In youth work we need to follow trends, especially those related to communication with young people. How to rethink our communication with youth and still promote democratic values? And how to take care of ourselves in this process? This is what we are discussing with the three contributions presented today!

Communication is not an easy task, especially when we need to communicate with different stakeholders. Online communication can sometimes be specifically challenging, as it’s quick and new words and abbreviations appear on a daily basis. Do you know what FOMO or HIFW mean? Because of these changes, we need to adapt, learn and rethink how we communicate with young people. During the EAYW, one of the contributions was dealing with online communication with young people. In the contribution “Rethinking Online Communication in Youth Work”, Ana Pecarski aimed to reflect on the way we communicate online, especially with young people. During her workshop, main findings on the approach to communication online were presented, which include having in mind why we do what we do; defining ethics and aesthetics and knowing the tools we use. Also, it was stressed that when we are specific and consistent, we build trust and recognition with young people. During the workshop, participants were asked to formulate their own messages that they would like to share with the world – in the form of a meme! Results can be found in our workshop report and you can check out Padlet to take a look at the memes. Don’t forget to watch the video of this contribution as well!

While we can learn how to communicate with young people online, it is important as well to know how they communicate in digital world and what are they competencies in media and social media, especially relating to democracy, radicalisation and understanding human rights and democratic citizenship. This was one of the topics discussed on the workshop “STEPS – Strategies for Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC) in post-factual Societies” by Georg Pirker, where the main focus was how far rising right-wing populism, post-factualism and the prevention of radicalisation influence EDC with young people on the levels of youth policy and of concrete educational activities. During the workshop, it was found out that it remains difficult to notice a change in the political sphere of youth policies, while there is ample experience of the participants with anti-democratic attitudes in their concrete educational work, a loss of trust of the mainstream while radicalised anti-democratic views are gaining momentum. Thus, youth work needs to develop an active stand and build capacities that defend democratic and democracy learning and democratic learning spaces in our societies. Interested to find out more about right-wing populism and post-factualism and how this related to education for democratic citizenship? Then read more in the workshop report below! Also, if you are interested to find out more about political competences of youth workers, which are closely connected to this topic, check it out here!

And even though working with young people is rewarding by itself and we can make changes in the lives of young people, sometimes it can be challenging and exhausting. We can easily forget ourselves in the process and not taking enough self-care. The stress and burn out increasingly present amongst youth workers across Europe belongs to what is defined as “compassion fatigue”, a consequence of too much caring for others and little caring for oneself. Self-care is often neglected and considered not so important, often even considered a luxury that comes after having dedicated time to all duties. Increasingly, the situation is such that the list of duties is never-ending and, therefore, the time allocated for self-care is nonexistent. The contribution “Overcoming the Three Divides in Self-Care of Youth Workers” by Paola Bortini tackled this issue and presented the initiative Self-Care of Youth Workers, which is based on the outcomes of the project “Emotional Intelligence in Youth Work“. Read more about the workshop and self-care of youth workers in the workshop report below!

Don’t forget to follow us on our social media and find the previous contributions on our Contributions web page here! This week we’ll bring you three more exciting practices! And we would like to end this article with one meme created by our participants! Enjoy! 🙂