The latest news from the European Youth Card Association.
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In June, EYCA member organisations and EYCA partners came together in Goteborg for the 31st EYCA Conference. The focus of the Conference was taking the European Youth Card beyond boundaries and developing the card as a tool for the inclusion of all young people. 

This edition of the EYCAtcher features best practice examples from EYCA member organisations that support vulnerable young people and work to offer them more opportunities to live fuller lives. 
A safe house for young victims of human trafficking
Youth Center AUCTUS, Bosnia and Herzegovina
One form of human trafficking is children and young people forced to beg - an all too common sight across European cities. To help combat this phenomenon, the EYCA member organisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina - AUCTUS - has recently joined a project aiming to support the social inclusion of these vulnerable children and young people.

The aim is to offer young victims of human trafficking in Banja Luka access to a safe house. Working with NGO Nova Generacija, AUCTUS supports the running of a safe house providing children and young people with shelter, protection from exploitation and violence, a healthy diet, and plenty of creative and recreational activities.

AUCTUS is working to make the safe house sustainable through a social entrepreneurship initiative. Young people living in the safe house produce handmade jewellery and organic food, which are then sold. The income generated is returned to the young people in the safe house. AUCTUS promotes this initiative among cardholders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, encouraging them to support the project by purchasing safe house products. As a next step, the organisation is considering co-financing the project through card fees.

Combatting the effects of a high school dropout rate
Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Malta
Malta has one of the highest school dropout rates in Europe. Young people who leave school early are at risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion. 
To support young people who have left school early, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, the EYCA member organisation in Malta, runs Youth Inc., an inclusive education programme based on applied learning for young people aged 16 to 21. 

The aim of Youth Inc. is to help young people gain more knowledge, values, and skills to enter the labour market or to continue their education or training. The programme is a second chance for these vulnerable young people to acquire key skills and competences to help them improve their lives and futures.
Youth Inc. offers both formal and non-formal learning opportunities and work experience. Activities include storytelling, art lessons, photography classes, language courses, maths, etc. 

To create a positive environment, young people are encouraged and rewarded for their achievements in various ways. For instance, young people in the programme saw their stories published in a book – a great confidence boost for young people who have always viewed school as a challenge.

Click here to find out more about Youth Inc.
Working with young offenders and those at risk of offending
Young Scot, Scotland, United Kingdom
Young Scot, the EYCA member organisation in Scotland, aims to offer all young people quality information, access to opportunities and to encourage them to engage with their communities. The same objectives apply to young offenders and those at risk of offending, a group vulnerable to exclusion and radicalisation. 

By partnering up with the Polmont Young Offenders Institution and with Police Scotland, Young Scot works to prevent young people from offending and to help young offenders create better futures for themselves.  

The organisation's work is focused on a set of key actions:
INFORM - Young Scot provides all young people with information on topics such as arrest, detention and sentencing.
ACCESS - The organisation offers the card for free to all young people leaving the Polmont Young Offenders Institution. This gives them access to discounts and opportunities but also to banking services, as the card is legally recognised as of proof of age. 
ENGAGE - Young Scot has also developed several projects to engage young offenders, to support their financial capabilities, and help them to co-design their learning environment together with prison staff.

To help prevent young people from offending, Young Scot is working with Police Scotland to develop the Youth Volunteers programme which helps to brake down the barriers between young people at risk of offending and the Police.

Young Scot also offers ex-offenders job placements to help them integrate into society and live fuller lives. 
More opportunities for young people in state care
Catalan Youth Agency, Catalunya, Spain
Disadvantaged young people who live in foster care and are being looked after by the government are a particularly vulnerable group and lack many of the opportunities most young people can access. Since 2008, the Catalan Youth Agency, the European Youth Card organisation in Catalunya, Spain, has been operating a special programme using youth cards to support the social inclusion of young people who do not live with their parents as a result of difficult family backgrounds.  

Young people in state care receive the youth card for free when they reach the age of 14. The card is valid until they turn 21. 

Using the card, looked-after young people are able to access the same services and advantages as all other cardholders, including nearly 8,000 discounts and benefits in Catalunya and over 60,000 discounts and benefits across Europe through the EYCA network.

In addition, young people in state care have access to programmes and services delivered by the Catalan Youth Agency, including scholarships and internships. 

Nearly 1,000 young people in the care system have received the card in the seven years the programme has been running. 
Upcoming events
Council of Europe - EYCA Partial Agreement seminar on 'Integration versus alienation: the youth card as an effective tool' - a contribution to the Committee of Ministers Action Plan on “The fight against violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism”.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | September 17-18, 2015

EYCA Mobility in the Mind regional seminars
Hosted by EYCA member organisations, the seminars will help EYCA Young Innovators to develop their business plans and acquire new skills in the following industries:
Click here for more information on the Mobility in the Mind project.
European Youth Conference
hosted by the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Luxembourg City | September 21-24, 2015  

Second conference of the European Platform on Learning Mobility in the Youth Field – “Learning mobility in the youth field: towards opportunities for all. Evidence, experience, discourse”
Istanbul, Turkey | October 7 - 9, 2015 
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This EYCAtcher is published by the EYCA Office
European Youth Card Association, Rue D'Alost 7-11, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.
tel. +322 8806843; e-mail:

With the support of the European Commission. The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the opinion or the position of the EC.
The European Youth Cards are supported by the Council of Europe in the framework the Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility through the Youth Card.
Contributors: EYCA Office and EYCA member organisations
Pictures: European Youth Card Association, EYCA member organisations