The Vision of STEPs Youth Centers’ is the equality in chances across Europe for education, against every cultural, economic, social and geographical obstacle for youth. The project aims to contribute to issues of social inclusion, entrepreneurship, citizenship and employability by pursuing two key objectives. On the one hand, we aim at creating the appropriate pedagogical methods, based on e-learning modules in order to make the idea of on-line education more attractive to young people in Europe. On the other hand, we aim at giving the chance to students, teachers, unemployed youth between18-30 years old and pupils of the secondary education who belong to social groups suffering from the crisis, get trained through non formal education using the above mentioned techniques and the innovative tools of trainings and workshops at the Youth Centers which will be created on the specific thematics selected.
The key objective of the project is to offer young people with fewer opportunities an attractive Youth space which will host them, aiming to utilize and foster knowledge, empower their skills and develop their capabilities to reach the demands of a globalized world, offering equal opportunities and open access to a range of activities. Within the Project, the Consortium formed by youth organizations, Municipalities and Ministries from 4 EU Member States will share knowledge and expertise cooperating on forming innovative Youth Centers using the tools of ICT offering equal and inclusive opportunities to young people wishing to improve their competences and reach the demands of the labour market. The main activities of the project are focused on the cooperation between the stakeholders, and the creation of Centers of excellence, developed by experts and aiming to facilitate the recognition, awareness and maximum utilization of the benefits of non-formal education, interactive trainings and workshops, while active participation and social entrepreneurship are promoted within the Project.
Young Greeks are suffering from the tremendous financial crisis, which the latest years has transformed more into a social crisis, highlighting the necessity of creation of innovative Youth Centers in Greece, bringing the country on the spotlight since there are no such infrastructures in the South – East Europe. The Youth Centers will be created at the Municipalities of Kommotini, Elefsina, Skyros and Oropedio Lasithiou providing opportunities to young persons with fewer opportunities, due to economic, geographical and social obstacles, support through open access to the CEREBRUM platform, which will work as an “Online Academy” and a discussion space regarding the reality of the EU among the users. These Centers will contribute on promoting innovation and create a unique curriculum so as to develop skills and the needed network to expand their future working opportunities.
The world of education is currently undergoing massive transformation as a result of the digital revolution. However, the percentages of lessons taught using information and communication technologies has not increased since 2006. This is making the pedagogic procedures unattractive to young people and has an immediate impact on their performance. Our aim is to bring together all the above groups and create valuable structures where there is poor infrastructure and address critical challenges, such as digital literacy for young people, stimulate the usage of ICT and change attitudes. With the use of the rapid development of technology, our project seeks to create an “Online Academy” through the e-learning platform, CEREBRUM, which has been developed by the Institute of Research and Training on European Affairs and aims at providing high-quality education across the narrow borders of a typical classroom. We believe as of crucial importance the application of highly innovative and technologically advanced tools in order to make user friendly and more specifically – youth friendly – instruments of policies.
Through the project, specific target groups will benefit, so as to develop skills and the needed network to expand the possibilities of the work future. The Target Groups will be:
1. Pupils of High Schools, who will have the opportunity to learn about the EU, acquire communication skills in a foreign language, develop an intercultural attitude through interactive, innovative and experiential learning methods.
2. Teachers who will be trained on new methods of non-formal learning, funding opportunities in the EU for their schools and enhance their personal and professional development
3. Unemployed or Employed young people (18-30 years old) who will be trained on social entrepreneurship and employability in the EU and funding opportunities.
4. Municipal Employees in the field of youth, who will be trained in order to sustain the Youth Center in the future.