Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

Well, it finally looks like the plan to initiate a youth exchange with China is likely to become a reality! As I mentioned here, after a number of youth worker exchanges we were hoping to set something up for young people. Shandong Youth Federation have replied to our emails confirming that they are interested in hosting up to 20 young people. Unfortunately the other local autorities have had to pull out so we’re going to look at taking a smaller group of 10-12 young people probably aged between 16-19yrs.

I’m really excited about this and hoping that we can use some of the things we are learning about social media and the internet to support this work. I’m really keen to see if we can do some projects like the Life in New China Project supported by What Kids Can Do and Adobe Youth VoicesOr blogging like the young people involved in Beijing Voices. The tricky part is, although communication systems are easier than before, trying to work out how we are going UK delegation meeting Chinese Uni Studentsto be able to work together and get something going is quite difficult due to our different cultures.

When I went to China at the end of 2006 we were still trying to understand what sort of youth work happened over there as we mainly saw universities, cultural sites and various enterprises. As there is such an ethos of education, education, education (There’s been a great BBC3 series running about Chinese School education). it was difficult to find out what youth work they did and what happened to those who weren’t academically inclined.  chinese delegation visit07 (9)

When the Chinese delegation came here last summer we made a point of showing them some of our facilities and work that we did. Hopefully these visits has helped with what we’re hoping to set up.

Now we need to find out which young people are interested, what sort of things they want to do and learn out there and liaise with our Chinese colleagues to try and make all this happen (and all by October!!!) Oh, and not forgetting all the risk assessments etc, etc. Well, I can’t say life is dull!!! 🙂 

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Comments on: "Developing our work with China" (3)

  1. Good luck with this am sure it will be fascinating. When planning to take a group out to Tanzania for the first time I started a risk assessment – after the obvious stuff like insurance, copying passports & visas, spreading currency about, different first aid kits etc. then I got onto the state of the road system, would the bus be roadworthy (as if!), HIV, spiders, snakes and eventually got to a point where I had to give up – there were too many risks! Give up on the assessment I mean not the trip – instead I sent a thorough letter out to parents pointing out it was a third world country & with some safety advice etc. – what shocked me was that out of 18 young people only one parent got in touch in any way concerned!

    I imagine China might be a bit easier having an infrastructure and all that but no doubt you’ll have a bit of fun getting everything through the local authority hoops. Be interesting to hear about their concept of informal learning and how that compares with youth work etc. Maybe something you could try is having young people lead some sessions based on what they do in this country (once you’ve checked out any cultural issues!)

  2. Shirley said:

    I think the project is wonderful and one which will benefit all the young people and adults who are involved…. international visits are one of the best ways for young people to reflect on themselves and gain an understanding of the world around them… I look forward to hearing more once the project has come to fruition… Good luck

  3. billybean said:

    Thank you both – it’s all systems go at the moment with very tight deadlines but I’m sure we’ll be able to sort it all out.

    Mas – I’m keen to have as much youth lead as we can but I’m aware from our visit that there is a lot of hierarchy to overcome so we’ll have to see how we can manage that. I’ve just been in email contact today with China to see if there are some common issues we can work on.

    Shirley – nice to hear from you! I’ll keep on blogging re China, I’ll have loads to talk about with that!!

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