Youth Returns (a.k.a. ProWork and HomeTown programme):
‘Youth Returns’ is a business-based, inter-generational programme to make:
- Young people return to work, in their own countries in southern Europe (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain);
- Youth to return to the life of European senior citizens who choose to retire on the sunny shores of southern Europe;
- Financial and social returns on investment in the youth, for private and public investors of the programme.
Youth Returns is creating scalable retirement communities for senior European citizens on or near the seasides of southern Europe. These communities are serviced by local youth who otherwise would be unemployed or forced to move abroad for finding a job. The senior citizens can choose between full-year retirement in the south on purchased or rented property, or part-time retirement during the low-season months on suitable and vacant existing tourist facilities. Youth Returns, formerly known as ProWork initiative, was launched in 2014 in Greece, under the patronage of the European Parliament, granted by its President Martin Schulz.
The state of Youth Returns implementation in target countries: Greece – pending, Portugal: progressing, Italy and Spain: exploring.
Contact: info (at) intercivil.net.
Protection of persons displaced by disasters and climate change:
In popular language, these persons are called ‘climate refugees’. Rising sea levels, desertification, wildfires, floods, high-intensity storms and other events are displacing a growing number of people from their habitat. Some of them will relocate within the same country while some others will be unable or unwilling to do so and will cross international borders.
The need for protection of such persons has first been addressed by the Nansen Initiative and, since July 2016, by the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD). PDD is a state-led and stakeholder-driven platform, with professional support from UNHCR and IOM. The PDD secretariat is based in Geneva and hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
The objective of the PDD is to strengthen the protection of people displaced across borders in the context of disasters, including those linked to the effects of climate change, and to prevent or reduce disaster displacement risks. The PDD Advisory Committee is providing expert input, strategic advice and support to the implementation of activities.
The Intercivil Society has been member of the PDD Advisory Committee since its founding in Geneva, in October 2016. Our main interest is twofold in the work of the Advisory Committee:
(1) to enable persons displaced by disaster to channel their ideas and concerns into the PDD process and
(2) to contribute to an effective communication strategy which could build confidence between DPs and their host communities, reducing in this way also immigration-related political backlash in host societies.
To these effects, The Intercivil Society will propose at the second meeting of the PDD Advisory Committee in October 2017 to set up the ‘Displaced Citizens Network’ (DCN), a worldwide participatory digital network of those displaced by natural disasters, to support the work of the PDD and its Advisory Committee.
Contact: info (at) intercivil.net.
Past projects include:
- Intercultural training in secondary schools
This project ‘Our Future – Our Keighley’ has been a three-year intercultural leadership training programme to establish an intercultural network of young people in Keighley – West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The young people as participants, aged 13-15, came from Keighley’s three secondary schools. The members of this network were working together to change negative attitudes in their communities to reduce the tensions, and the project developed the capacity of participants to act as positive role models in their schools and communities. Between 2013 and 2015, the project has delivered 39 days of workshops to 90 young people. The interactive sessions involved training and facilitated dialogue on the following subject: Critical Thinking, Ethical Reasoning, Emotional Intelligence, Frameworks of Power, Communication Skills and Rhetoric, Conflict Resolution, Negotiation Skills, Social Media and Networking, Teambuilding and Partnership, Leadership, Methodologies to Analyse Community Tensions, and Dialogue Sessions on respect, racism and gender relations. Project delivery partners have been the Keighley Association Women and Children’s Centre and the Bradford City Council. The Joseph Rowntree Care Trust has financially supported the project. Project leader: Mansoor Abbasi, Chief Executive.
- Intercultural training for professionals
This project ‘Strengthening Community Resilience’ has been carried out to design and deliver a training programme for front-line professionals faced with countering extremist narratives on campus and beyond. Delegates attending the training workshops have been strategic and operational level practitioners from the police, neighbourhood services, education, higher and further education institutions, emergency planning services, youth and probation services. The training included subjects such as cumulative extremism, what constitutes an ‘extreme’ narrative, managing values and agendas, practicalities of partnership working, simulations that test systems and processes for dealing with community-based incidents. The Bradford Metropolitan Council, West Yorkshire Police, Teeside University and ICLS have been the partners in delivery of the workshops. Project leader: Mansoor Abbasi, Chief Executive.
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