you that The VOICE Project focuses on both young people in conflict with the law in custodial measures and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The project aims at the empowerment and engagement of these young people in local and European policies.
It was a very satisfying transnational meeting with a loaded agenda and the intention to exchange the latest actions and key lessons from all the materials and products that are part of the toolset we are developing. The coordinator kept us all going by using matrixes, flipover and kept us alive with the promise of a stroll along the canals of Amsterdam, a Dutch beer and a healthy meal.
Each partner is moving forward fast now, because the end of the Voice Action, the final conference, is in sight! For example: the EU training toolbox and the crime and prevention training have been piloted in each partner country and now is the time to implement the lessons learned from the piloting stage, make the digital versions of the trainers guides look nice and cool and ready to disseminate.
Furthermore, we discussed the mobility that was about to take place: a visit to Strasbourg and meetings between youth and representatives of EU-institutions. A bold undertaking, since youngsters of all 7 partner countries are about to travel and meet each other in a setting they are not familiar with! And also the group leaders don’t know too much about the surroundings of Strasbourg. We discussed how to organize this trip to Strasbourg and became very enthusiastic, because so many EU-representatives want to talk to our youngsters and hear about the Voice Action!
No visit this TPM to a Dutch prison, but a guided tour in the oldest and most interesting part of Amsterdam, the Jordaan. The guide told us some facts about the old days in the Jordaan, and gave us some juicy, more or less criminal details; stories about this neighborhood.
The second day, we continued and discussed how we would organize the project’s final conference. For sure in a project about the voices and participation of young people we can’t forget and ignore the youngsters that participated in the mobilities and trainings. We will have to make them play their part during the final conference!
Like always, an international project, especially one with seven countries and nine organizations, in the beginning is a bit chaotic. But now all actions are falling into place and people really get to know each other, which is always the best part of an international exchange. If you are doing it well, you will make colleagues and co-operations (and friends) for live!
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By: Monique Beute, Foundation 180