Slovak youth experiencing YALTA

This exotic-sounding title is not only a destination recognized by tourists, but also the name of an international project funded by the Erasmus+ Program. The Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union (UNSS) together with the Slovenian Association of Disabled Students (DSIS) and the Platform of Volunteer Centres and Organizations (PDCO) carried out the YALTA – Youth Activation – Long Term Ambition project from September 2015 until December 2017. Its ambition was to primarily motivate blind and partially sighted young people to their own activity and civic engagement.

To prevent the isolation and passivity of blind and partially sighted youngsters, through a cycle of educational activities, we attempted to familiarize selected young people with and without visual impairment with various topical issues – project management, leadership skills, working with peer groups. On the other hand, we also focused on social workers of the UNSS, who were acquiring methods of youth work focused on mixed groups, mentoring skills and knowledge in the field of coordinating volunteers.

Trained young leaders, volunteers and their mentors (UNSS social workers) then realized several attractive youth activities (E.G. beauty workshops, escape room activities, discussions).
Are you curious how? The know-how regarding youth support is summarized within two YALTA toolkits designed for young leaders as well as for youth workers. We expect that even after the completion of the project, high-quality support of inclusive youth groups will continue, not only by the workers of the involved project partners, but also by any youth worker.

The toolkits cover the following topics:
Toolkit for Youth Workers:

  • Specificities of visual impairment (VI);
  • Mentoring/support for Young People;
  • Inclusive volunteering;
  • Accessing information for VI;
  • Assistive technology & compensatory aids;
  • Accessibility of environment.

Toolkit for Young Leaders:

  • Youth work methods;
  • Coordination of volunteers;
  • Team work;
  • Project coordination;
  • Leadership competences;
  • Self-advocacy;
  • Adapting games.

The web site offer more information about the YALTA project and you can also download the aforementioned toolkits.