What does it mean to implement a job shadowing project? And what does it take to implement it in a time of pandemic and war in Europe?

We share with you now the story of “Youth Workers International Education and NGO Development”, or if you already want to put your Polish skills into practice, “Międzynarodowa Edukacja pracowników młodzieżowych i rozwój organizacji pozarządowych”!
Easy, isn’t it?

For now, we can stick to the acronym of the project – WIDE NGO – and understand what it was all about.


Held in 3 stages and on 3 different dates, this job shadowing has foreseen that four youth workers, coordinators and mentors from Europejskie Forum Młodzieży (EFM) would participate in 6 days of practical educational experience in the organizations Associazione Culturale Strauss (Strauss APS) from Sicily in Italy, LAW Language Academy Wales from Cardiff in Great Britain, and YEU Cyprus from Cyprus, all of which coordinate projects under Action 1, Action 2 and Action 3 of the Erasmus+ programme among other EU Programmes.

WIDE NGO was a project that was first developed back in December 2019 during ‘EuropeNET’, a contact-making seminar hosted by EFM.

For 3 years (more than we expected it to last, as a collateral impact of Covid-19), WIDE NGO has given us the chance to meet other youth workers and project coordinators from three EU countries, and together build opportunities for more young people while, same time, to improve the quality of projects implemented under the Erasmus+ Program and the European Solidarity Corps.



The first stage of the project took place in Wales from the 28th of November to the 5th of December 2022, when the EFM staff and LAW – Language Academy Wales met to discuss ways to make youth participation more accessible and unique. One of the key focal points was improving the English language skills of the participants, with a particular focus on employability. Thanks to the job shadowing, a new project partnership was formed and submitted on March 2023, which aims to provide new opportunities for unemployed young people in Wales and Poland.

From the 21st to the 26th of April 2023, the second mobility took place in Cyprus, where the focus was on introducing innovative solutions in the implementation of projects and new educational methods in youth work. During this mobility, the representatives of EFM had the chance to learn more about innovative platforms for work and digital tools, and exchange practices with the youth workers of YEU Cyprus.


Finally, in June of the same year, from the 5th to the 11th, the project moved to Sicily, where the focus was on youth mobility, namely the European Solidarity Corps. The representatives of EFM exchanged ideas on the implementation of training for team volunteering in high-priority areas with the staff of Strauss APS, cooperating – and learning new methods and approaches – in the implementation of a week of training for 40 volunteers from all over Europe.


But it’s not only dates and meetings that WIDE NGO was about. It allowed us to acknowledge:

  • The common goals and vision of each organization
  • The passion and dedication of each staff member
  • The challenges and opportunities of working with young people
  • The benefits and impact of Erasmus + projects
  • The sense of belonging and solidarity of the European community
      And, at a major level:
  • The food and cuisine preferences and habits of each country
  • The working styles and communication patterns of each organization
  • The social norms and etiquette of each society
  • The values and beliefs of each culture
  • The history and traditions of each region

Still, there were difficulties. Do you remember we mentioned it took us three years to implement WIDE NGO? That’s right.

Initially planned to be implemented in 2020, it faced numerous challenges and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, first, and the war in Ukraine, later. These events had a significant impact on our project. Not only because, as everyone else, we encountered various difficulties, including travel restrictions and safety measures that prevented or postponed our mobilities, the temporary closure of services that affected our host organizations and their activities, but also everything connected to the war in Ukraine

For all, and maybe because, of what was mentioned, WIDE NGO has been successful in so many levels: in overcoming the obstacles faced; in strengthening long partnerships such as the ones EFM has with Strauss APS, LAW and YEU Cyprus; in giving EFM staff extended knowledge and new possibilities to work with young people; in revealing new and exciting platforms and tools to implement, disseminate and coordinate youth projects; in creating new ideas and new projects, some of them hopefully taking part soon!

We close the chapter of “Międzynarodowa Edukacja pracowników młodzieżowych i rozwój organizacji pozarządowych” now but its impact is everlasting!

Throughout these three years, we’re inspired by the people we have worked with, the work they do, and the places we have visited. We finish this job shadowing with new ideas, new tools, new projects on the way and a renewed energy to keep working with Erasmus + and involve young people in its diversity of opportunities.

There are a lot of tools that can be used for project management. In WIDE NGO we put a few of them together so that you can read and learn more about which one addapts better to your own projects. Check it out wink

Project:Międzynarodowa Edukacja pracowników młodzieżowych i rozwój organizacji pozarządowych”
Project No.: 2020-1-PL01-KA105-080906