Reaching out to young people

One of the main tasks of partners at the local level was to reach out to young people belonging to disadvantaged communities or being in a disadvantaged position.

One of the main questions throughout the project was – who is actually disadvantaged and is it ok to put labels on people? Maybe those that people would immediately label as being in a situation of disadvantage don’t feel like that and might be offended by this approach.

One definition says that disadvantaged young people are those with fewer opportunities compared to their peers because they might be facing one or more of these problems: social obstacles, economic obstacles, disability, educational difficulties, cultural differences, health problems, geographical obstacles.

In certain contexts, these situations or obstacles prevent young people from having effective access to formal and non-formal education, transnational mobility and participation, active citizenship, empowerment and inclusion in society at large.

In the context of BNY, this definition might be even wider including people have less opportunities due to their gender, nationality or religion.

There are many way to approach those who might be in a situation of disadvantage and each approach depends on a specific context, existing narratives in the community and resources at your disposal. Sometimes, the most valuable resource you might have are people and their willingness to support building bridges between groups, mentoring or guiding young people through a specific or a fragile moment of their life and ensure that they matter. That they bring an added value and are not a burden.

Building trust is always one of the first but most difficult steps in every outreach action. Below, you will find specific examples from the local level tested throughout this project.

Some approaches worked, some didn’t – building bridges and trust between groups and communities takes a lot of time, energy and can be very fragile.

First tip – be patient and approach people with open heart. It is more than fine to admit that you don’t know something – people will give you information, show you and help you understand. This can only be achieved with an open heart and mind.

Every approach is an example of partner’s work in their own community and covers the following aspects:

  • Target and context in the community
  • Specific methods you use to reach targeted community
  • Specific steps to reach the targeted community
  • A good practice to reaching your target
  • Obstacles faced
  • Pro’s and Con’s to this approach

You are welcome to try the approaches below or tailor them to your needs. Note that several approaches were developed specifically for COVID19 times.

CGE e.V Erfurt Germany

Target and context in the community

At the beginning, we are aiming at reaching out to the local community in the Thüringen region, especially getting in contact with youth organisations working with young people through network contacts, as well as through social media. Thüringen is already experiencing with demographical shrinkage and far right movement. Our target group are young people coming from Economical, disadvantaged city districts. Nationalism and racism are really present in some city districts.  People living here are normally poor and have less opportunities. Also, Youth in villages, such as youngsters living in small cities and villages in Thuringia with less opportunities to spend their free time.

Rustem is a 14 years old young man who has been involved in the process of project planning and implementation of Werkhaus since he was 11 years old. He has a migration background and finds Saalfeld as a city where he would like to live and go back after his Apprenticeship in Frankfurt. In the Summer of 2017/2018, when the project first launched in the community, he was involved as a moderator for ‘’Jungen-Moderatorausbildung’’, where we moderate the process of training for youth participation in the community for his peers. He was also involved in the ‘’Freisitz’’ event and other activities such as ‘’KuJA’’ and ‘’Mutmacher, where young people can do several activities such as hiking, summer holiday program and healthy living.

He wished to have more spaces that are addressing the needs of young people after school-hours, and would like to continue his participation in events/activities related to the community project. According to him, ‘’In some cities, I have experienced it, foreigners or Germans, whatever, are put in one place and here in Saalfeld it is not like that. I like it best that our city is active, politically, projects...’’. This refers to the integration process and cultural moderation that has been put into focus by the municipality to support their citizens.

Specific methods you use to reach targeted community

We worked mostly through social media. We implemented a social media strategy consisting of 7x Information, 5x Engagement, 5x Entertainment for a period of 2 weeks.






Digital communication e.g. fake news, hate speech, tips and tricks



“Mecker-/Jammer-Runden”: feel free to tell us what makes you angry/ upset/ …

Next day: positive counterpart; framing: “Mecker-Mittwoch”


Speak up! No Self-doubt, tell what you care about! How to get your confidence (back) to speak up


Information, Entertainment,


Digital participation e.g. petitions



Corona-Projects: help older people, join local actions, etc. 

#Erfurtsolidarisch (telegram group)

Information, Engagement

Networking/ good vibes community (create the world around you as you like it) -🡪 support community, grow together




Personal development

Meditation/ mindfulness-based trainings/ self-awareness 

~ Physical and mental aspects; live action in a virtual way (zoom)?

Information, Engagement,


Journaling self-reflexion e.g. writing as coping strategy

~ tracking daily training, pure mental

z.B. Live Session machen



Personal growth e.g. goals, setting directions, focus-topics, productivity


Information, Engagement,



Specific steps to reach the targeted community?


