Forum MNE is dedicated to the development of the project within the programme – public policies – primarily with the focus on youth and education issues, but also on employment issues. The aim of this programme is to contribute to the development of youth policy and to influence on education policy to offer children and young people skills which will be useful for them in everyday life and help them become competitive at the labour market. Within this programme, Forum MNE works in several fields: youth strategy, youth law, educational programme, youth employment and trainings for teachers and, in cooperation with other interested parties, it works on development of new projects and initiatives.
- Strategies/Youth Action Plans
- Education Programme
- Drafting of the First National Youth Action Plan (NYAP)
- Local youth action plans (LYAP)
- Youth Law
Forms of support of Forum MNE during the creation of local youth action plans
In case you are interested to use long-standing expertise of Forum MNE in creating local youth action plans, in continuation you can find some basic principles according to which we work in this field.
Preparation of local youth action plans represents the support to systemic solution of problems of young people in every society or community and recognition of this population as a resource which needs assistance and needs to be empowered to actively participate in society, independently, and with the support of the elderly. Systemic, organised and constant support to young people means quality future of the city, its further economic growth and creation of conditions for better life of the youth. Aiming at improvement of the position of young people in the society and solution of problems young people deal with in different fields, and in compliance with the National Youth Strategy, local government enacts local action plan for the period of four or five years most often.
Youth Strategies at the local and national level clearly define the position and role of young people in respective society as well as the responsibility of society for young people; they deal with needs, problems and aspirations of all young people with the equal opportunities for all; they represent establishment of adequate services and structures for solving and meeting needs and aspirations of young people, for young people and with young people; they encourage active participation of young people in society and processes of decision making.
Forum MNE cherishes involvement of young people in processes of youth policy development, which means involvement of young people in all phases of these processes, having in mind that participation is one of the fundamental principles of democratic and sustainable social changes. Some of important items concerning involvement of young people in youth policy development are given as follows:
- Involvement of young people in all phases of process (creation, development, implementation, follow-up);
- Usage of proper methods and mechanisms familiar to young people;
- Empowering young people through information and acquiring of knowledge and skills;
- Involvement of marginalized groups;
- Connecting young people with representatives of the government and building of mutual trust;
- Providing that young people have share in decision-making, i.e. providing their access to the involvement in decision-making bodies;
- Creation and empowerment of support network important for participation of young people (parents, school, youth workers…);
- Ensuring sustainability and long-term process;
Processes based on needs and rights of young people.
According to its mission and vision and activities on the establishment of structured, quality and holistic work with young people, Forum MNE has been implementing for many years programmes for education of youth workers Leadership and Community Youth Work, as well as the training programme for education of youth activists. In addition, Forum MNE is actively working on creating a professional training programme for teachers. As a part of the professional training programme for teachers in high vocational schools, elementary schools and grammar schools, which is coordinated by the Bureau for Educational Services and the Centre for Vocational Education of the Ministry of Education of Montenegro, Forum MNE conducts three accredited trainings which are: Understanding of an Adolescent in the Classroom, Creative Dealing with Conflicts in the Classroom and the Key Competence ‘Learn How to Learn’
Combating Hate Speech Online.
All educational programmes of Forum MNE are based on the following principles:
- Representation of Theory and Practice – The foundation of this training programme is a kind of theory and practice combination, with particular emphasis on applying theory into practice.
- Towards a Process Orientation – Forum MNE’s training programmes are demanding from practitioners not only to dedicate themselves to certain tasks, but to create a connection with the ways HOW and the purpose WHY the task is done. That is why the programmes are oriented towards the process, with the focus on the individual, the community, and the broader social context.
- Leader of Exchange/Teacher as a “means” within the educational process where learning is directed towards the learner – Programmes teach that the leader of exchange/practitioner is the “means” within the educational process. Therefore, the leader/practitioner must be aware of himself/herself and his/her role in the optimal contribution to development of, in this case, both participants and groups. It is an imperative that the leader of exchange constantly analyses the situation and encourages the participants. During the training programmes, the learner-oriented learning principle is promoted as one of the basic learning methods.
