We can too

 

 

 

 

The term “social communication” is used to describe the communication skills that are needed in normal social intercourse according to the rules that govern routine interpersonal interactions. Over 2% of the European young people have social communication impairments. These youngsters:

- have difficulties to understand the meaning of what is being said;

- face challenges to use language appropriately in different social situations;

- are not able to follow the commonly accepted rules in everyday communication.

Sometimes refugees and migrants also have social communication problems because often the "unwritten" rules for interpersonal interaction have cultural, religious and group differences.

Inability to communicate fluently with others leads to accumulation of various deleterious mental layers in young people - low self-esteem, fear, anxiety, depression, or vice versa - hatred, aggression, tendency to negative reactions. It is necessary to work with each affected youngster on an individual program suited to his/her specific problems and needs, in order to have a chance for normal development and successful integration into the educational system, labour market and society as whole. Unfortunately, in the rural areas of Eastern Europe, youth workers often continue to work with these youngsters using outdated methodologies. The main reasons for this are the relatively limited access to quality information on the latest working methods and lack of international interaction and exchange between organisations involved in this mission.

In response to these problems YMDRAB in partnership with the Logopedists’ Associations of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania implemented a project named "We can too". Its main aim is to improve the quality of work of youth workers who are engaged in non-formal education of young people with social communication impairments in the rural areas of Eastern Europe, through their training and development of their cooperation for innovation and exchange of experience, skills and best practices.

The main project activity was an international training course. It took place from 29.07.2016 to 07.08.2016 in Kranevo, Bulgaria. The training brought together 42 youth workers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria. The participants are speech therapists, youth advisors, social workers, psychologists, project managers and volunteers who support the socio-educational and personal development of rural youngsters with communication impairments.

The training was conducted by an international team of trainers. The activities were entirely based on the methods of non-formal education, including: presentations, mixed working groups, workshops, role plays, group discussions, field visits and others. During the first training part the participants learnt about the essence and applicability of the latest methods and systems for work with young people with social communication impairments, used in different countries. During the second part, participants and experts created tools for early detection of social communication impairments in children and youngsters.

During the course the youth workers exchanged ideas, experiences and good practices. They developed new professional contacts that will be used for future cooperation in order to innovate and improve the quality of their work. An important part of the training was presenting the opportunities offered by the "Erasmus+" Programme to the youth workers and organisations which work with youngsters with fewer opportunities and planning of ideas for further interaction and cooperation at different levels. In addition to that, during the course a variety of activities for intercultural education and exchange between the participants took place.

The most important project result was creation of intellectual products by the participants – tests for assessment of social communication skills in preschool and school-aged children. They are suitable for use by a wide range of stakeholders (parents, teachers, youth workers and others) and responsible institutions (kindergartens, schools, social and labor offices, career consulting desks, refugee centers, etc.). The created tests will be very useful in youth work at different levels, because early detection of communication impairments is essential to prevent their intensification leading to antisocial behavior and marginalization of young people (including refugees and migrants).

The newly acquired knowledge, skills and tools were immediately put into practice through the daily work of participants with rural youngsters with communication problems at local level. At the same time the project outcomes are disseminated at national and international level, through the membership of the partner organisations in different European youth and professional associations.

Here you can find our:

- Test for assesment of social communication skills in preschool children

- Test for assesment of social communication skills in school-age children

 

This project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

 

Projects 2015:

Project “The magic to communicate” №2015-1-BG01-KA105-013472 has been funded with support from the “Erasmus+” Programme of the European Commission, administered in Bulgaria by “Human Resource Development Center”. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the European Commission, “Erasmus+” Programme or the HRDC cannot be held responsible for any of the contain or its use.


Project “Stronger Together: Youth Collaboration for interreligious solidarity” № 6471.2.PA.2015 is implemented with the support of the European Youth Foundation, Council of Europe. This website reflects the views only of the authors, and the Council of Europe and the European Youth Foundation cannot be held responsible for any of the contain or its use.


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