Young People

through Sport

and Arts

Event Guide

November 2016

Youth Work Week

Empowering Young People through Sport and Arts

Event Guide

7–13 November 2016

Youth Work Week \ iii


What is Youth Work Week? 1

Youth Work in the Commonwealth 2

Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards 6

Ideas: Youth Work Week Events 7

Social media tips 9

Case Study Template 11

Press Release Template 13

Endnotes 14

Youth Work Week \ 1

What is Youth

Work Week?

Youth Work Week celebrates the contribution and achievements of youth workers,

youth organisations and young people throughout the Commonwealth. We are

pleased to announce that for the fifth year running we will be celebrating Youth

Work Week across the Commonwealth, from 7–13 November 2016.

The Commonwealth, in partnership with the Commonwealth Alliance of Youth

Workers Associations and Commonwealth Youth Council, will be promoting

Youth Work Week 2016 to provide youth ministries, organisations, networks and

individuals with an opportunity to highlight the excellent work they do with young

people locally, nationally and internationally.

The theme for this year is Empowering Young People through Sport and Arts.

The Commonwealth encourages organisations to focus their events around this

theme where possible. During Youth Work Week youth groups and projects all

over the Commonwealth will be increasing the awareness and profile of youth

work. Their activities are organised locally by youth services, ministries, youth

organisations, youth leaders or other stakeholders in celebration of Youth Work

Week, and are entirely implemented and funded by the participating organisations.

Youth Work Week is a chance to highlight the contribution of youth work to the

development of young people and to turn public attention towards the positive

roles youth workers play in their communities. Groups and organisations are invited

to use the week to promote their work with young people. The Youth Work Week

campaign aims to highlight the role of youth work in supporting young people to

understand more about themselves, others and society, and equip them with skills

to operate in the wider world.

Since 2012, we have seen growing support for Youth Work Week. Youth workers

in Commonwealth countries have set up committees to consult on the role and

contributions of youth work to national development. Some hold recognition

ceremonies for outstanding youth workers, while others conduct conferences,

displays and performances, which often involve hundreds of young people.

For some groups the focus has been on providing new opportunities to young

people, while others focus on raising the profile of youth work to the general

public through the media. Some groups also target their messages to members

of parliaments and other political leaders. All of these activities are spearheaded

by ministries and departments of youth, national youth workers’ associations, or

informal collectives of youth workers and youth leaders.

2 \ Youth Work Week

Youth Work in

the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Youth Programme continues to prioritise youth work

professionalisation, and has executed a number of plans to support and raise the

profile of youth workers.

These include:

• Joint hosting of the second Commonwealth Conference on Youth Work, in

collaboration with the Government of South Africa and the University of South

Africa in March 2016.

• Formulation of a Commonwealth Youth Work Qualifications Consortium, in

partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning and University of West Indies

in Jamaica, which provides the opportunity for a virtual platform that will offer a

diploma and degree qualification in youth work.

• Creation of the Commonwealth Alliance of Youth Worker Associations

(CAYWA) as a collective of youth worker associations from across the

Commonwealth who are committed to raising the standard and status of youth

work by connecting, strengthening and championing the professionalisation of

the youth work sector.

The Commonwealth Youth Division will further plans to facilitate better networking

between youth workers, so you can share your good practices and reflect on your

contribution to supporting young people.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing how you are celebrating Youth Work

Week this year.

Youth Empowerment

With the introduction of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and with 15 years

to achieve tangible progress on the agreed targets, the role and contribution of

young people has become a recurrent theme for discussion within the youth sector.

This year’s International Youth Day, for example, is about focuses on the leading role

of young people in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Commonwealth has long advocated for the engagement and empowerment

of young people as a critical step in enhancing their contribution to development

outcomes. Within that context, the contribution and continued relevance of youth

workers becomes an important issue for consideration within the wider discourse

on youth involvement in the sustainable development. Given that the overall aim

of youth work is to enhance the life experience of young people and enhance their

contribution to society as active, involved, useful and valued citizens, we must

conclude that the contribution of youth workers today is as important as it has

ever been in history. This Commonwealth Youth Work theme seeks to highlight

the central purpose of youth work as defined in the CYP Diploma’s tutor training

manual “ empower young people to play an assertive and constructive role in

the strengthening and regeneration of their communities” 1 .

