Tips and advice for youth workers
In the past, Global Education Derby has offered a wide variety of support for local youth workers who want help preparing young people to live and work in a diverse, rapidly changing society with its complex challenges and demands. Information about our resource library, and current youth projects can be found elsewhere on this website.
Unfortunately, we do not currently have the capacity to offer any formal support to youth workers. However, you may wish to contact the Multi-Faith Centre, who co-ordinate the local Youth Worker Forum: http://multifaithcentre.org/projects/
GLOBAL YOUTH WORK - a few introductory words of guidance:
The purpose of global youth work is to increase young people's ability to critically analyse local and global issues, make informed decisions and become responsible global citizens, developing the skills, attitudes and knowledge to play an active role in UK society and internationally.
First of all don’t panic. You don’t have to be an expert on global issues, or to have travelled the world, you can learn as you go. You just need the passion to deliver good youth work that aims to raise awareness of the globalised world, its history, and the rich diversity of its peoples, particularly in terms of issues of equity and justice.
Global youth work is not a new topic to get your head around, but is a new dimension to add to the good work that you are already doing with young people. A global dimension can be incorporated into almost any conversation that comes up in the youth club setting, over the coffee bar, on the park or on a trip, for example:
- Sexual health – the world spread of AIDS, differing global birth control and abortion laws or even laws and attitudes in relation to homosexuality.
- Drugs – looking at where different drugs come from, different attitudes to drugs globally.
- Employment – child labour, human rights, the UN convention on the Rights of the Child.
A few pointers to get started:
- Start with the young people, helping them to identify with themselves in new ways, use photography, art, questionnaires and quizzes. Find out what there interests are and concerns for the world they live in.
- Explore their local community, look at the influences from around the world, business, restaurants and take-aways, places of worship or even the makes of cars.
- Make any work fun, interesting and relevant. There is nothing to stop young people from just walking away from what you are doing if they are not interested. This is one of the reasons why working with young people through voluntary relationships is not always easy.
- Don’t be too serious and depressing in the issues that you explore. We know that there is a lot of suffering and injustice in the world, but there are also a lot of good and exciting things happening such as international sporting events, for example the Olympics. You couldn’t get more global than this if you tried. Even this great event offers you the opportunity to explore the injustices of the world, for example, look at the sponsorship involved, the hosting country, the equipment and sports clothing: Who makes these? How much were they paid for their work? Where do they come from?