The vision of project “Youth Escape COVID” is: to create a highly innovative non-formal educational method & tool-using culture as a foundation in this endeavor, while the scope of the project is: to combat the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth in Europe in a creative and innovative way.
Through our project proposal we contribute to the development of youth work tools that can address a multitude of issues (i.e., employment, active participation, foster creativity, sustainable development, social inclusion through the arts, enhance digital skills, foster entrepreneurship, boost creative domains). There have been some positive initiatives in offering digital youth work and increasing the use of digital tools in working with young people, but this has had its limitations due to: IT tools availability, knowledge of practitioners in youth work. However, the majority of young people, including disadvantaged young people problems have deepened, leaving many to face their own issues related to social exclusion, discrimination, and a redefinition of social and safety nets. There are also questions about changing relationships and behavior, changing perspectives on connection to friends and community, impact on well-being and mental health, employment, participation, activism, youth organizations, and many other areas of young people’s lives according to EU-Council of Europe.
1. Providing innovative non-formal educational tools that contribute to skill and competence development for young people aged 16-25
2. Reactivation of core values of EU (active citizenship, entrepreneurship) in 7 local communities for 24 months
3. Accelerating digital transformation in youth work in Europe
4. Boosting creativity for young people aged 16-25 years in Europe
We envisage that our project will involve a number of 1000 young people directly (aged 16 to 25 years old) from which at least 140 are young people with fewer opportunities (i.e., disabilities, social issues) and 300 practitioners (i.e., trainers, youth workers); they will be involved directly in testing, providing feedback and improving the method developed (the 2 groups are our direct target).
The results of our project are huge both in nature and impact by developing a new NFE method to be used by practitioners in the field to address young people’s needs anywhere/anytime using an edutainment (MER method/tool).
- A new methodology on how to develop new educational non-formal methods that spike creativity and innovation in the long run. Here especially we are referring to designing a multimodal interdisciplinary escape room that can be used in any context and tailored for any subject.
- A guide on how to build a multimodal escape room using resources at hand and adapting it to your space (i.e., a school classroom, a sport hall, outdoor) and more importantly on how to address the learning needs of your group of young people (i.e, boost creativity, culture, and multiculturalism).
- Design a special toolkit that contains some of the basic elements for an escape room (i.e., special locks) in order to help practitioners (i.e., youth workers) easily set up the environment for the multimodal escape room.
- Application – design and customize an application that helps practitioners to set up the learning environment for the escape room; some basic characteristics of the application would be to suggest how many players can a certain space accommodate, what challenges to organize, how long the “experience” could take. Moreover, the best “multimodal escape rooms” and their learning objectives can be shared with other practitioners and users.
- A new educational tool will be promoted within organizations in order to stimulate the creativity and innovation of young people in the long run. This tool will be made available free on the E+ portal, project website.
- Practitioners (i.e., youth workers, trainers) around Europe will have at their disposal a complex non-formal method that they can use freely in their projects (i.e., TC, YE) in order to stimulate certain learning aspects for their participants. The most important characteristic is that the method is highly and easily customizable (i.e., raising awareness on societal issues and European matters), and can be used even in creative spaces and cultural heritage sites (as it doesn’t damage the surroundings).