Young Men`s Christian Associations Romania Federation (YMCA Romania), as coordinator, together with Young Initiative Association – Romania (AYI), Sdrujenie Nadejda-CRD -Bulgaria (Nadejda), The Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service – France (CCIVS ) and the Alliance Europeenne des YMCA – Belgium (YMCA Europe), as partners, announce the start of the implementation of the strategic youth partnership project “#AlwaysON for youth”, co-financed by the European Union through the Erasmus + Program.

The aim of the project is to increase the capacity of youth organizations from Romania, France, Bulgaria, Belgium and the federated networks of the partnership consortium to serve young people (including vulnerable youth) extensively and intensively through digital youth work and digital inclusion and safety practices.

The objectives of the project are:
1. To develop a collaborative learning space focused on digital inclusion and digital youth work between 5 EU-based youth organizations through the sharing of best practices and national approaches;
2. Increase the capacity of at least 100 youth workers from minimum 4 EU countries to engage in digital inclusion and digital youth work activities;
3. Increase the capacity of at least 25 youth organizations from minimum 4 EU countries to improve or adopt digital inclusion practices for reaching out to young people with fewer opportunities from their communities;
4. Raise awareness among minimum 100 youth workers from 4 EU countries around the opportunities, challenges and solutions surrounding digital safety and privacy (including humane technologies and algorithms).

The expected results of the project are:
– Development of a digital platform for youth workers that will foster learning and sharing of good practices among 100 youth workers from at least 4 EU countries;
-“Shaping Digital Inclusion and Safety in the Post-Pandemic World” research paper with the involvement of at least 250 young people and 250 youth workers from at least 4 Eu countries;
– MOOC course on digital inclusion and safety;
– 30 youth workers from 4 EU countries involved in a comprehensive digital youth work and digital inclusion training course;
– 5 gamification tools are created and freely available for youth organizations to interactively engage and use them to develop their digital inclusion strategies;
The target group is formed by youth workers from participating countries and other EU and partner countries interested in engaging in digital youth work activities and/or willing to learn more about this topic, youth organizations and their management teams from participating countries and other EU and partner countries who are planning to develop or create their digital youth work capacity/strategy and teachers who are interested in organizing digital activities with their students and can get strong inspiration from digital youth work and digital inclusion practices.

The project will last 25 months, respectively April 2021 – April 2023, and has a total value of EUR 175,203.

About YMCA România –
Founded in 1919 by Queen Maria of Romania, the Federation of Young Men`s Christian Associations (YMCA Romania) is part of the worldwide YMCA family that operates since 1844 in 122 countries, with the mission to empower young people in order to develop characters and strong communities, in the spirit of Christian values, creating contexts open to all. The vision of YMCA Romania is to build strong children, strong families, respectively, strong communities, in which everyone has equal opportunities to learn, grow and prosper. The member organizations of the federation carry out their activities in Baia Mare, Cavnic, Timișoara, Constanța, Bucharest, Arad. YMCA Romania programs are relevant to the communities it serves, offering real solutions and concrete answers to the problems that young people, families and communities currently face: education, social, healthy lifestyle, climate change, structured dialogue and public policies.
About Asociația Young Initiative – România –
The Young Initiative Association (AYI) is a Romanian educational NGO that was founded in 2009 with the mission to empower people through education. AYI is doing that through 3 main pillars of action: Social Inclusion, Youth Empowerment and NGO Development. AYI aims at contributing to children’s and young people`s personal and professional development and to their education, so they can shape a life and career matched to their true potential. We believe in the power of education to change people and communities, to create opportunities and to support children and young people in reaching their true potential. A quality based education develops not only a free spirit, but also the spirit of initiative, critical thinking, curiosity and creates the premises of an independent life.

About Sdrujenie Nadejda-CRD – Bulgaria –
“Nadejda CRD” Sdrujenie is a non-governmental organization from Sofia, Bulgaria working with children, youngsters and adults to promote cultural and educational values. Their aim is to encourage people to participate in clubs and activities, to develop their features, abilities and interests. Yearly the organization works with more than 3,000 families as organizes and supports club activities, concerts and performances, exhibitions, seminars and social clubs, and also takes part in national and European projects. As a cultural, educational and social organization “Nadejda CRD” works also with youngsters with behavioral problems, people at the end of social exclusion and people with disabilities. The organization believes that non- formal learning provides unique learning opportunities that bring big social change in the young European population.
About The Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service – France (CCIVS) –
Founded in 1948, CCIVS is a coordinating body for international voluntary service (IVS) organizations it is made up of over 180 diverse independent grassroots organizations in 90+ countries around the world (including the international networks SCI, ICYE, IBO and Alliance of European Youth Organizations) coming together under a common banner and vision that of social change through IVS and the ultimate goal of world peace. These organizations mobilize 30,000 volunteers per year and work with 3,000 local communities. CCIVS acts as a link to establish relations between the members and international institutions such as the EU, different UN agencies or foundations, organizes inter-regional projects for IVS organizations, global meetings, participate in institutional forums at UN, INGOS, other public and private stakeholders in order to promote IVS, holding trainings for volunteers, leaders, trainers and for IVS organizations personal in order to develop its organizational capacity.
About Alliance Europeenne des YMCA-Belgia (YMCA Europe) –
YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen YMCA European movements where people grow in body, mind, and spirit, operating in Europe as an umbrella organization serving 31 national members and 7 national associated movements. Through its members unites also over 4,200 local YMCA associations in this region of the world. YMCA Europe primarily organizes/coordinates activities and events at a European level. It organizes yearly several activities and exchanges of all types involving more than one million young people across Europe. The main beneficiaries of all actions are young people from different social, cultural and religious backgrounds. YMCA`s objective is to reach out and engage young people and their movements to become active and participate in society, connect them across Europe to learn from each other and empower them to fulfill their potential and influence decision making, as per the new EU Youth Strategy and Youth Goals.