Youth Work Week 2016: Empowering Young People through Sport and Arts 7th – 13th November 2016
For the fifth year running, Youth Work Week will be celebrated across the Commonwealth from 7th – 13th November 2016. Youth Work Week celebrates the contribution and achievements of youth workers and highlights the importance of recognising the practice as a profession. The events and activities of Youth Work Week also aim to bring attention to the need to invest more in the education and training of youth workers.
This year, Youth Work Week will be held under the theme Empowering Young People through Sport and Arts. Across the Commonwealth, youth workers intentionally employ sport and arts programmes as part of their youth engagement and empowerment strategies, linking individual/personal growth to wider social responsibilities. As young people participate in these programmes they build personal, social and intellectual capacities that enhance their contribution in the home, school, community, country and the wider world. Youth work, in this context provides young people with positive alternatives and the space to express themselves and be recognised as creative agents of change.
The Commonwealth celebrates the commitment and dedication of youth workers to contributing to national development outcomes by working with and supporting young people to become positive, constructive citizens. It is for this reason we encourage all Commonwealth member states to acknowledge and support youth workers, whose service is entirely focused on youth empowerment and development. We encourage you to plan celebratory activities and events during Youth Work Week. We would also like to hear about your event plans for the week and to showcase your contribution to building up the profession.
In 2013, we introduced the Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards to recognise the contribution and impact of youth workers across the Commonwealth. In 2016 we will again be recognising outstanding youth workers from each of the five regions of the Commonwealth. The award highlights the exemplary service of youth workers, showcases their work, and demonstrates to the wider public how youth workers are making a positive difference in society. Nominations are now open for the Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards 2016 and we ask you to encourage your youth sector to nominate youth workers who utilise sport and arts programmes to engage and empower young people across the Commonwealth. The official nomination form is available at https://commonwealth- youthworkers.awardsplatform.com/. The awards ceremony will take place on 10th November at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.
The Commonwealth Youth Programme continues to prioritise programmes and strategies for professionalising the youth work sector, with a number of initiatives that aim to raise the profile of/support for youth workers. These include:
- Formation of a new Consortium of Academic Institutions to deliver Youth Work Degree and Diploma qualifications in every Commonwealth country.
- Establishment of National Youth Work Associations and a Commonwealth Alliance of Youth Worker Associations.
- Baseline survey on the progress of youth work professionalisation in the member states of the Commonwealth
- Guidance on youth work codes of ethic and the legal/regulatory framework for the youth work sector