Connecting European Youth through Storytelling

CONTINUE was a strategic initiative aimed at addressing the specific challenges faced by marginalized youth in post-COVID times and supporting their integration into European communities. The COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated social exclusion for these young individuals, leading to increased vulnerabilities and a loss of connections to institutions, social care systems, and job opportunities. Additionally, their limited digital communication skills had further isolated them from their social, educational, and economic networks. CONTINUE aimed to tackle these challenges by understanding the difficulties faced by marginalized youth, creating a digital framework for online exchanges, capacity-building for local social actions, enhancing dialogue between stakeholders and policymakers, and providing policy recommendations.

The European youth sector encompasses a diverse range of young individuals who face various forms of social exclusion. These include marginalized youth with migrant backgrounds, those from economically disadvantaged communities, and individuals lacking educational and employment opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted these vulnerable groups, exacerbating their existing challenges and hindering their social integration. As such, there is a pressing need to address their specific needs and empower them to overcome barriers in order to foster inclusive and resilient communities in Europe.

CONTINUE had outlined several objectives to address the challenges faced by marginalized youth during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Firstly, the project aimed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the difficulties faced by these young individuals and their vision for the post-COVID era. This informed the development of a digital framework that facilitated a smooth transition from offline to online exchanges between youth, youth organizations, and governance structures. By building the capacities of marginalized youth, CONTINUE sought to empower them to deliver local social actions, fostering their active participation and promoting social change. The project also aimed to enhance dialogue between stakeholders, policymakers, and youth, ultimately improving relevant policies and ensuring their alignment with the needs of marginalized young individuals.

CONTINUE generated significant outcomes that addressed the challenges faced by marginalized youth. Firstly, Community Reporting provided valuable insights and curated results, presenting the problems faced by young people from their own perspectives. This enabled a better understanding of their experiences and informed subsequent actions. The project also organized participatory and co-design events at both local and pan-European levels, creating spaces for discussing needs, local actions, and policy recommendations. To drive meaningful change, local social actions were implemented by the youth themselves, allowing them to actively contribute to their communities. The project culminated in the development of pan-European policy recommendations that advocated for the rights and inclusion of marginalized youth. Additionally, an online platform was established as part of CONTINUE, providing a space for sharing tools, facilitating exchanges, and promoting learning among stakeholders.

CONTINUE was executed by a consortium of eight NGOs experienced in working with marginalized youth groups, youth education, community-based activities, and policy recommendations. The consortium collaborated with an extensive network of organizations from various sectors, ensuring a comprehensive and multidimensional approach. The project’s sustainability was ensured through a large-scale dissemination and outreach campaign, as well as the establishment of an online platform. This allowed for the continued accessibility and utilization of project results beyond the project’s duration, maximizing the impact and lasting benefits for marginalized youth.

CONTINUE addressed the challenges faced by marginalized youth in post-COVID times, aiming to enhance their integration into European communities. By understanding their specific difficulties, creating digital frameworks, empowering youth through capacity-building, and fostering dialogue with policymakers, CONTINUE strove to drive positive change and promote inclusive societies. Through its comprehensive approach and collaboration with stakeholders, CONTINUE envisioned a future where marginalized youth had equal opportunities for social, educational, and economic participation, contributing to the overall development and cohesion of European communities.