Instagram (daily)

1 Mi

Mecker-Mittwoch: Insta-Live! Post about project → Engagement

2 Do

Don't-Dos-Donnerstag (What we do regarding our Bucket-List, what we normally don't do e.g. call grandma, go for a walk… regarding to weekly topic!) → Entertainment 

3 Fr

Fire-up-Freitag (~ Lion! “Erklär-Löwe”) participation like petitions 
→ Information

4 Sa

Catchy name? Corona projects e.g. Tafel, Einkaufshilfe, Zettel in Hausflur

→ Information and Engagement

5 So

Slow-Down-Sonntag e.g. Gif, Meme; heute bewusst mal keine schweren Weltretter-Themen

→ Entertainment

6 Mo

Mutiger-Montag: “Alltagshelden”, be a brave hero for your own community e.g. participate online demo, in family, regarding work, friends; idea: mark friends who are your heroes and say why → Engagement (Challenge)

7 Di

Giveaway-Dienstag; Quiz: 3 questions, get a giveaway when you have everything right! → Information 


A good practice to reaching your target

We are implementing two-weeks of social media campaign for Brave New You call for action. Divided into several topics, such as: Topics Aspects Notes Communication Digital communication e.g. fake news, hate speech, tips and tricks “Mecker-/Jammer-Runden”: feel free to tell us what makes you angry/ upset... 

Next day: positive counterpart; framing: “Mecker-Mittwoch” Speak up! No Self-doubt, tell what you care about! How to get your confidence (back) to speak up Community Digital participation e.g. petitions 

Corona-Projects: help older people, join local actions, etc. Erfurt solidarisch (telegram group) Networking/ good vibes community (create the world around you as you like it) → support community, grow together Personal development Meditation/ mindfulness-based 

We also conducted live Instagram interview with our local partner organizations:

interview Vannesa von Bäämm Erfurt. Talking about the BNY project and the options of young people these days.

Interview with Schülerparlament!Talking about BNY and how to reach young people. Also talking about what is the biggest challenge faced by young people in the region.

Interview with Fritzerhaus. Talking about the BNY project and invitation to attend the kick off meeting on 19th May 2020.

Fryshuset, Sweden

Target and context in the community

Fryshuset's activities and programs are open to all young persons. But we have a special focus on disadvantaged youth at risk of being excluded from society at large. Irrespective of the reason for being excluded we try to meet every young person with respect and without judging where he or she is. The overall purpose is to include these youngsters in positive contexts and to make them play a constructive role in the development of their future lives.

Most of our programmes are of a primarily preventive nature. But we also work with people who want to leave violent and extreme groups. These programmes are of a more "reparative" nature, aiming at reintegrating these individuals into society. We give these individuals the tools they need to change their lifestyle and to strengthen their motivation.

Specific methods you use to reach targeted community

Two crucial elements of Fryshuset's method to reach out to these youngsters are: credible messengers and passionate interests.

We strongly believe that it is essential to use credible messengers, i.e.: individuals who have their own experience of the environments and situations of the target group, who "know what they are talking about", people who can understand and meet the target group with hope and trust.

The mission statement of Fryshuset is: We make it possible for young persons to change the world through their passions. We are convinced that all human beings have a passion, although it is sometimes well hidden and hard to discover. But if you do not give up you can sooner or later identify that passion. It might be about sports or music, about arts or theatre, about anything that makes you feel engaged and committed, something that could attract your attention and interest. Lots of Fryshuset's programs are based on the passions of young people. They are often the key with which doors can be opened to new communities and  which will open up for personal development and belonging to a positive context.

Specific steps to reach the targeted community

In order to reach out to the targeted community we thus engage persons with a background in and knowledge of the areas of the actual community. We support, train and educate them in how to meet and build relationships with the target group. Through these credible messengers we reach out to the disadvantaged youth and their communities. We invite and include them and offer them possibilities to engage and participate in various activities based on their interests and passions. At the same time we work to empower them and to give them the tools they need to play an active role in the shaping of their future lives. We also use all types of social media to reach out to the target group.

To demonstrate how the above works in practice we will describe how we reach the target group for this project.

Firstly we contacted a participant from a former project on Children and Armed conflict commissioned by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The participant is a local young role model in a marginalised area of the city of Örebro. He is very involved in engaging other young people in marginalised situations in his community through the work of the foundation For The People, where he now is chairman of the board. Moreover, he has been involved in other of Fryshuset’s projects on Peacebuilding.

