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Identifying potential partners from institutions, agencies and organizations at local level

Often youth and representatives of youth organizations, young people and representatives or specialists from governmental institutions are not aware about each other even though for many years they may operate next to each other, and have regular events which are covered in the media. Yet if these institutions have not met in a common activity or event, or do not hold a common interest, it could be the case they do not know about each other’s existence.

In previous chapters we have listed numerous reasons and benefits of cooperation. In this chapter we want to review different organizations and institutions that can cooperation at municipal level. We will briefly describe the main activities of these organizations and how youth and organizations can benefit from cooperating with them, how to utilize each other’s resources, infrastructure and identify common interests.

Higher Education institutions (colleges and universities) – we will spare your time on the introduction of higher education institutions, which provide specific knowledge and qualification, as their activities are widely known. These institutions have broad infrastructure, which could be used by organizations and agencies. Furthermore, higher education institutions are perfect information partners, because in their venues they have information stands, newsletters, they hold digital conferences, and have alumni clubs.

Community centre – usually a building or part of the building, which is adjusted to the needs of the community, for example, has the space for gathering and equipment like an overhead projector. You could use the community centre space for your events, present your activities to the community and invite neighbours for discussions.

Library – in recent years the activities of libraries are changing across the world. Libraries started to provide new services such as audio (podcasts), focus more on local publications, provide access to the web, and provide table games. Libraries could be your information partner and could even contribute to organizing events.

Fire fighters – they are very eager to cooperate with youth and organizations and do not mind showing up to your events with their special equipment, and participate in sports events. You could invite this institution to your events where they could promote their profession. Moreover, fire fighters could volunteer in the children’s day care centres, or youth centres, which often lack male volunteers.

Youth centres and youth spaces – these are the spaces where open youth work takes place, and where young people could receive social, pedagogical and psychological assistance. These spaces are usually dedicated for youth aged 13 to 25 (30); however, they are also open to different groups within the  community and are a particularly important link between different youth groups. Yet the main focus of these spaces is given to youth with fewer opportunities. The youth workers have a good understanding about the wider context, youth participation, and youth policy. They can consult and assist young people in the implementation of their ideas. In these spaces young people can learn more about participation opportunities or get information about which institution could assist them in solving their issues. Moreover, youth centres manage infrastructure, various tools and means to facilitate youth leisure time activities, and development of their skills. Youth centres often participate in international youth work activities.

Employment centres and employment specialists – Job centres assist young people in finding employment, organize workshops for the youth, conduct professional orientation courses, and organize field trips to educational institutions. These institutions are working with NEETS (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). You could benefit from their information channels and venues.

Youth information centres – these centres provide relevant information for young people on a range of topics: youth mobility, participation opportunities, housing, money, health, volunteering possibilities, learning, work, leisure, sports, culture, travel, etc. This is the institution to which you could direct young people to seek information relevant to them. These centres have their information sharing channels. You could provide information about your organization and this information will reach the young people. You could invite them to your events or even organize common activities.

Youth organization – organizations that unite young people according to their interests and activities. Their specific skills or interests could benefit you during your projects or events. Besides, youth organizations are eager to unite in meaningful activities. They possess human resources and have a lot of ideas, which could be implemented. Youth organizations often cooperate in international projects.

Military / Youth guard – this organization can be attractive to youth not only as a potential career option, but also a cooperation partner. Military groups organize educational activities such as camps; and these disciplinary camps are attractive to certain youth groups.

Culture centres – these organizations possess not only infrastructure and space, but also have the human resource of numerous specialists. These specialists could conduct art workshops and contribute to project implementation. You could benefit from cooperation with a culture centre especially if you plan and want to implement large-scale events for communities.

Art / music / sport school / clubs – these schools have the specific equipment, be it arts, music or sports, and also have the venues where they can conduct their activities. Thus specialists from these schools could contribute in teaching specific skills.

Police – this institution is glad to cooperate with youth and is often keen to attend youth events, where police can deliver their presentations about road safety, drug use prevention, and other social issues. They also tend to participate in youth sports events. Furthermore, you can invite police to your events where they can promote their occupation. Besides, police officers could also volunteer in children’s day centres. Sometimes the police can help to ensure security during your events.

Student associations – your organization can try to learn from these organizations about how to build cooperation with businesses and business people in order to search for financial support. Besides, student organizations are good information partners as they can facilitate your search for volunteers.

Education centres – they tend to have conference halls and possess various equipment and tools, and organize training courses. If they organize training courses about youth policy or Cross-sectorial cooperation, they could issue certificates, which usually boosts the motivation of participants taking part in educational events.

Educational institutions (schools, including vocational schools) – possess special equipment. Also schools have the relevant infrastructure because numerous young people attend. Besides, the schools have a catering service and you could contract them for your projects in order to seek cheaper meal deals for your participants.

Children day care centres – these institutions work with children from families at social risk and provide leisure activities, social services, and catering. These institutions have infrastructure, which could be utilized by institutions during the projects, for example, washing machine, and kitchen equipment to produce food. There are also children that you can involve in your projects or activities.

Business companies – these entities could be interested to take part in your events especially if they relate to their professional activities. These institutions constantly search for employees and could offer jobs to members of your organization, or young people, such as leaflet distribution or organizing corporate events. Besides, businesses can support your activities and projects. Yet more often business tends to support events by providing their service or products rather than direct financial support.

Business incubators and Youth entrepreneurship or innovation programmes – a business incubator is an institution that helps new and start-up companies to develop by providing services such as management, consultation, training or office space. Youth entrepreneurship programmes work with local businesses and organizations to deliver experiential programmes on the topics of financial literacy, and entrepreneurship, to students and pupils. Cooperation with these organizations can be implemented in the field of youth entrepreneurship and youth initiatives to achieve the realization of business ideas.

Public Health Agencies – organize numerous health-related events, especially promoting healthy lifestyle, unites the community, and has the required infrastructure. You could actively cooperate with this institution especially on health-related topics (i.e. sexual health). Also you could consult with them about various health and safety issues (such as hygienic norms, permits and etc.) while organizing camps.

 


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