Youth Mobility Center was founded in August 2012, as a Non-Profit, Non Governmental Organisation; as a result of the prolonged experience of its founder and partners in Youth Mobility Schemes on the European and International level. The permanet staff are: Mr. Kyroglou as legal representative and project writer, Mr. Gravas as Mobility Coordinator and project manager. We enjoy a wide network of partner organisations on the european and international level. Since 2015 we are operating our Youth Center Velelekos, in N. Epidavros where our principal partner is the Municipality. Throughout the year, we count on the constant support of our EVS volunteers and interns to develop our projects. We work as a CO, SO and HO for youth mobility programs, so our principal source of funding is Erasmus+. In 2015 we managed to secure a total amount of funds well above 80.000Eur. through Erasmus+ and individual and corporate donations.
In YMC our motto is "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving".
Our mission is to:
To provide further opportunities for cross-border mobility within education, training and volunteering, thereby transforming mobility into a widespread phenomenon;
To take steps to attain the objectives of the current European Union programs for education,youth, culture, citizenship and research;
To facilitate the participation of all young people in mobility schemes and enhance the mobility of all educational staff;
To create partnerships and take action at several levels and with various international stakeholders to increase opportunities for mobility on behalf of young people.
Our goal is to give the opportunity to as many young people as possible to be mobile, to study, work and volunteer abroad. We believe that through mobility young people may enhance their personal development and increase their future employability by developing soft skills that may be proven invaluable in the labor market.
Our incentive is our firm belief that participation in Mobility Programs - be it through actions specifically targeted against Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance or within numerous programs dealing with poverty and social exclusion, with minorities and children rights, just to name a few areas of interest - YMC will be able to develop mobility opportunities in favor of children and young people. This way it will promote the understanding of the political and social framework of the EU. These elements may directly affect positively the heart of the problem namely,the increasing unemployment of young people and the lack of appropriate training and preparation for life.
We are acting as a co-ordinating, sending and hosting organization for young volunteers who want to deliver a social project in another European country. We are providing guidance and assistance from the initial phase -finding an appropriate project for them- until the final stage, i.e. the spillover effect of using the experience they gained back in their local society. YMC's activities are centered around the tools of non-formal and informal learning in a European dimension. Non-formal learning refers to the learning which takes place outside formal educational curriculum. Informal learning refers to the learning in daily life activities, in work, family, leisure, etc. It is mainly learning by doing. Non-formal and informal learning enables young people to acquire essential competences and contributes to their personal development, social inclusion and active citizenship, thereby improving their employment prospects. Non-formal and informal learning activities are complementary to the formal education and training system. They have a participative and learner-centred approach, are carried out on a voluntary basis and are therefore closely linked to young people's needs, aspirations and interests.
In this context, the main programmes we will be working with are:
-Erasmus+ concerning non-formal education and volunteering.
-Internships, concerning vocational training.
-Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, regarding small or medium sized enterprises.
In the beggining of May 2015 we established our youth center in Nea Epidavros in collaboration with the municipality and with the contribution of the volunteers. The idea is that this place is going to host the cultural inquietude of the youngsters of the village and at the same time attract the attention of the youngsters of the surrounding villages and in this way hold the young people in their hometown and potentially lower the average age of the villagers. We believe that the creation of a strong youth community will facilitate the social inclusion of young migrants and will spread seeds of forbearance throughout the whole community. Furthermore, we aim to improve the linguistic skills of the youngsters through their regular contact with the European volunteers as well as keep them up to date concerning their mobility opportunities. We are confident that all of the above will promote the youth mobility and entrepreneurship and potentially create employment opportunities in a local, or even in a European level. Our objective when speaking about the project in terms of the Village of Nea Epidauros is to introduce a small, agricultural place to other cultures, thereby fighting xenophobia and creating a greater feeling of a common European heritage.
Also we have organized and implemented several local youth actions in Attica and Argolis region on Theater as a tool of Non-Formal Education, Singing and Acting workshops, Sustainability, Handicraft (Soap Making, Shoe Making, Cooking, Wood carving), Alternative Currency Systems (ACT), Political Consumerism, Ethical Consumerism.
In YMC we are committed to improve mutual understanding, respect and intercultural dialogue. Everyone should have the possibility to develop themselves and have the opportunity to contribute to a democratic and equal society for a most inclusive and sustainable human development. Since we are an organization who are working with youth we attempt to understand the changes occurrig in the society and answer to the questions that are around us. We realize workshops and traineeships in collaboration with several partnes thoughout Europe using Non-Formal and Informal Education metodhology for youth workers. Up to now, we have organized four international workcamps, two youth exchanges, one TC, while we are constantly launching several youth initiatives on the local level, in collaboration with the local authorities; and numerous projects promoting youth creativity, such as Theater, Photography, Web Design and WebRadio laboratories, artistic events and exhibitions, contests. We also strongly believe in international mobility as a stimulus for personal and professional growth, and through Non-Formal educational methods we promote intercultural dialogue and democratic citizenship. For these reasons we believe that we can contribute as partner to realize projects to bring together young people and aiming to explore, identify, comment and sensitize over the role of the arts in general as a tool to promote dialogue skills and intercultural citizenship learning, using the Europen heritage as an antidote to barren individualism, in order to create an open space for dialogue, social cohesion, respect for diversity and mutual cooperation on the national, local and European level.
We think of ALF as an interface and a catalyst so as to promote regional alliances and a channel for partnership with other entities that share the same values and purpose. The Network represents a space to understand the transformation taking place in the region; a place for debate, exchange of ideas and good practices; a constructive tool to connect civil society organizations and social groups which do not normally interact and cooperate to enrich a dialogue on interculturality, develop and implement common operations. We want to join ALF to be part of a Network of civil society organizations involved in the promotion of intercultural dialogue and democratic citizenship across Europe and the Mediterranean, to enlarge the network of our partners and to improve and enhance our actions. Having said this we will be honored to become part of the extended ALF network, in hope of a fruitful cooperation.