We spoke with Paavo Pyykönen who is a senior program advisor for the Finnish National Agency for the Erasmus+ Youth Program, an european funding line that supports youth work related projects.
Paavo talked about the importance of international youth exchanges, where youngsters can meet peers from other cultures, pursue their interests and grow together as individuals and as citizens. The job of the adults involved is to empower the young people and not treat them like little kids that can't solve problems by themselves. Youth workers should trust that young people can figure things out, and that they know things and have skills that the adults might miss.
We all hope the new funding line will create better opportunities for organizations in the field of youth work to create long lasting and meaningful learning experiences. Besides of the novelties in the new programme that we talked about, Paavo had a good advice for all that want to design projects: people should design projects that answer a specific need of their own organisation or communities, not generic projects that try to tackle too much.
The new Erasmus+ Youth programme has new thematic priorities, such as digitalization and green issues, topics we have covered previously in this podcast when we talked with Laimonas Ragauskas or with Antonio Jovanovski.
It was very inspiring for us to talk with Paavo, he is a passionate person that really believes in the support the Erasmus+ programme gives of the next generations, so they can thrive and create better future for themselves, and for all of us, if we think about it.
We sure enjoyed this conversation; we hope you do too. Let’s Talk Youth Work!
Youth Goals: https://youth-goals.eu
EU Youth Strategy: https://europa.eu/youth/strategy_en