Secondly, another positive role model and credible messenger from the same area was contacted to be part of this project. She is the sister of the former Chairman of the Board from For The People and also involved in its activities.

Through these ‘credible messengers’ and the local meetings and activities provided by For The People we are able to engage young people for this project.

A good practice to reaching your target

One example of how we implement the above mentioned method on ‘credible messengers’, of a good practice that Fryshuset has been working with for many years, is our training of young security and safety "hosts" or leaders. We select a group of young persons from the target group, some of them with a "mixed background" and offer them an education and training in issues such as morals, values and ethics, conflict handling, anger control, basic legal issues, first aid, trust and confidence. Then they are employed by Fryshuset (it is often their first regular job) with the task of working in areas where they meet and reach out to our target group. They invite teenagers who are at risk of "going the wrong way" to be part of junior groups where they meet regularly to discuss and learn about issues of great importance to their every-day life, to their future and to the development of society. After some months of meetings and education they get a kind of "diploma" and are invited to work as volunteers in their home areas and communities together with the employed leaders.

Obstacles you faced during the reach out

With regards to the good practice under question 5: in some cases we have a problem to convince the general public, the police or decision-makers that our method of employing young persons with "mixed backgrounds" to work with youth at risk. The credible messenger concept is sometimes hard to explain. This can make some people suspicious, and perhaps even afraid, concerning our methods.

And, since we work with a group of young people, some of whom are on the "wrong path", it can not be avoided that some of them do not succeed to change their life. This happens very rarely, but when it happens, the publicity about it is of course a problem and an obstacle, at least temporarily, for the further development of the concept/program.

This concept is obviously of a preventive nature. The purpose is to avoid that these youngsters at risk end up in environments and communities where we do not want to find them. The fact that  prevention is often hard to get funded, as it is difficult to measure the results,  is a constant problem and obstacle.

Pro’s and Con’s to this approach


•The fact that we work with credible messengers is an important success factor when it comes to building relations with young people, not least disadvantaged youth. The fact that we make young people grow by showing them trust and giving them responsibility is a great pro in our work.

•Our success record when it comes to getting youngsters to change the direction of their lives in a positive way, is very positive. A very low percentage of youngsters fail to (re)integrate in society after they join Fryshuset.

•Our positive focus on the passionate interests of young people is another strong pro! By engaging youngsters in something they really love to do we support their self-esteem and strengthen their feeling of being part of something positive


•The fact that we work with credible messengers, some of whom have mixed backgrounds, can also, as mentioned above, create suspicion and misunderstandings among the general public, politicians and the police.

•There is always a risk that the young leaders we employ do not fully leave their previous life behind.

•The funding of organisations like Fryshuset and similar NGOs is a constant challenge. Too much time and staff resources have to be used to get the funding instead of working with the youth.

MOJU – Associação Movimento Juvenil em Olhão

Target and context in the community

First, we found it pertinent to work with a target group to which we are not directly and daily connected, so that we could have another perspective on the needs of young people in our city. Secondly, in order to implement this project with one of our partners at the local      level and to strengthen this cooperation, we decided to have students from our city's Highschool as participants. Knowing that the school already has experience in participating in ERASMUS+ projects, we thought it would be interesting to choose a group of young people from whom they have not yet been given the opportunity to participate in an international activity by the school.

Since the BNY-Reloaded project will use Non-Formal Education as a method, we wanted to involve a class that was somehow studying the same so that they could have      an idea of what it is      and somehow use and connect their learning throughout the project with their curricula in school.

Then, after a first contact with the school principal, it was decided that we would carry out the local activities with the students of a Vocational Course for Child Caregivers. Normally, the students who sign up for this type of Vocational Courses are bullied because these courses are seen by society in general, but mainly by young people, as courses for students with learning difficulties and for the students in risk to fail school, hence they transfer them to a ‘’easier’’ curricula as a last chance to approve the year.  Therefore, the education system itself deprives these young people of the possibility of participating in some of the regular school activities, such as Erasmus+ projects, and for these reasons we thought it would be very important to have these students as a target audience. These young people have many needs that are invisible in the eyes of their teachers, colleagues and the education system itself, as well as their opinions being considered irrelevant to others.

Specific methods used to reach targeted community

The first step to reach this group of students was to realise      if there would be interest on the part of the School Director to collaborate with us in the implementation of the project. After a positive confirmation from the school, we contacted the teacher responsible for the course and explained via phone calls and emails the project, objectives to be met and activities to be developed and what would be the role of the school, teachers and students in it. The teacher in charge showed a lot of interest in this project, since as we (fortunately) assumed beforehand, these young people and in fact these teachers do not normally have this kind of opportunities within the school affairs. After this contact      with the teacher, she told us that she would briefly present the project in her classes (online) and after she did it she informed us that the students would like to know more about it.