- Experiential Learning – Such training programmes focus on utilizing the experiences of participants and leaders of exchange through the process of testing and researching their own skills, attitudes, and knowledge acquisition. A similar approach is applied in the process of shaping knowledge and perfecting skills and ways of responding.
- Understanding and using critical analysis – Adopting the learning model and acquiring the skills of giving and receiving constructive feedback to and from participants are important aspects of such training programmes.
Forum MNE, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Montenegro and NGO Catholic Relief Service in Montenegro initiated the process of drafting National Youth Action Plan (NYAP) in 2004 as a fundamental document for creation of national youth policy. The organization participated in co-financing of the process for three years with the support of Swedish National Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA). After the process of preparation of National Youth Action Plan, as the most important step of Forum MNE towards the establishment of youth policy in Montenegro in autumn of 2007, was finalized in the end of 2006, the promotion campaign was implemented in five Montenegrin towns in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of Montenegro and NGO Youth Centre Proactive. During one-day events, promotional material on NYAP in form of brochures and posters was distributed to young people from Kotor, Cetinje, Bar, Bijelo Polje and Podgorica on city info spots. During spring in 2008 and during election for president of Montenegro, Forum MNE distributed a leaflet in daily newspapers Vijesti (number of copies printed 23.000) with a question why NYAP is not implemented. The text of leaflet clearly points out the significance of the national strategy for young people which was adopted in October 2006, as well as the need of its implementation “here and now”, which was the recommendation of the European Union.
The NYAP evaluation, in addition to the achieved results, pointed to the still present marginalization of youth issues, which are certainly interinstitutional issues, and to the extremely limited impact that NYAP has, as a strategic document, in terms of prioritizing and bringing youth issues into focus of other institutions. The analysis revealed that a significant impact on addressing youth issues at the local level, and partly on capacity building and providing support for youth organizations and organizations that deal with young people, has been achieved. All outcomes and recommendations resulting from the evaluation have been taken into account during the planning and drafting of a new strategic framework, of both the Youth Law, and the new Youth Strategy that is ahead of us.
Since 2007 was marked as the first year in the process of implementation of the National Youth Action Plan which was adopted by the Government of Montenegro in October 2006, Forum MNE is actively involved in the process of localisation of the youth policy.
Youth policy appears by the common acting of executive and legislative powers of the society, with an active participation of non-governmental sector. Young people can participate in different ways in creation of youth policy – starting with the fact that they participate in research which precedes its adoption, over suggestions of specific measures, to the active role in its implementation. By 2014 local youth action plans were developed with the support of Forum MNE in municipalities: Berane, Kotor, Budva, Kolašin, and it is important to emphasise that some municipalities on their own initiative or with the support of other organisations of civil society also created local youth action plans. We think that this is a good move, since the initiative comes from the local self-governments themselves.
Our experience so far has shown that it was not possible to implement most activities because of lack of financial funds. We hope that in the future this problem will be solved and that local strategies will not exist only on paper, but in the field, as well.
Draft Youth Law has been created for the first time in Montenegro. Namely, Ministry of Education, in cooperation with the Directorate for Youth and Sport, non-governmental organisations, as well as with the independent experts, has prepared working version of Youth Law and this version of law was at the public discussion in order to get remarks and suggestions from the citizens, scientific, expert organisations, non-governmental and other interested organisations and communities in order to improve the text. The first Youth Law was adopted on June 28, 2016.
The executive director of Forum MNE, Elvira Hadžibegović Bubanja, apart from other members and in the name of the whole civil sector of Montenegro, actively participated in work of working group for preparation of the law. The Law recognised the concepts which were introduced by the Forum MNE with the beginning of its work in Montenegro, and therefore the law can contain articles relating to youth work, youth worker, youth activist, youth office, youth club and also, by the nature of things, necessary aspects concerning National Youth Action Plan and Local Youth Action Plans.
Although it is not binding, we believe that Youth Law will be a good basis for more active continuation of working on creation of youth services which promote professionalization of the youth care and the responsible access to the youth policy.
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