The Commonwealth’s Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment presents two equally

reinforcing perspectives on youth empowerment:

Youth Work Week \ 3

1. Young people are empowered when they acknowledge that they have or can

create choices in life, are aware of the implications of those choices, make

an informed decision freely, take action based on that decision and accept

responsibility for the consequences of those actions;

2. Empowering young people means creating and supporting the enabling

conditions under which young people can act on their own behalf, and on their

own terms, rather than at the direction of others. These enabling conditions fall

into four broad categories:

i. an economic and social base;



political will, adequate resource allocation and supportive legal and

administrative frameworks;

a stable environment of equality, peace and democracy; and

iv. access to knowledge, information and skills, and a positive value system. 2

Empowerment therefore can be seen as both an end and a means. The social,

political and economic empowerment of young people has been at the centre of

the Commonwealth’s youth work for over 40 years, as articulated in the 13 priority

actions of the Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment. Through this experience, the

Commonwealth recognises the connection and interactions between empowered

young people, governments, collaboration between stakeholders, and facilitating

enabling conditions for young people as critical aspects in the dynamic cycle of

youth empowerment.

Theme Youth Work Week 2016:

Empowering Young People Through Sport and Arts

Youth work is a very diverse profession not only in terms of social tasks and

employment situations, but also in the tools, methodologies and strategies

employed in engaging with young people. Youth empowerment through sport

and arts will be the focus of the Commonwealth Youth Work theme in 2016.

Through this theme, the Commonwealth will highlight some of the ‘out of the box’

approaches to positive youth development.

Across the Commonwealth, youth workers intentionally employ sport and arts

programmes as part of the youth empowerment strategy 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.

The impact and contribution of these programme at the individual or community

level should not be understated.

This year’s Commonwealth Youth Work Week campaign will showcase the value

of sport and arts programmes and approaches in working with young people. The

contributions of sport and arts in youth empowerment are listed below:

• The contribution of sport and arts in promoting social-emotional learning.

The arts are especially powerful vehicles because they appeal to all abilities and

cultures, and create a level playing field whereby background (socio-economic,

educational, etc) becomes irrelevant.

• The use of sport and arts in developing leaders and enhancing youth

participation in the community. These programmes inspire and instil the

belief that as a young person it is possible to achieve, to create, to become,

4 \ Youth Work Week

1. Antigua and Barbuda

2. Australia

3. The Bahamas

4. Bangladesh

5. Barbados

6. Belize

7. Botswana

8. Brunei Darussalam

9. Cameroon

10. Canada

11. Cyprus

12. Dominica


6 18



35 12

37 36

15 5



13. Fiji

14. Ghana

15. Grenada

16. Guyana

17. India

18. Jamaica

19. Kenya

20. Kiribati

21. Lesotho

22. Malawi

23. Malaysia

24. Maldives








49 19










43 45


25. Malta

26. Mauritius

27. Mozambique

28. Namibia

29. Nauru

30. New Zealand

31. Nigeria

32. Pakistan

33. Papua New Guinea

34. Rwanda

35. St Kitts and Nevis

36. St Lucia






37. St Vincent and

the Grenadines

38. Samoa

39. Seychelles

40. Sierra Leone

41. Singapore

42. Solomon Islands

43. South Africa

44. Sri Lanka

45. Swaziland

46. Tonga

47. Trinidad and Tobago









48. Tuvalu

49. Uganda

50. United Kingdom

51. United Republic

of Tanzania

52. Vanuatu

53. Zambia








Youth Work Week \ 5

to overcome. The vehicles of the arts and sport create a space for leaders to

emerge, youth voices to be amplified and for young people to test their own

capacity to transform the world around them.

• The value of sport and arts programmes in promoting social justice and

access for all. These empowerment programmes support young people’s

vision of the world they would like to live in and empower them to take steps

towards building/shaping that world. Sport and the arts programme curricula

supports the development of critical thinking skills, reflection and creates the

space for freedom of expression about their community.