Then, on the 4th of May 2020, we held the first meeting online, through a video call using the ''Jitsi'' website. We presented our Association, the Erasmus+ Program and the Brave New You - Reloaded Project in brief, as this meeting was just to get to know each other and answer any questions young people might have.

We also asked for a brief presentation of the young people, in which, using the 'Jamboard' Google site, we asked each student to write on a post-it their name, age, the country they would like to travel and the thing they did most during the quarantine. After each one had finished their post-it, they were asked to introduce themselves. Finally, through the ''Mentimenter'' website, they were asked about their level of English, as we thought it important to know as it might be an obstacle to their participation or something that we could improve during the time period of this project. We also asked if we could use the data from this meeting for analysis within the measures of the project and if they had any additional questions. We ended the meeting by scheduling our next meeting where we would explore further the project and some of the issues mentioned throughout the call.

A good practice to reaching your target

Considering the fact that this project has international activities, we knew it would be very enticing and a way to motivate young people to want to participate and stay involved throughout it, since some of these young people do not have opportunities, especially financially, to travel outside our country.

Therefore, during communication with the teacher responsible for the students and with themselves, we mentioned different times the possibility of being able to travel and meet other young people also working on the same project.

As well as the language used to communicate with the young people during this first meeting, we believe it had an impact on their interest. Often the way a project/activity is communicated can have a negative influence on the motivation of the participants in it, so we think we should always take into account the target audience with whom we are working. We have tried to be brief on the theoretical parts and have given each student time to express themselves in an informal way.

Obstacles you faced during the reach out

We were expecting a larger number of participants in this first meeting, since the teacher would have mentioned that there would be 18 students from two different classes but from the same course. However, only about 13/14 pupils participated and not all were actively involved during the call. When asked to present themselves or participate in the small exercises on the 'Jamboard' and 'Mentimeter' websites, only 10/12 students actually did so.
Afterwards, in a feedback call we asked the teacher about the activity and we reflected on the possibilities that might have caused lack of participation and we come to a conclusion that the meeting was after the young people's school day and that as there was no obligation for them to participate, it might have caused them to lose interest. We decided to try a different schedule for the next meeting and approach the the teacher to ask the students that only those who were really interested in the project, and participate from beginning to end, should participate in the next meeting.

Pro’s and Con’s to this approach

-communication adapted to the target group
-duration of the call, short but concise
-support of the teacher to reach out
- active participation of some students motivated other to be involved as well

- the fact of meeting the group for the first time using digital tools might have caused some
distancing between the group and project itself, since not everyone was actively present.
- the participation of the teacher in the future activities might make it uncomfortable and not a
safe space for young people to share their personal needs and opinions, as it might make
students still feel like in formal education setting

Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Target and context in the community

CID has been working, for the past 10 years, on bringing together young people of different cultural and social backgrounds to dialogue and transform them into proactive and civically engaged members of the community. This group of young people is aged between 14 and 25, mostly high school students that don’t have opportunities to engage in certain activities outside their schools, or are students who want to be active in transforming and contributing to their community  with positive change.

Specific Methods you use to reach targeted community

CID’s main approach is youth work and NFE methodologies, including learning by doing and a learner-centred approach, which encourages critical thinking and motivates action. This approach provides opportunities for a long term engagement in the organisation. Provided mentorship and opportunities for personal development and support for any initiative for community action.

Specific steps to reach the targeted community

CID has developed a Leadership Module “CID Academy” which provides varieties of opportunities for personal development of young people.

Young people are reached through:

Open Calls for participation;

School meetings;

Peer recommendations;

Being active volunteers in the organisation;

Showing interest in community engagement initiatives;

The programme of the module covers the following topics: intercultural learning, youth participation, organisational management, project management, volunteer recruitment, leadership, human rights, advocacy and democratic participation.

A good practice to reaching your target

In the past 5 years a very productive approach to engaging young people has proven to be organising ‘Open Day’s  in Schools’ where Young Leaders and Volunteers of the organisation exhibit the different opportunities that the Youth Center offers to young people. In this way youth can get familiarised with the work of the organisation but also have a glance at what are the possibilities for development as they have a chance to chat with volunteers who are happy to participate and initiate activities.

Obstacles you faced during the reach out

Sometimes, young people know how to show too much enthusiasm, but it is important to keep further contact and maintain the new network of acquainted people.

