Creativity, Youth work and Social Entrepreneurship in Palermo, 6 amazing months!My name is Anastasia Oikonomoula and I am proud to say that I am the last youth worker that came in CESIE under the Action 4.3 Youth Support Systems, Support to Youth Workers’ Mobility of Youth in Action (YiA) Programme (2007 – 2013), as the YiA programme was replaced by the new Erasmus Plus Programme.

The main objective of the “Creativity, Youth work and Social Entrepreneurship (C.Y.SE) project is to promote creativity, social entrepreneurship and youth initiatives in the field of Youth Work.

Thanks to this project I was fully involved in the daily life of CESIE for 6 months, sharing the experiences, learning outcomes, new working methods and competences.

My experience at CESIE started the 28th of June and since the beginning CESIE people were amazing in supporting me in the logistical matters as accommodation, and further in the integration in the local community.

Almost 7,5 months passed and I can’t believe how lucky I am for that opportunity. During the six months of mobility I participated in activities such as project design, management and implementation for both Erasmus Plus and Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme.

I also designed and hosted two EVS (Y-Mode) events (the Open Talks 1 & 2) with more than 15 people each time that were also been taped for the purposes of the creation of DVD which was the final deliverable of the project. Moreover I participated in various events for the purposes of other projects of CESIE and I’ve wrote articles about them. In addition, for the purposes of my personal project I carried out research about successful initiatives of youth work and social entrepreneurship in the region of Sicily and I created a forty minutes original video, with the interviews of five Youth Leaders/Workers and social entrepreneurs of Palermo.

I welcomed the participants of CaBuReRa project from Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and I assisted them in everyday problems and facilitated their integration into local community and showed Palermo city. Furthermore, I’ve learned a new language, Italian and by the end of my project I could understand them very well and participate in dialogues with Italian to be my first choice in correspondence with my colleagues.

CESIE environment, its working methods and my colleagues constantly supported me in my learning process and there was no moment there that I felt alone or helpless during these months. Every day, I was learning something new in a multicultural friendly environment and was encouraged to take initiatives and contribute more in the organization’s work. The C.Y.SE project not only helped me a lot to professionally grow as a youth worker and project designer/manager but also brought closer the two organizations (Youthnet Hellas, CESIE) as we became partners in several Erasmus Plus projects. Personally, I gained a lot through this experience and I am ready to disseminate the results of the project through its final products, so that more young people get to be informed about the opportunities of Erasmus Plus Programme.

But is this the end with me and CESIE?

No…it is a new beginning as one of the projects that I wrote during my stay in CESIE, C.O.H.E.SION (Cultural bridges fOr youtH Employability and social incluSION) was approved by the Italian National Agency and I have been invited to participate in its  implementation.

If you want to know more about my experience you can visit my blog, by clicking the following link!

For further information please contact Stefania Giambelluca,

Youth in ActionThis project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.