• The opportunity provided by sport and arts in enhancing the economic

empowerment of young people. With the growth and expansion of sport and

the creative sectors, the role of media (particularly social media), the link to

culture and lifestyle, there is a growing opportunity to link the risk taking and

creativity in empowerment programmes to entrepreneurship.

• The vision of sport and arts programmes to building partnerships that will

work to achieve development goals and targets. The youth workers in this

sector have been raising awareness on development issues, with the growing

focus on development today. There is an opportunity for youth workers in

this space to work together, pool resources, advocate for policy change and

collaborate around the new global agenda for sustainable development.

Commonwealth Member States

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 nations (see map opposite),

supporting each other and working together towards shared goals in democracy

and development. There are two billion people living in Commonwealth nations,

over half of whom are under 25.

6 \ Youth Work Week

Commonwealth Youth

Worker Awards

The Commonwealth Youth Work Awards celebrate the achievements of some of

the most inspiring people – those who transform the lives of young people and the

communities in which they live.

In 2016 the Commonwealth Youth Programme is again welcoming nominations for

the Commonwealth Youth Work Awards from young people, youth organisations,

youth workers and statutory organisations. Nominate youth workers who are

passionate about their work, and who have made a great contribution both to the

young people and to the communities they work in.

The application forms to enter nominations from your country and community

can be found on the Commonwealth Website

media/news/nominations-open-commonwealth-youth-worker-awards-2016. The

deadline for applications is 31 August 2016, with the exception for entries that are in

progress for submission.

If you have any queries about Youth Work Week 2016 please email Ms. Sina Mario on

Youth Work Week \ 7

Ideas: Youth Work

Week Events

Here is a list of event ideas you can hold in your country or community as part

of Youth Work Week. Some of these will vary in popularity and relevance from

country to country, however we hope there’s something for everyone! Remember

to contact your local media and local politicians or people of authority – this is a

chance to highlight the impact and importance of youth work in your country!

Online Nominations

1. Nominate your 2016 Outstanding Youth Worker for the Commonwealth Youth

Worker of the Year Award via this link https://commonwealth-youthworkers.

Workshops and Meetings

2. Use the theme! Run a workshop or training session by using the value and

principles of youth work through sport and arts to link young people’s individual

personal growth to wider social and civic engagement.

3. Hold a workshop, conference or consultation with stakeholders on the

contribution of youth work to national development, which may include the use

of sport and arts. These workshops can include intergenerational dialogue and

engage different stakeholders around youth work.

4. Use the Commonwealth Youth Division’s Youth Work Resources to discuss or

set up a National Youth Worker Association.

5. Organise a meeting with the Minister of Youth, or other senior officials to

discuss the main youth work issues in your country.

Self Expression

6. Hold performing arts workshops e.g. filming, radio presenting, music

skills – singing or instrumental (guitars, drums etc.), DJing, electronic music

production, stage theatre, dance – hip hop, jazz, contemporary.

7. Visual arts workshops e.g. murals, screen printing, Badge making, 2D

(painting/drawing), fashion, digital, photography.

Setting up/Strengthening Youth Work bodies

8. The countries that have already begun setting up youth work bodies could

conduct a consultation on establishing Codes of Ethics that guide youth work

professionals. The Commonwealth has a guide that you may use for this -

Guiding Framework: A Draft Code of Ethical Practice for Youth Workers.

9. Hold a national youth worker recognition awards ceremony to promote

outstanding youth workers in your country. Publicise the outstanding youth

work taking place in the mainstream and social media.

8 \ Youth Work Week

Research and Advocacy

10. Conduct research on the challenges facing youth workers in your country,

share your report with the Commonwealth Youth Division.

11. Write a case study on successful youth work projects in your country and

share it with the Commonwealth Youth Division. Remember to send photos

and video content that can also be shared with others.

12. Circulate the Commonwealth Code of Ethics ‘Guiding Framework: A Draft

Code of Ethical Practice for Youth Workers’; review and share your thoughts

on a Commonwealth Code of Ethics in Youth Work; develop your own national

Code of Ethics for Youth Work Professionals.


13. Organise a flash mob - brainstorm with local young people and arrange a

random flash mob, but keep the date and venue secret from the public. It

could be in the form of a dance in a highly crowded public place or a red carpet

at the bus stop and clap people off the bus. A flash mob is a group of people

who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an act for a brief time, then

quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic

expression. Flash mobs are organised via telecommunications, social media, or

viral emails.