Pro’s and Con’s to this approach


Easy to organise;

Positive reinforcement for volunteers;

Big reach out.


too many applications;

possible difficulties with school administration to enter.

Tips to consider

A good social media campaign prior to the start of the open day will help the process of acquainting young people with the opportunities that the organisation will offer.

ActionAid Italy

Target and context in the community

We chose to reach out to a group formed by some of our young activists and other NEET youth. We chose to mix up these two groups since we are not exactly working in a specific community, and so it wasn’t representative to just choose a specific group. Our young activists are 4 girls who are involved in studying in different fields (political studies, international relations, psychology) and in activism and social innovation, while NEET people are guys and girls which previously have been involved in some of our projects. We tried to involve them in the project by proposing that they join us, and some of them did it. Our objective was to create a group which could reflect different layers of society, different backgrounds, different contexts.

Specific methods you use to reach targeted community

Because we started the project during the pandemic and lockdown, we couldn’t reach out to people as we wanted. This is important to say because we had to reinvent our whole approach. What we had to do, especially with NEET who were unknown to us, was trying to engage them. We made a few calls, first together with people they already knew and then alone, to explain the project and try to engage them in participating. Of course the perspective of an international exchange has been a good motivation, but they were also interested in taking part in the project. Then we had to create the group: we met all together (online) and made some icebreakers in order to mix them up. In ActionAid we always have a participatory approach: this means we have to create the path all together, taking into account the needs and instances of everybody and shape our path to them. This was the main approach we had in doing everything.

We also use so-called “reflection-action methodologies”, which is basically a process that starts from people’s analysis of their own context and builds in a cumulative way, looking at the connections between local, national and international levels.

Participants follow a cycle of reflection and action, which involves:

  • Understanding the context
  • Identifying and prioritising an issue
  • Planning and action
  • Participatory monitoring and evaluation
  • At each stage, a variety of participatory tools are used to support analysis and planning.
  • Reflection-Action is the foundation for building people’s agency, starting with their own awareness and working together for empowerment.

Specific steps to reach the targeted community

Since we are working with youth, we have to be aware about which is the best way to communicate with them. It is important to try to understand which is their way to communicate, which are their needs and habits, and it is important to find a common place to start from.

Getting their trust: After we individuate our target group, and since we already knew some of them, it was relatively easy to reach them. This means that most of them already trusted me and the other girls. Fort the others I had to have a one-to-one talk in order to know a little more of each other;

Find a common language: we chose to focus on social media, because it is the main way these  youngsters  communicate, and so we thought it could be a good common place to start from. We made the game I already explained through social media, we made some analysis from social media.

Let them be: we didn’t put any gate anywhere in shaping the activities. Everybody was able to shape his/her own version of the task asked, because the aim wasn’t to have the same output but instead to give the possibility to express themselves. Of course, during follow up of the exercise we reviewed together what was more or less relevant to our task;

Shape the path together: as this is non-formal education it is important they feel involved in shaping the activities. Since I am not their teacher, but a facilitator, my duty is to help them to become aware of their context, of its needs and capabilities, and to understand how to build better options.

Have fun: it would be impossible to  work properly, on a voluntary base, if the job wasn’t a little fun

A good practice to reaching your target

We made a small game, which they found fun and helped them in getting to know each other: since they hadn't met before, and didn’t know anything about each other, I gave them a task to draw up a kind of identikit of other people only based on their social media channels. I gave them some basic questions (“His/her favourite food”, “does s/he prefer sea or mountains”) and they had to find out this information on each other’s Instagram or Facebook profiles. The aim was double: give them the ability to find out something personal about the participant, but also to reflect about how much social media could be a vehicle of fake news and imprecise information. I wanted them to reflect how easy it could be to fake reality through social media, and also how difficult it could be to know something/somebody we don’t know only through his/her feed and stories. They very much appreciated this approach, which also helped a lot in breaking the ice.

Obstacles you faced during the reach out

The main difficulties have been related to the impossibility to meet up in person, to catch up their attention and engagement through a screen, the difficulties in finding a common date for meeting, the short time of our meetings, the lack of informal moments in which they could mix them up and create a real group, the difficulties for me in understanding their feedback (many didn’t want/couldn’t keep their camera open –even if this was the rule).

Pro’s and Con’s to this approach

PRO’S: youngsters feel more involved in the process, they understand they’re relevant in taking steps ahead or decisions, they count. They feel more integrated into processes which involve them, they understand they could make difference. It is different from teaching them something, everything is more about making them aware of things (rights, power dynamics, stakeholders, ecc.) and then reflecting about how to change them to their needs and their communities.

