The latest news from the European Youth Card Association.
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Nearly 6 million European Youth Cards
Amazing increase in the number of cardholders in 2015
We are proud to announce that nearly 6 million young Europeans are now European Youth Cardholders, enjoying all the services and opportunities provided through the card.
Youth mobility in general and learning mobility in particular are central to EYCA's mission. We are looking forward to offering these opportunities to even more young people in 2016.
EVS European Youth Card Awards 2016
Celebrating the young people of the European Voluntary Service
For the second consecutive year, EYCA is celebrating the achievements of young people in the EVS and promoting the programme through the EVS European Youth Card Awards.

The  Awards are a platform for volunteers to share their EVS stories with other young people, to motivate them to travel, get involved and make a difference at home and abroad.


Until May 15, all young people in the EVS are invited to make a short video about their EVS experience and share their story on the Awards website at
www.eyca.org/evs-awards. The 4 most inspirational videos, as voted by the public, win all-inclusive summer trips sponsored by EYCA member organisations Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation (Greece), Cartão Jovem (Portugal), Catalan Youth Agency and the Youth Institute of Extremadura (Spain) together with their partners.

An EYCA initiative, the Awards are included in the partnership between the Association and the European Commission to offer a special EVS edition of the European Youth Card to all young people in the service for free, to help them make the most of their mobility experience. 100,000 volunteers have received the card in the 17 years of this partnership.
EYCA & Council of Europe to launch study on youth mobility
Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility through the Youth Card
In the framework of the EYCA - Council of Europe Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility through the Youth Card (PA), EYCA has commissioned a study exploring youth mobility policies and practices across Europe. The purpose of the study is to support evidence-based directions for national and European mobility policies. 


The study includes extensive desk research on youth mobility. A draft version was presented in March to the Partial Agreement Board of Coordination. The study will be published in summer 2016 for the benefit of all youth mobility professionals.

In addition to the mobility study, the 2016 Partial Agreement work programme aims to lay the foundations of a Youth Mobility Think Tank connected to the PA. The think tank will provide a platform where EYCA member organisations and researchers can work together to overcome the lack of evidence in the field of youth mobility.
Working across borders to create learning mobility opportunities
Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Malta
Enhancing the learning mobility of young people is one of the objectives of Maltese National Youth Policy. As the body in charge of its implementation, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, the EYCA member in Malta, seeks to achieve this aim through the European Youth Card, its membership in the European Platform for Learning Mobility and through networking with local stakeholders. The Shift is a great example of how Aġenzija Żgħażagħ works to create learning mobility opportunities for all young people. 


The Shift was an Erasmus+ project that resulted from a collaboration between Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Żgħażagħ Azzjoni Kattolika (ŻAK), Malta and Limerick Youth Services (LYS), Ireland. The aim of this project, which started in September 2015 and ended in March 2016, was to bring young people from Malta and Ireland together and give them the opportunity to experience and learn new skills through a number of exchanges. 

The project involved one training seminar for youth workers and 4 youth exchanges with 36 youth workers and around 100 young people. Young people from Aġenzija Żgħażagħ’s Youth.Inc were involved as participants in these exchanges. Youth.Inc is a second chance education programme for young people to prepare them for further education or employment.

The main aim of this initiative was to increase young people’s employability and improve their career prospects, to improve their learning performance by stimulating a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship. The project also aimed to empower the young people involved to participate actively in society and the groups they are a part of. Some young people involved in the exchanges had never been abroad, and most of them had never participated in a similar youth programme.

A recap of the project is available
here  and on the programme's Facebook page.
Language immersion programmes for young people
EYCA members creating cross-border opportunities for language learning
The Carné Joven Comunidad de Madrid has just launched a Spanish language immersion programme in Madrid for European Youth Cardholders across Europe. From July 4 to 10, 50 European Youth Cardholders can live the Spanish experience with intensive language classes and many activities to help them discover the sites and culture of Madrid.  


Participating cardholders will be able to practice and improve their Spanish by learning from native speakers. The programme includes 4 hours of class in small groups each morning. In addition, real communication situations in the city will also help participants internalise the language and culture.

Helping young people improve their foreign language skills is a priority for many EYCA member organisations. For instance, the Carné Joven Europeo de Aragón, Spain recently organised 
an English immersion programme to boost young people's employability. 80 young people participated in the programme for free, learning English from native speakers of various nationalities.

Another example comes from Luxembourg, from the 
Centre Information Jeunes. The organisation teamed up with an international language learning organisation to offer young people the opportunity to spend 2 weeks in France. Participants had the chance to improve their French by living with French families for 2 weeks, participating in intensive language classes and various activities.
Mobility in the Mind
Kick-starting careers with a learning mobility experience
In 2015 five EYCA member organisations joined forces for an international learning and youth entrepreneurship project aiming to help young people create new career opportunities for themselves and other young Europeans. Entitled Mobility in the Mind, the programme supported 20 Young Innovators to develop their business ideas in five sectors: green initiatives, cultural industries, social enterprises, technology and digital communication, and tourism and hospitality.


The project kicked-off with a Symposium in Lisbon bringing together Young Innovators, representatives of European institutions, companies and experts. For some of the Young Innovators, the Lisbon Symposium was their first learning mobility experiences.

"The meeting back in March is one of my greatest memories. I met a lot of awesome people from all over Europe and it was great to see they weren’t that different from me. They taught me a great deal about what’s out there, beyond the borders of my country. I'll always remember Lisbon as the town where I met the real world and learned from it, a town of mobility."
Luca Stoica, EYCA Young Innovator from Romania

"The Symposium in March, in Portugal was for me a great experience! It met all my expectations. I met people from all over Europe, and talking with them was a great inspiration for me since I could learn from all of them."
Tytus Tschuk, EYCA Young Innovator, Poland

Once home, the Young Innovators were invited to attend national seminars where they discussed their business ideas with local experts and their peers, developed comprehensive business plans and started working on making their dreams come true.
Click here to meet our Young Innovators and read more about their ideas! In addition to the 20 Young Innovators, other European Youth Cardholders attended the national Mobility in the Mind seminars, bringing the reach of the project to around 150 young people.
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This EYCAtcher is published by the EYCA Office
Rue D'Alost 7-11, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.
tel. +322 8806843; e-mail: mail@eyca.org
web: www.eyca.org

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 Card is 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