14. Run a local youth event – this could be in the form or a competition, music

event or dance competition.

15. Run a social media campaign – use this as an opportunity to gain more

interest in your social media presence whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or

blog sites. You can run a competition or do a poll around the theme, including

Commonwealth in the conversation, and build a profile by running an article,

competition, poll or question on each day of Youth Work Week. Don’t forget to

include #YWW16!

What are the Youth Work Resources?

A list of Commonwealth resources that you can adapt and use to set up any of the

event ideas for Youth Work Week. They include:

1. The Commonwealth Guide to advancing development through Sport.

2. The Commonwealth’s A 12-Step Guide to Establishing a Youth Worker


3. The Commonwealth Professional Youth Work, Concept and Strategies.

4. Guidance on developing Code of Ethics for Youth Workers and Youth Worker

Association which promotes enabling, empowering youth work.

5. Engaging Young People in National building, the youth workers’ role.

6. A practice based guide for youth facilitators, Co-Creating Youth Spaces.

Youth Work Week \ 9

Social media tips

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms

currently in use, and the majority of young people will have accounts on or access

to these sites. These platforms are powerful tools that enable the sharing and

exchanging of ideas, perspectives and information.

Not only is social media an opportunity to increase your engagement with young

people, but it is also an opportunity to raise the profile of your work and/or your

organisation, as posts on social media are regularly picked up by media and quoted

in news stories. Here are some tips for maximising your social impact:

Targeting young people and stakeholders on social media

Twitter: Hashtags are the best way to track and sustain interaction with young

people. An effective way of using hashtags is to use existing ones that already have

followers. Start using the Commonwealth hashtag #cwyouthwork and share it with

your colleagues and followers so that they can become engaged in the conversation

around youth work.

Facebook: Make your status updates more engaging by including questions or raising

statements for discussion on the 2016 Youth Work Week theme – Empowering

Young People through Sport and Arts. You can also use Facebook to publicise your

events related to Youth Work Week, and to track similar activities that are being run by

other organisations.

Instagram: Photos can be powerful testimonials to the impact and reach of youth

work. Upload photos of yourself ‘in the field’ or interacting with youth stakeholders

to provide insight into your different projects. Short videos are also a great tool to

capture attention and spur interest in your work.

Tips to make a video log:

Making videos to showcase your work is easier than you think. Some assume that

you need to own a hi-tech camera and hire a professional, which doesn’t always

have to be the case. Most of the time, effective stories can be told simply by using

your mobile phone. Here are some tips to help you get started on vlogging:

1. Audio. Always do a ‘sound check’ to ensure that audio levels are sufficient.

Get your subject as close as you can to the microphone without sabotaging

the shot. Try to avoid noisy places or environments where there is a lot of

background noise.

2. Lighting. Proper lighting is important. Whenever possible, take advantage of

natural light, but ensure that the lightning is consistent across your shots. Make

sure the source of the light is always behind the camera.

3. Positioning. Although the tendency may be to shoot with your phone in

an upright vertical position, remember that most video hosting platforms,

including YouTube and Vimeo, are designed to showcase horizontal/

landscape videos.

10 \ Youth Work Week

4. Balance. No one likes shaky shots! If you can afford it, invest in a tripod. If that’s

not an option, then use DIY methods such as building a makeshift tripod out of

a pile of books or lean against a wall to keep shakiness to a minimum.

5. Rule of thirds. Most photographers recommend using this rule. Instead of

placing your subject in the centre of the shot, divide your frame up like a tic-tactoe

board and place him/her at any of the intersecting lines.

But above all else, ensure that you have a clear idea of the message or narrative that

you want to get across. Without this in mind, no matter how good the quality of your

vlog, it won’t have the impact that you desire.

Youth Work Week \ 11

Case Study Template

Real-life case study example

Press Release Template

14 \ Youth Work Week


1. CYP Diploma in Youth Development, Module 3, page 25.

2. Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment

Commonwealth Secretariat

Marlborough House, Pall Mall

London SW1Y 5HX

United Kingdom


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