Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Of Youth-In-Action and Erasmus-For-All


I was reading about Erasmus for All 2014-2020 that will ultimately replace Youth in Action, which ends 2013. Generally the youth-network/NGO prefer YiA to be separated from it, citing the danger of losing focus on youth and non-formal learning, or event to extent of reaching out to the less privilege/fewer opportunity.

While I am interested to know if that statement is true i.e. less funding for youth/non-formal/workcamp organisation, as some organisation, for instance in Spain, sent distress call on operation budget cut. I wonder if these could be related chain of events.


Well i can give you an update of the discussion going on, but nothing is decided yet and there are serious discussions (see: disagreement) concerning the budget at the moment on the council level, so it is all very much not definitive!

Concerning the merging into the education programme (life long learning), there actually is the risk that small NGOs and youth workers will be less taken into consideration and will most probably have to work with big (coordinating) organisations if they still want to receive grants. Which could nevertheless be good for the quality of projects as they would be supported by bigger and experienced institutions.

But it does not mean that they won't have any access to the money, they rather will have to change their approach concerning applying for funding.

The new proposal has actually a lot more money for projects and mobility in comparison to what we have now, and the aim is to facilitate the procedure and have less sub-actions so that the whole programme is more transparent and less complicated (that is just the aim anyway, which does not mean that the commission has the right solutions to solve the current issues).

In the case of (distress call from) Spain, their problem are much more linked to the national situation and the local concurrence. Their The situation of the Spanish national agency is also mostly independent from the general European context, and there are very big differences between the national agencies in each country. Hence this new structure should not have huge consequences on their funding, as long as they adapt to the new funding rules, which they have already done before. Moreover, if they wants to receive funding, they can also apply to the executive agency in Bruxelles or in the country of a partner organisation, depending on the project.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Global IVS - Beyond current silo and potential

At least in my limited experience, the International Voluntary Service movement is not much "wider" than the current big-12 ( And, even if it gets "wider", real substance and progress hardly follow suits without having a "deeper" relationship.

With this in mind, I have recently decided to offer myself again to support the external representation team of a global IVS organisation. You can find the full text of my letter below, hoping to find resonance among the leaders of the organisation.

Here we go:

I would like to start this email with an apology for not replying your email earlier. Referring to the above, I am presenting myself as a candidate for the external representation group for your consideration.

2. As the immediate past International Executive as well as External Representation (EXREP) member, I have my own vision on how the organisation's external representation should be done. For one, I strongly believe that we have failed, at great cost, to “deepen” both cooperation and communication of our current/exiting network like CCIVS etc. and in particular, NVDA. Secondly, EXREP team can be even more coherent, that they able to take up even more responsibilities.

3. I have since start thinking what my focus should be, and most importantly how that will in turn, benefit our movement as a whole. Having recently elected again (not always a good sign for organizational growth) as committee member for local branc, I believe the answer lies at the international level as much as it is at domestic/local level – “the health of branches” mentioned by long-serving Irish activist (Ireland Annual Meeting 2009) still rings a bell.

4. Hence, I would like to offer myself again – to challenge myself – to offer a fresh new look on how we can move forward stronger. In concrete terms that would mean contribution in 3 areas:

a. External representation opportunities at local/domestic level i.e. networking with other like-minded organization or organization that needs international voluntary service that we might have overlooked before. It means we help (working together/sharing information) other branches to strategize as well.
b. Built up the EXREP structure and processes that will enable us to serve the movement better, in turn strengthen SCI global positioning. This means some SOP (Standard Operation Procedures) and clear role definition for each EXREP team member.
c. Contribute my ideas and body (attending) to external representation issues, challenges and solutions that I have much interest till now. This means, be even more responsive to your emails!

Finally I must stressed that I do not want to lose this connection - it was pure fun and inspirational to see what you guys did day in and day out, keep pouring energy that seems bottomless.

With this, I hope I have given enough explanation on my motivation and direction that I wish to continue my contribution to the growth of EXREP and our movement in particular.

Best wishes,

Low KC
Kuala Lumpur, April 03rd 2012