10.7 Raising awareness about youth work
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Public institutions and associations undertake various initiatives to promote youth work, both amongst young people and their families and also amongst youth workers. These forms of promotion target different audiences and have different aims. Promotion aimed at young people is designed to provide them with information about activities that are available and in which they can take part. Awareness- raising amongst youth workers is designed to stimulate their desire to work in this field, and provide information on training for a career as a facilitator (youth work).
Information for young people
Websites and social networks
The ministries involved in youth work (see 10.2 The Administration and Governance of Youth Work (Administration et gouvernance du travail de jeunesse) have introduced various tools and initiatives for promoting youth work amongst young people. Some of these tools and initiatives promote one-off events; others, on the contrary, promote well-established youth policy schemes.
The Ministry for Youth’s websites are linked to social networks where it can promote activities and events related to youth work.
The http://www.jeunes.gouv.fr/ website has various sections, two of which provide information on youth work schemes open to young people. These sections describe the schemes and may also provide advice or publish testimonies or lists of centres that offer activities (sports, cultural and artistic activities, etc.).
The “Leisure activities” (“Loisirs”) section on the http://www.jeunes.gouv.fr/ website, for example, provides information about the Plan Mercredi schemes, and about camps (colonies) and Community centres for Minors (accueils collectifs de mineurs) where youth work is being developed (see 10.2 Administration et gouvernance du travail de jeunesse).
The Ministry of Youth’s websites and networks
Youth Information (Information Jeunesse) network centres
In addition to internet tools, the IJ - Youth Information (information jeunesse) network’s public organisations help to promote and raise awareness amongst young people regarding youth work activities. The IJ Network is made up of 1,500 national, regional and sub-regional (municipal) organisations that provide both physical and online centres for young people who are looking for general information on careers and education as well as daily life (accommodation, law, health, leisure, culture, international mobility, etc.).
These centres provide information, meeting and work spaces for young people’s associations; they also advertise socio-cultural (socio-educational) activities.
For example, the information centre in Lorient in Brittany caters for young people who are looking for information on cultural activities. In addition, a section on the centre’s website — “Spotlight on Activities” (“Zoom sur l’animation”) — describes how to prepare for the BAFA – Facilitator’s Certificate of Aptitude (Brevet d’Aptitude aux Fonctions d’Animateur) and provides a list of the organisations that run the courses and the funding available to help young people prepare for the BAFA.
Local and regional authorities
Local and regional authorities (municipalities (communes)) can also advertise the activities they offer via their official websites or, where relevant, at young people’s activity centres, commonly known as “Youth Forums” (“espaces jeunes”).
Information on the (vocational) activity sector
To provide information about working and careers in the activity sector, the Ministry of Youth has set up the BAFA – Facilitator’s Certificate of Aptitude (Brevet d’Aptitude aux Fonctions d’Animateur ou d’Animatrice/BAFD – Director’s Certificate of Aptitude (le brevet d’aptitude aux fonctions de directeur) mobile website. This mobile website has been designed for young people who might be interested in occasional work as a supervisor at an organised holiday centre (séjour de vacances) or a day care centre (accueil de loisirs) during the school holidays or outside school hours, or in a career as a facilitator or director of an activity centre. The app allows students to register for the courses and track their personal files; it also provides a list of approved training organisations and information about BAFA/BAFD work placements.
Public organisations that provide information and career advice, such as the ONISEP – National Office for Education and Career Information (Office national d'information sur les enseignements et les professions) also provide information on careers in the activity sector.
Local and regional authorities may also provide sections on their official websites containing information on opportunities and options for training as a facilitator, and updates on careers in youth work (vocational examination schedules, funding, etc.).
Non-formal education associations — some of which also run facilitators’ training courses — also lead their own initiatives for raising awareness about activities via events (meetings, conferences, forums, etc.) and their websites which are also facilitators’ resource websites, providing young people and youth workers with a number of technical and educational tools. The non-formal education movement Céméa - Centres for Training in Active Education Methods (Centres d'Entraînement aux Méthodes d'Éducation Active) has set up an online media library dedicated to informal education and facilitators: Yakamédia. This media library contains educational resources and is available to trainees who are taking or who have taken a course at a Ceméa. It is generally intended for voluntary and professional facilitators, tutors and all those involved in the world of activities and education.
The Ministries for Youth advertise certain youth work schemes at particular times of the year; for example, each year they promote summer camps (colonies de vacances) and summer cultural events offered by the Ministry of Culture via national advertising campaigns.
Campagne COLO/ the COLO campaign
In 2019, the “COLO” advertising campaign was launched to promote and enhance the appeal of organised holidays known as “summer camps” (“colonies de vacances”). This includes a communications kit, which contains posters and also visual tools for social networks.This campaign still exists in 2021.
It’s My Heritage/C’est mon patrimoine
The Ministry of Culture is leading the operation It’s My Heritage (c’est mon patrimoine) in partnership with other public institutions. It aims to raise awareness of heritage and history via various multidisciplinary activity programmes which offer new ways to make heritage more accessible: arts workshops, readings, dramatised tours, treasure hunts, dance, performances and digital arts.
The programme is intended for young people from deprived urban areas and also rural areas. Each year, several tens of thousands of young people who are registered at social centres, youth and culture centres (maisons des jeunes et de la culture), leisure centres and rural cultural activity centres (foyers ruraux) take part. Organised outside school hours, C’est mon patrimoine has hosted over 470,000 young people since 2005.
This event uses various communications tools: a website which lists all the programme’s initiatives and activities on an interactive map; it also provides postcards, posters to colour in, and invitations.