Kompetenta Unga is a non-profit youth organization from Falkenberg, Sweden. The organization has come up from an informal youth group organizing various youth empowerment events in Sweden and abroad. The board members of the organization are expatriates living in Sweden; thus, they well know the cultural differences that people moving to Sweden’s face.
The main aims of the organization are:
- To raise awareness of the European Union values and its educational programs;
- To promote self-fulfilment and personal development of young people through educational programs of the European Union;
- To promote the active participation of young people with fewer opportunities and to develop different ways to ensure their impact on the local community by using non-formal education and intercultural learning methods;
- To improve the quality of life of asylum-seekers and migrant communities by working on integration through youth work;
- To provide volunteering opportunities for young people in order to develop their skills & competencies by making a positive impact on society.
Kompetenta Unga deals with:
- education activities (education projects based on non-formal education methodology, focused on active citizenship, refugee integration, gender equality, youth employability, tackling racism and xenophobia, promoting human rights principles);
- cultural events (conferences, seminars, cultural evenings of different nationalities);
- Intercultural activities (programmes and projects of youth mobility, education on international topics, promotion of different cultures).
The main target group of the organization are youngsters with fewer opportunities (incl. asylum-seekers, minority groups, LGBTs, NEETs). By organizing various non-formal education activities, we give them an opportunity to express their knowledge and share experiences and ideas in order to promote social cohesion and diversity. The main staff of the organization is working with refugee integration in youth work in Halland, Gothenburg (incl. Mölndal) and abroad for more than 3 years already. Apart from that, the organization united more than 20 volunteers, who are keen on organizing various integration events and activities in the country. The organization is also in contact with the local LGBT community and help them by organizing various social events there.
Now the organization members are keen on employing their experience in an international setting through Erasmus+ mobilities such as “Near the Sport”.
Currently, we also coordinating Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building project on refugee integration around the world. The project “Migration to Integration” unites countries that are dealing with refugee integration, namely Kenya, Myanmar, Colombia and Sweden. For the next two years, youth and refugee integration organisations will be sharing their best practices in order to facilitate the social inclusion of those in need. At the same time, numerous Online activities will be delivered (an Online contest, an Online training, recognition badge, platform for integration and more). Kompetenta Unga will coordinate training courses and job shadowings in the above-mentioned partner countries. Leading a project of this size surely gives the necessary experience for our organisation to coordinate mobility.
As mentioned before, the association itself is based on an informal youth group which was organizing migrants integration activities in Gothenburg, Halland and abroad for more than 3 years already. The main mission of such events was that migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea and elsewhere would be integrated through youth work, i.e. non-formal events for socializing. This allowed the migrants to be integrated into the local communities better, while the locals learned from the migrants’ experiences.
The organization itself already cooperates with more than 20 organizations across Europe and will organize Erasmus+ training using non-formal education as a tool to tackle different social problems across Europe. The key staff and volunteers have a vast experience in project writing and implementation; thus, are able to not only host projects in Sweden, but to organize them abroad as well.
In addition, the organization is in direct contact with local refugee and LGBT communities in Mölndal; thus, will be able to actively chip them in project activities. This way, both the local Swedish youth and the organization from partner organizations could learn more about the problems such as LGBTQ+ community is facing and help find innovative solutions. In addition to these, we aim to reach more audiences from our website and social media channels.
Looking to the past half-a-year activities, organisation members have:
- participated in EuroPride 2018, Stockholm,
- participated in a training course on the conflict of East Ukraine in Donbas region;
- helped connect seniors and youth in Lithuania when organizing social activities at senior houses;
- supported “Eco-Friendly” movement in Europe by sharing information about sustainable behaviour online
- has worked together with GAME house in Copenhagen to integrate youth through sports, and more
All in all, even though the organization itself is young, it has the necessary capacity to lead an Erasmus+ youth exchange in Sweden and later on in Lithuania. The expertise of its main staff and partner organizations will be used in order to deliver the best possible results.
Description changes according to the project’s topic.
The mainboard member of the organization – Paulius Jurgutis has already more than 3 years of experience in working with migrant communities in Lithuania, Croatia, Latvia, and now, Sweden. Paulius Jurgutis has a huge knowledge about non-formal education methods and the Erasmus+ program. He was a facilitator in various Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges and Training Courses, such as “Democracy through Dialogue not Conflict”, “Let’s Turn Discrimination into Tolerance!”, “Together: Refugees & Youth”, “Rural Entrepreneurship Heroes”, and more in Sweden, Lithuania, Turkey, and abroad.
Most of the projects which Mr. Jurgutis was responsible for are tackling discrimination and enhancing social entrepreneurship or refugee integration. Apart from that Mr. Jurgutis has studied in Latvia (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga), Norway (Norwegian School of Economics), Spain (Pompeu Fabra University), and Sweden (Stockholm School of Economics); thus, have the necessary knowledge on how to communicate with people of different setting and help them with their integration.
Other members of the organization include local youth workers who are volunteering for different NGOs (incl. Caritas, RedCross, Amnesty International, UNHCR, and others). Here they learn about the different issues when organizing international projects, which will be used in implementing the current project as well. In addition, there are already more than 10 volunteers that are willing to help implement “Respect & Inclusion”. They have helped to prepare the application, its main activities and will also be responsible for helping with implementation. At the same time, the ESN student network in Gothenburg agreed to join some of the activities of the organization and disseminate the results further. This makes the number of key people involved in the application even higher.
In general, the key staff involved have been part of all the previous activities of the association (presented in the answer to the first and second questions). Therefore, they have the necessary knowledge to coordinate the current project as well. Apart from that, through their other works, they have led seminars for youth aimed to develop their entrepreneurial skills (Sweden), educated them about studies abroad (Sweden, the Netherlands), worked as animators in youth clubs (Denmark), organized international student competitions and study fairs (Latvia), social inclusion programs of foreign students to the local community (Latvia), youth university exchanges (Latvia), and a number of sports events encouraging a healthy lifestyle of youth (Lithuania). In addition, they have also participated in previous ‘Youth in Action’ exchanges themselves (e.g. “Goodbye Carbohydrates, Hello Health” in Turkey, “Creative Approaches for Youth” in Ukraine, “Be Part of It” in Romania, “Eco Startup” in Spain), courses about non-formal education methods, volunteering in environment cleaning initiatives, and activities supporting Ukraine during the “Euromaidan” events. All of this has given them a range of different skills and competencies needed for organizing international youth exchange.
All in all, our key staff has vast experience in project writing and implementation. This knowledge will now be used to make a high-quality project on social inclusion in Sweden.