CON’S: it is more time consuming, it is more difficult to engage them at first. You don’t have to have a predetermined plan, since we are building it together, but of course you have to take a look at the direction to take all the time. It is pretty easy to lose yourself, and when it happens sometimes the solution seems to be to take control back. So the main difficulty is to balance the two needs.

ADEL Slovakia

Target and context in the community 

People from rural areas and particularly the East part of Slovakia are often targets of hate-speech due to their accent, often spreading stereotypes that those people are poor, less smart, alcoholics, impacted by the Roma community etc. The general opinion about this region is that there are no events, no opportunities. Even our former prime minister said "there is nothing". By this activity young people wanted to show that there is something going on there, there are nice places there and that young people have power to change something in their surroundings.

Specific methods you use to reach targeted community

Due to the COVID19 pandemic, it was impossible to reach them any other way, only online. We started the process with a survey and we got quite many answers – 60 and around 30 of them answered that they would be willing to participate in a zoom meeting. Eventually only 5 of them participated, although we also did a doodle to make sure that the date and time would be available for as many of them as possible.

A good practice to reaching your target

Our expert who want to approach more Roma Community created this “practice” to reach them:

  • Call to adventure. This activity is an introduction and also a chance for signing up for Hero's Journey (4-5 activities at various places- outdoor, indoor + project in between). This activity contains 3 main phases:
  • Collecting a map (activists, theoretics) - passing a various small missions in different groups of 2- 5 people, each mission they pass they receive a peace of a  Hero's Journey map by Joseph Campbell + storytelling, explanation
  • My Hero (reflectors, pragmatics) - groups according to their favourite fairytale or movie suit the journey of their main character to Joseph Campbells map + group presentation
  • I am Hero (activists, pragmatics, reflectors) - facilitating discussion about similarities in their characters journeys and possible comparison to our stories, real stories + motivation, calling them to adventure 

Obstacles you faced during the reach out

Due to the pandemic, it was quite a challenge for us to approach them and keep them active. It is still a challenge as they are not interested anymore to participate in the online meetings.

Sauga Open Youth Center (Sauga ANK)

Target and context in the community

Short throwback

Administrative-Territorial Reform (2015-2017)

The Government of the Republic appointed to office in 2015 was the first one to agree upon implementing administrative-territorial reform of local authorities during 2017 elections. The purpose of administrative reform was to support the increase of the capacity of local governments in the case of offering high quality public services, using regional prerequisites for development, increasing competitiveness, and ensuring a more consistent regional development.

Tori municipality is a network based local government unit with four well established local centres:

City of Sindi;

Hamlet of Sauga;

Hamlet of Tori;

Hamlet of Are.

All local centres provide basic essential services.

The last 2 years have been the time to create new development plans, networks and systems to provide the best services to the community, including young people.

After administrative-territorial reform, Tori municipality has 11 895 inhabitants of whom 2573 (21,6%) are young people aged 7 to 26.

Tori municipality has three youth centres, one small room for young people to gather and take part in activities, and a few partners who help to provide hobby activities for local young people. Their work is based on non-formal education and cooperation with other youth and educational organisations (3 basic schools, 1 gymnasium, 1 hobby school) in the local area and around Estonia.

Overview of some obstacles of youth work in Tori municipality:

-        There are no more modern and spacious environments for youth activities;

-        Sindi Open Youth Centre needs to be expanded;

-        There are few opportunities for youth work in sparsely populated areas (mobile youth work);

-        Young people living in villages away from the centres have difficulty accessing youth work institutions;

-        There are no opportunities and places for young people in Tammiste, Urge and Tori areas to engage in activities to be developed together;

-        Low participation in various youth work programs, including at the international level;

-        There is no local youth council;

-        Lack of support services for NEET youth (currently only the Youth Support Program (Youth Prop Up Program), coordinated by Pärnu Youth Leisure Centre and funding for the program ends in summer 2021);

-        Low participation of young people aged 18+ in youth centre’s activities.


-        Create conditions for the development and improvement of youth work activities together with the planning of the necessary resources;

-        Open youth centres      in Are, Sauga and Sindi and the youth rooms in Tori, Suigu and Tammiste areas are modern and create opportunities for young people for a variety of open youth work and hobby activities;

-        Hobby education and activities for young people are diverse and accessible;

-        Tori municipality youth council has been established;

-        Young people are involved in youth work activities and are aware of the possibilities of youth work;

-        Young people and youth workers are recognized;

-        Transport facilities for going to youth institutions are improved;

-        Creation of a program providing services for NEET youth.

