Youth organisations have been identified as having a pivotal role in encouraging, supporting and empowering young people. Through their dedicated work with youth, they contribute to reversing unemployment trends, equipping young people with transversal skills, and enhancing their personal development among many other positive effects. However, studies have shown that often these organisations lack managerial and administrative expertise and knowledge. This can have a number of negative outcomes, such as hindering them in reaching a wider scope of beneficiaries or reducing the effectiveness of their activities and initiatives.
Therefore, we aspire to help current and prospective leaders of youth organisations to acquire skills and information they might be missing and enable them to increase the value they create through their activities. In the long run, we hope this will lead to a wider recognition of the role of youth organisations in social and economic development, both regionally and internationally, and enhance their capacity to help young people in their communities.
We recognise that the persons, who create and run youth organisations, are active people with a desire and vision to make a difference. Often their busy schedules leave little room for supplementary training and education. Hence, we wanted to provide a flexible solution that allows the users of this course to establish their own pace of learning, to decide upon their own learning goals and to test themselves and reflect on their newly acquired knowledge.
Deciding and agreeing on what to include and what to leave out from this course was a daunting task. Therefore, we chose to leave the decision to the actual people who this course was meant for – current and aspiring leaders of NGOs. We carried out qualitative interviews with participants from several different European countries in order to understand the crucial gaps in knowledge and the practical challenges this target group faces. From “How do I come up with a project idea?” to “How do I ensure the financial sustainability of my organisation?”, we discussed with the interviewees many of their doubts and insecurities in terms of managing an NGO and tried to narrow the topics down to four comprehensive themes or modules.
The information contained in the four modules is an expression of what we have learned though our combined experience of working in the youth sector for many years and also the product of careful research and studying of academic literature and online sources.
As mentioned before, the course is structured around four main modules, and those are:
Each module begins with an introduction video, where experts share their own experience with, reflections, and perspectives within the theme of the module.
Following that, each module is further elaborated on through a number of submodules in an online presentation format, excluding the module on Non-formal education, which is a standalone module.
At the end of each submodule and each module, there is a test consisting of 10 questions, which enables you to reflect on your learning and to reinforce the newly acquired knowledge. There is also a final test at the end of the whole course and upon its completion you will be able to obtain a Certificate. There is also the possibility to get a Certificate for each completed module, should you choose to focus on only one of them.
In addition, you can find recommendations on interesting books and articles if you wish to go deeper in any of the themes.