The final CHARM conference disseminated and reflected on the project
The conference ‘Spreading CHARM: Inclusive youth organizations in Europe’ took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 24-25 November 2014, gathering 50 participants from six European countries. Youth workers, trainers, young people and representatives of different stakeholders from Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Spain came together to explore the CHARM project, discuss its achievements and lessons learnt and debate follow-up.
Based on the discussions and presentations on the two days of the conference, finally some conclusions were offered to the participants for comments and reflection:
- The personal learning offered within the CHARM training-related activities is with no doubt successful, as witnessed by participants themselves. However, the target group of the project are youth organizations and the partners need to put more efforts to measure whether the learning of the organizations is as successful as the personal one.
- The Charming trainings are not ‘any trainings’ as confirmed both by participants and trainers. The project bears a strong emotional potential which has transformative functions.
- The balance between initiating a ‘Charming process’ internally or externally needs to be well kept. While encouragement is favorable as well as external facilitation, the organization should really be the engine of the process if positive change is to be expected.
- The Charming partnership needs to keep the balance between being too concrete and being too broad. The tools and methods offered to different profiles of organizations should bring up the specifics, but should not be too limitative. The difference between offering too much (and limiting the organization to decide based on own needs) and offering nothing (staying to general).
- The CHARM project has proven to bring an added value in most of the countries.
- In future initiative it might make sense to address more ‘organizational development’ as a theme and merge it with mainstreaming of anti-racism in youth organizations.
- There is a re-emerging idea to develop a Charming concept for schools and not only for youth organizations. To be considered for follow-up projects.
- For future projects the policy perspective should be stronger and more efforts should be made to engage not only with the target group (youth organizations), but also other stakeholders and decision-makers.
- There is a need and a good base to create more innovative tools (including online) to teach anti-racism with young people and youth organizations.
- The CHARM concept should not stay limited to the six countries engaged in the project. Efforts should be made to engage more countries (and continents). One possibility might be to foster e-learning.
- There is a feeling of community and belonging among the people and organizations engaged in the project and it should be utilized for follow-up and expansion.
Read the full project documentation here.