Source: Tori Municipality Development Plan 2018-2030

After administrative-territorial reform youth work in Tori municipality is still facing the problem of sparsely populated areas, so Estonia as a project partner focused on young people from rural areas who have limited possibilities (transport, social, economical etc) to take part from youth work activities or other possibilities that the community provides.

Youth centres and educational organisations have done a good job of involving young people in their activities and actions, but we have to admit that young people aged 7-13 years are more active than young people aged 14 and above. The project “Brave New You – Reloaded” is a good opportunity to involve young people aged 14+, to help them become more active members of the community, show their skills and talents and help to implement their ideas.


-        Sauga ANK focus on age group 14+;

-        Sauga ANK focus on young people from rural and sparsely populated areas;

-        Sauga ANK cooperates with other youth and educational organisations in Tori municipality to create the core and active groups.

Specific methods you use to reach targeted community

Sauga ANK and other youth centres work daily directly with youngsters, also are active in social media (Facebook, Instagram etc) to provide every necessary information to target groups.

Our team had a discussion about young people who are visiting youth centres  and what are the reasons why young people take part in different youth work activities.

-        Youth centre daily visitors (young people who find youth centre to be the best hanging out place);

-        Young people who participate in different hobby activities;

-        Young people who participate only camps, work camps, trainings, seminars, outings etc;

-        Young people who are only interested in project activities.

So,      every different age group, interest group, has to be approached differently.

Because of the COVID-19 period, Sauga ANK has used several methods to reach the target group:

-        Communication and cooperation with other youth organisations and youth workers in Tori municipality (mostly online);

-        Communication and cooperation with local schools and youth workers there (mostly online);

-        Communication and cooperation with the social and child protection department of Tori municipality to have an overview of the targeted community.

After isolation period:

-        Face to face information sharing in youth centre(-s);

-        Peer to peer information sharing;

-        Public events and meetings with interest and target group;

-        Mobile youth work: Sauga ANK youth workers visit other youth centres, facilities in the Tori area to meet the targeted community and spread the information.

Also Sauga ANK has created a short description of the project and opportunities to participate in  that have been sent out to all partners in the Tori area.

Specific steps to reach the targeted community

Overview of specific steps to reach the targeted community:

Youth workers do not label youngsters. All youngsters are equal, no matter what their backgroundissues, beliefs, etc are, they are welcome at any time. Also quite often youth workers work is case-based and individually, if necessary, including other specialists from schools, social, child protection departments or police. The main purpose is to support young people and help them to be or became active members of community;

Youth workers' work is based on open youth work methods and non-formal education. All activities, events are built on that and are open for everyone     ;

All activities and events are created for all young people in Tori municipality, including young people with fewer opportunities, young people from rural and sparsely populated areas, also organising transport for them or doing mobile youth work in different villages. The keyword is cooperation with different social, cultural, educational and youth organisations;

Active communication through social media (Facebook, Instagram);

Sharing information from peer to peer.

A good practice to reaching your target

Summer work camps, also known as malevad – great opportunity for youngsters aged 13-18 years. Local businesses and municipalities are offering a variety of jobs to do during the summer, usually lasting two to three weeks. Local businesses and municipalities are mostly offering maintenance work where young people can help with landscaping and easier farm work. All youngsters will get paid (minimum salary rate), lunch packages are organised, as well as transport to camp and from camp and different activities and outings to build team spirit (team games, outings to adventure parks etc).    

Summer work camps are very popular and needed. Participation in camp helps to socialise with other young people, help young people to become active members of the community, reduces the risk of poverty, raises a sense of duty and responsibility, prevents unemployment and creates work habits.

Obstacles you faced during the reach out

-        Lack of interest and passive behaviour of youth;

-        Mental fatigue;

-        Smart world (young people have lost themselves into smart phones or other devices) that brings up the fear of interacting with people from face to face;

-        Local decision makers do not involve young people, lack of communication;

-        Political situation and decisions;

-        Lack of financial sources;

-        Lack of labour (lack of needed specialists, youth workers etc);

-        Lack of transport;

-        Economic and social difficulties;

-        Abundance of choices;

-        Social exclusion;

-        Wrong/bad decisions in life (belonging to gangs etc).

Pro’s and Con’s to this approach


Good cooperation with other youth and educational organisations in Tori municipality to spread the information to find and support target group;

Motivated youth workers.


During the COVID-19 isolation period, all work was done online (all the communication with partners, etc) but did not have a good opportunity to gather a targeted group to share needed information about the project. So we are still waiting for the opportunity to organize a live meeting with the target group.


