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The Post-YU Trilateral Bottom Up Learning (PYTBUL) was a ‘parent’ project to PYLE, Post-YU for Learning Emancipation. It stands for a strategic partnership project in the field of youth primarily aimed for developing new, innovative and complementary tools and models for empowering youth in the region and fostering youth self-employability. Three partner organizations, Zavod Bob from Slovenia, Volonterski centar Istra from Croatia and Impact Hub Belgrade from Serbia, have gathered forces and created a project plan to address the important issues concerning youth. The project duration was 16 months – from September 2015 till December 2016.

The project aims were based on the worsening situation on the labour market in the countries of the participating organizations where youth are rapidly getting excluded. They are constantly pushed to the edge of social security and exploited as poorly paid labor. The government structures seem to be unable to propose relevant solutions while the youth have the necessary resources to find solutions for themselves. It was demonstrated in numerous occasions through the activity in the youth sector. However, the efforts of the youth and the impacts of the youth sector remain unrecognized which is reflected in the amount of funds for youth activities, lack of interest for the systemization of jobs in the youth sector, lack of recognition of informally acquired competencies, which is the dominant way of obtaining them in the youth sector etc..

The youth, youth workers and senior professionals from the partner organizations cooperated in designing tools and models for improving competencies for youth employment and self-employment, they were exchanging experience and good practice examples in the international events and presented the results of their project work in the final multiplier event. The international events were be hosted by each of the partner organizations: Impact Hub Belgrade in Serbia in April 2016, Volonterski centar Istra in Croatia in September 2016 and Zavod Bob in Slovenia in November 2016. The final multiplier event took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia in December 2016.

The Knowledge Exchange Base, a web platform, served and still serves as the main communication tool, addressing different publics/target groups. It is used as a board for pinning various topic clouds: youth employability, personal success stories, legislation, knowledge exchange etc.

The bottom up approach dictated methodology that enables young people to actively participate in all project stages: project planning, implementation and evaluation. The competencies, acquired and/or developed in the process, contribute to their (self)employability which makes the PYTBUL project an example of good practice by itself.

In the local activities the participating organizations provided activities for their local youth and the youth workers (i.e. multipliers) to enable their active participation in the process of the design of the mentioned outputs. Besides the activities for youth the emphasis was be put on addressing policy makers and other relevant stakeholders with the intention to improve the position of youth and the youth sector in the region. In this regard the “Declaration on value of youth work” was an important document that was be created in the project, containing analysis of legislations regarding youth sector in the three participating countries, examples of good practices, the assessment of the impact that the youth work activities have on developing competencies for youth self(employment) and policy recommendations.

The project environment resulted in new and enhanced local/ national collaborations and cross-borders partnering with organizations with different focuses/expertise. This trilateral has a potential to grow into a network of youth organization from across the post-YU region…