YAMNFL – focus group no20 (NGO IUVENTA)

Focus Group

Project “YOUth Ambassadors of Non-Formal Learning”

Country: Serbia

Organization: NGO IUVENTA

Facilitator: Dijana Puskar

Date and location: 15. Jun 2020

List of questions for Focus Group

Do you think for NFE is important age, gender, nationality?

When we talk about gender; in the 21st century gender should not be important in any sphere, especially not in the sphere of education. For NFE we can claim 100% that gender is not important.
Nationality is also not important.
Age; age should not be a requirement for any type of education and are definitely not important for NFE.

What does NFE mean to you? Can you define?

  • giving equal opportunities to all
  • acquiring different skills and knowledge,
  • expanding knowledge
  • lifelong learning
  • better chance for employment
  • greater social inclusion
  • acquiring skills
  • change of attitudes
  • personal development
  • overcoming prejudice

Have you ever been a participant in an NFE program? If yes – in which one?

All focus group participants had previous experience in NFE programs. They participated in youth exchanges, local workshops, training courses. The topics were different: youth entrepreneurship, intercultural dialogue, diversity, ecology, … Some of the participants were also active in student parliaments.

Do you know something about Youth Law / Strategy / Action Plan, as well as other documents related to youth?

Participants were acquainted with the existing The Law on Youth, National Youth Strategy 2015-2025, different Action Plan, but not fully with their contents. Most participants are familiar with  the existence of youth policy at the local level.

Have you ever participated in the youth decision-making process? If yes, in which one?

With the exception of participation in decision-making inside NGO and student parliaments, participants did not participate in decision-making processes. During the conversation, they gave some examples where some of their friends were involved in creating local action plans for young people, run youth offices, and are active in the work of student organizations.

Most of participants are familiar with existence of KOMS and NAPOR.

(KOMS – National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS) is an association of 108 youth and for youth organization, and is the highest independent representative body of youth in Serbia. KOMS is an advocacy platform which serves for improving of the position of young people and acts as a link between young people, its member organizations and various decision-makers and providers of programs and services for young people (primarily the state and its institutions).

NAPOR – National Association of Youth Workers is vocational and representative union of associations whose mission is creation and development of conditions for quality assurance and recognition of youth work with the aim of developing potential of youth and youth workers, who contribute to welfare of community and society.)

Do you think that more support from the Government is needed to improve the status of young people and in the NFE sphere? If yes, what are the benefits of this, and what are the disadvantages?

Greater and better government support is always necessary. But to be completely realistic, we need more involvement of young people. As young people, we must show the government what we can and must be persistent in achieving our goals.
In Serbia, the biggest problem is corruption and this problem has not been bypassed by the Ministry of Youth and Sport. If we look at the paper, the government gives support to young people, but unfortunately it often ends up in the hands of incompetent organizations.

Does NFE activities help you for your personal development. If yes, how? If not, why?

All participants unanimously answered YES. In what way: first, they learned a lot about themselves, they gained a lot of self-confidence, they learned to think critically. Unlike formal education, in non-formal education there is no wrong answer, everything can be discussed. They have become more open to all forms of diversity. They learned to recognize their weaknesses and strengths, how to solve problems, they developed creativity

For you, why is it important to be involved in activities through non-formal education?

To be involved in activities through non-formal education plays an important role in overcoming inequality and exclusion; creating a better future for all.

Does virus Covid19 influence on non-formal education and how in your opinion?

It affects, as well as all other spheres of life.

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