Target and context in the community

Our assessed group are teenagers living in the outskirts of our city, Thessaloniki. The west side of Thessaloniki is known as the industrial area. Industrial areas are considered to be under-developed due to the fact that there was no plan of inhabiting the place. After the boom of the financial crisis, many areas are now resided by people who are in a difficult financial situation. Our disadvantaged group is youngsters who grow up in such an area. Marginalised citizens in Thessaloniki are mostly considered those living in the suburbs with no access to facilities or public affairs. What is more, there is hate speech against them for their origin, location, way of living, living standards and lifestyle of the area. The idea behind choosing the target group that we will work with, is a mixed group, with youngsters from all backgrounds.

Specific methods you use to reach targeted community

The methods we want to use are the purposeful sample and techniques of qualitative methods. We have tried to be as inclusive as we could, so that the group is diverse and truly representative of the community. We worked hard to persuade people that are generally not offered a voice such as low-income people, immigrants, teens and parents. We tried a complete assessment which gave a signal to community members that they are part of the process. While gathering the data, we remained objective and wrote down anything said relevant to our questions. All interviews and study were done with a face-to-face approach so as to be reliable towards them but also eradicated any suspicion coming from them.

Specific steps to reach the targeted community

The first step is to find at least one person that lives outside the city centre and can’t have access to the political, economical and cultural life that takes part in the city centre. This step can be made, by getting in contact with young people that study in schools in the outskirts and with youngsters that visit youth centres in the outskirts. Our two youth-workers have personal contacts with a specific school and a youth-centre that are situated in different villages outside Thessaloniki. So, as aforementioned, the youth-workers will purposefully come in contact with one person from each place (school and youth-centre) and through ‘snowball’ technique, they will bring together more of their peers in contact with the youth-workers. In this way, a group with mutual and different characteristics will unite.

A good practice to reaching your target

Because of the lockdown due to covid-19, we found that it would be a useful idea to use other forms of connection, like zoom meetings but difficult though. So, we came in contact with two persons, who brought their friends/classmates/people from the neighbourhood etc. Developing a plan for identifying local needs of the youth can help youth workers understand how to improve their communities in the most logical and efficient ways possible. Through this program we will provide a guideline for developing and implementing a plan according to the needs of this community and the resources available to them. It is necessary to get a deeper understanding of the community. It is true that each community has its own assets, as well as its own social structure. Our aim is to do anything that can add to their quality of life. The best way you can help end exclusion and isolation is to work on being an ally. That means educating yourself on the privileges your own group enjoys to better understand the perspectives of members of marginalised communities.

Obstacles you faced during the reach out

The main obstacle was the lockdown that the whole country/world faced, because of covid19. No matter the difficult situation of Covid-19, we managed to have physical contact which helped the process. There was no other way to do so due to the fact that there’s no internet connection or a digital device at the availability of most. Many people that haven't had a formal education belong to those that are often denied a voice in community affairs, and that’s the reason we focused on the area.

Pro’s and Con’s to this approach

Using the aforementioned techniques, we believe that the group will be diverse and at the same time will have a mutual characteristic, that all of them live in the outskirts or far from the centre of the city, where as we already mentioned, if not all, most of the events take place. Marginalisation describes both a process, and a condition, that prevents individuals or groups from full participation in social, economic and political life. As a condition, it can prevent individuals from actively participating. There is a multidimensional aspect, with social, economic and political barriers all contributing to the marginalisation of an individual or group of individuals. Social discrimination and marginalisation can impact on a wide range of groups on the basis of age, gender, sexuality, language, disability etc. Economic marginalisation can prevent equal access to basic services, income opportunities and access to jobs. The Pro’s is that we are in the position to educate our own community. Our voice is most effective within our own group since we are in the best position to confront its stereotypes and misunderstandings. We also have a special access to them as an audience that other communities do not.

Tips to consider

Build personal relationships with each participant, in order to create trust and openness in the group. The data collected also showed a need for better communication between parents and teens, education programs, suitable teachers, youth workers, community leaders. Additionally, there are claims about poor housing quality and affordability, criminality, early school-leaving, young labour and financial support among family members. Young people of the area are not always aware of their Rights and chances. Surely we should consider the core factors determining marginalisation in our specific context, consider the political, social and economic factors, define the barriers preventing the marginalised group from being reached , consider how different types of marginalisation intersect to multiply disadvantage. For example, in some countries girls may not be particularly marginalised overall but certain groups like the rural poor are marginalised.