Mentoring young disadvantaged people for inclusion

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Future meets Experience: Mentoring for Inclusion,
19th of June 2019 - European Committee of the Regions

On the 19th of June, CESES ( Confederation of European Senior Expert Services) held a meeting of the Erasmus+ Mydi Project at the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels. The MYDI Project gathers 11 partner organisations from 7 countries (Austria, Belgium Finland, France ,Germany, Italy, Slovakia). It focuses on social integration of young people, whether nationals, migrants or refugees and provides assistance in their professional and personal field, in social competences or in civic participation. Senior experts assist young people by coaching and mentoring them on a voluntary base, thereby contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive cooperation.
 
During the meeting, the participants benefited from high level interventions on the topic. The president of the European Committee of the Regions, Karl Heinz Lambertz opened the welcome session stressing the importance of cooperation between regions: "We need more positive and encouraging projects having, like the MYDI-Project, an innovative approach and which can thus better the mutual understanding among generations as well as the social integration of disadvantaged young people. Sharing, participation and inclusion are the essential conditions for building coherence in our society." Michalis Moschovakos, policy officer of the European Commission and Ulrike Engels from the German National Agency Education for Europe outlined the importance of this topic on the European and national levels.
 
Project partners presented their national initiatives: the VERA programme in Germany using a one-to-one approach for trainees, French activities on the empowerment of NEETs  (people neither in education or vocational training) and the Finnish model to enhance the integration of refugees in society. 
Of particular interest for the public has been the various testimonies of young people having benefited from this intergenerational cooperation.
 
In the final session, the public was informed about the results achieved :problems in the different countries are comparable, educational systems are different, good methods can be transferred between regions and the launching of a follow up project.
 The participants were invited to embark themselves on similar projects and to lobby for more recognition, acceptance and support from public authorities and stakeholders on intergenerational cooperation.

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