Romania- FITT (Timis County Youth Foundation)

Details of the member organisation / center

Name: FITT (Timis County Youth Foundation)

Street address: str. Aries, nr.19

Postcode: 300579

City: Timisoara

Region: Timis

Country: Romania

Email: office@fitt.ro

Website: www.fitt.ro

Telephone: +40763661036

Telefax:

Contact person

Mr  Mihai Adrian Vilcea

Position/function: president

Contact Email: mihai.vilcea@fitt.ro

Contact Telephone: +40763661036

Profile of the member organisation/center

Type of organisation: Youth Centre (NGO)

Status of organisation: non-governmental

Activity level of organisation: regional

Short description of organisation / center:

Timis County Youth Foundation (FITT) is an umbrella organization for youth NGOs in the west part of Romania. Whit 33 Youth NGO members and 26 years old FITT is the most important and old youth NGO in this part of the country. Programs and activities implemented by FITT range from social programs for disadvantaged young people to cultural programs, active citizenship and policy development (local and national level). FITT, in itself, is a model of democratic behavior, being administrated by a General Assembly made of the youth NGOs in Timis County (West part of Romania) and a board consisting of 13 young people. We have in possession the Timisoara Youth House – which in 2016 had been awarded with The Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres..

We are one of the seven such Youth Centers in Europe that have this Accreditation and the only one in Romania. Our Youth House has the following facilities: 3 seminar rooms, a cinema, a spectacle room, a hotel where young people can rent rooms while visiting our city, restaurant, art-music club, gym and pub. We are also members of the Regional Youth Network, European Network of Youth Centers, Romanian Youth Council, National Youth Foundations Convention and Advisory Council on Youth Affairs of Timișoara City Hall.

Our team members are part of the Romanian Ministry of Youth and Sports’s National Working Group on Structured Dialogue, all while having a reliable partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports. We focus on youth participation, local and national youth policies and on promoting the European values that are so important to youth nowadays. The Youth House is the main place where different local NGOs meet and develop events for young people, we are activating as a real youth center.

How the organization/center integrate the intercultural learning, human rights education and education for active citizenship in its activities?

Our Youth House being Accredited by the Council of Europe we try, of course, to promote Human Rights Education among teens by organizing various workshops for them. We are currently implementing a KA1 project called “PhotoInclusion” which will bring together 50 young people from six EU Member States (Spain, Italy and Portugal, Romania, Poland and Lithuania) that will address two major topics: photographic and social inclusion. During this project intercultural learning and human rights education will be integrated in order to maximize the impact of the project. We are also part of the Timisoara Consultative Council for Youth Policies, where we focus on empowering youth in order to become more involved in the decision making process at local level. In 2014 and in 2016 we also engaged directly in campaigns aimed at educating the youngsters from our local community into becoming more active citizens by raising awareness regarding the importance of democracy and the right to vote. In 2016 our staff and volunteers have participated in a Study Visit in Netherlands, project based on sharing good practices in the field of social inclusion through human rights education.

Please describe your experience in organization of international youth activities and the training of youth workers in multinational and multicultural context?

Currently we are partners in a series of approved Erasmus+ Projects ranging from KA3, KA2 and of course KA1. We are also coordinators of several international projects which are still undergoing and we have also finish implementing some in the past. The KA2 project “Creating a framework and developing contents for tomorrow’s youth centers” consists of equipping youth centers and youth organizations which are partners in the consortium with a series of competences and skills for young people and youth workers and working methods and tools for the same categories adapted to the needs of the future. The KA3 project “Împreună pentru Tineri” is aimed at supporting the structured dialogue process between young people and county authorities. One of the main results of the project is the county youth strategy which will be created with the contribution of young people, youth NGOs, youth workers and public authorities. Regarding our competences in doing the previously mentioned activities, we have trained youth workers and trainers that help us deliver the trainings, facilitate workshops and implement activities. They have advance knowledge and skills in their own particular area but together we form a team that provides best results in any given context.

What are the mechanisms you use in your organization / center in terms of ensuring the participation of young people in preparation and realization of your activities?

Participation is a fundamental right being one of the guiding principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that has been reiterated in many other Conventions and Declarations. Through active participation, young people are empowered to play a vital role in their own development as well as in that of their communities, helping them to learn vital life-skills, develop knowledge on human rights and citizenship and to promote positive civic action.
To participate effectively, young people must be given the proper tools, such as information, education about and access to their civil rights. We involve youngsters in all our activities and, with the help of our youth workers, allow them to be active participants, volunteers either organizers. The mechanisms that we use in order to ensure the participation of youngsters either in the preparation phase of activities, either in the implementation phase can be split into online and offline tools. We promote all our activities in the online media via Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages, websites, press releases, through which we launch open calls either for volunteers either for participants. Also, as mentioned before, we also use offline methods like participating in various local youth meetings or meetings of NGOs members where we promote our future activities and assure all interested that they can find our Youth Center as the best place to develop personally and professionally by participating in the preparation of our activities, in their realization or in both. Finally, but not least, in the center of the process of assuring youth participation are our qualified youth workers.

Where you see the role of your organization / center in promotion and implementation of the youth policies of Council of Europe in your country, region and internationally?

We believe that our Youth Center promotes the priorities of the Council of Europe’s youth sector by actively addressing human rights education, intercultural learning, youth participation, active democratic citizenship and social inclusion of young people in our day to day activities. Starting 2016, within the framework of the National Youth Capital Program that we are coordinating, we have promoted the Council of Europe’s youth policies no only locally, but also regionally and also nationally. We consider that, by organizing various activities in disadvantaged areas within our city and, of course, by setting an example of good practice at national level, the youth policies of the Council of Europe were highly visible amongst all possible stakeholders. The aim of our organization is to take the trip from being successful to being significant, not only at national but also at European level with regard to spreading the European values among young people through our programs, projects and activities.

Please describe in a few words the facilities of your organization / center (accommodation, educational facilities, training staff, specific methodologies etc.).

Timisoara Youth House has the capacity to provide board and lodging in one single campus. This is extremely helpful, because living together is an integral part of the educational concept and process. At the top floor of our Youth House there is a hotel (accommodation for groups of 40 people) and a restaurant where a caterer can serve meals. At the ground floor of our Youth House there is also a pub. Regarding facilities for youth work, our Youth House comprises several meeting and training rooms of various sizes, a theatre with 400 places (cinema/spectacle room), a large exhibition hall, meeting rooms, working bureaus, 3 seminar rooms, an art-music club, an a gym hall. Even though our organization relies in our activities on volunteers and young collaborators, we do have internal educational staff members responsible for ensuring conceptual coherence, quality assurance, and support for activities.

What are your priorities / fields of interest for cooperation with other members of the Network in the sphere of intercultural learning?

Our priorities in terms of programs, activities and fields of interest in which we plan to cooperate with other members of ENYC, range from social programs for disadvantaged young people to cultural programs, active citizenship and policy development (local, regional, national and international). Also, we can provide our experience in the field of youth entrepreneurship which we would like to share with other and exchange good practice examples. Given the, somehow negative, socio-economic situation that our country is facing but also given the positive situation is which our region currently is, we can easily say that one of the fields of interest is reducing the unemployment rate that is slowly growing in all Europe.