Themes related to EMPOWERMENT



Inclusion can be defined as a togetherness of people where no individual is excluded from participating. Everyone is recognized as part of the community, regardless of their origin, disability, sexual orientation, or age. The community benefits from the diversity of all people included (Klauß, 2014; Saalfrank & Zierer, 2017). Inclusion is interpreted as the opposite of exclusion and demands equal participation (Duden, 2020).

Inclusion is intentional, it is about identifying and removing barriers so that everyone can participate to the best of their ability.

​Inclusion is not only about including those who are traditionally excluded but must also be about dismantling the many forms of discrimination that contribute to the persistent marginalization of groups on the basis of arbitrary distinctions, such as their age, their gender or the colour of their skin. Inclusion plays a vital role in supporting young people who are NEET, consequences of young people who are NEET are associated with educational, personal, and structural risk factors. The most crucial educational risk factor is low educational attainment. Health problems, caring responsibilities and difficult family circumstances represent personal risk factors of becoming NEET. In addition to these more individual challenges, there are also a number of structural barriers that are risk factors. These include difficult labour market conditions, a lack of training and apprenticeship opportunities, welfare support, access to services and transport.


Participation means the involvement of intended beneficiaries in the planning, design, implementation, and subsequent maintenance of the development intervention. It means that people are mobilized, manage resources, and make decisions that affect their lives (Price and Mylius, 1991)​

Participation is a range of processes through which local communities are involved and play a role in issues which affect them. The extent to which power is shared in decision-making varies according to type of participation (Kelly, 2001)​.

Participation and empowerment are inseparably linked, they are different, but they depend on each other to give meaning and purpose. Participation represents action or being part of an action such as a decision-making process. Empowerment represents sharing control, the entitlement and the ability to participate, to influence decisions, as on the allocation of resources (Holcombe, 1995)​



Empowerment means supporting or accompanying individuals or a whole group so that they are well equipped to shape their lives on their own and, moreover, according to their wishes and ideas. Empowerment is also a main tool to support social justice (Walter, 2017; Pflaumer, 2000; Rowlands, 1996; Rowlands, 1997; Kabeer, 1999; McWhirter, 1998; Herriger, 1997).

Youth empowerment is a process where young people are supported and encouraged to take ownership of their lives and decisions. Through beliefs, values and attitudes young people can transform their situation and future. Youth empowerment is achieved through acceptance and participation in programs specifically designed for empowering youths.

The most common programmes or projects works on empowering youths in one or of the following:

  • community
  • organisational
  • economic
  • psychological
  • social
  • cultural.



Employability is the ability of a person to find a suitable job and to Participate in working and working life (Dengler, 2018). This means continuous training and further education in order to keep up with the rapidly changing labor market. Basic skills such as punctuality, accuracy and reliability which are skills often needed in employment of which may have been acquired through training (Rump, Sattelberger, Fischer, 2006)

Common theories of the term in the field of social work/youth work:

  • Concepts of employability = concept of social exclusion (Ahorn & Bettiger, 2005)​
  • Low level of education​
  • Important components: gender, religion, education, etc.​School weaknesses and social deficits​
  • Transition to work = risk situation​


Active citizenship

“Active citizenship is a contested concept. However, it is frequently used to describe citizens that engage in a broad range of activities that promote and sustain democracy. These actions include civil society activities such as protesting and collecting petitions, community activities such as volunteering, and conventional political engagement such as voting or campaigning for elections. In addition to participation, there is a normative value element to active citizenship. Active citizenship usually refers to participation that requires respect for others and that does not contravene human rights and democracy. This additional element is used to highlight that participation per se can lead to or be a part of nondemocratic activities that can create harm to certain social groups.”​ (Hoskins, 2014).

The concept of citizenship deals with the question of what it means to be a member of a society, how identities and loyalties are structured. (Onyx, Kenny & Brown, 2011).

However, we are not talking mainly about political issues, but above all about how to participate in society so that everyone feels comfortable.  (Jugert, Eckstein & Noack, 2018).​


Active citizenhip of young people

The term “active citizenhip” is being considered in matters of community as important agent of community development (Arnstein, 1969). ​

Active citizenhip is considered as a form of involvement that develops civic competence, supports community cohesion, and improves neighborhood relations (Florin and Wandersman, 1990).  ​

Youth active citizenship means opportunities to participate, raise voice, engage in community life, creating a environment within mutual activities, where participation breaks off with splitting between childhood and adulthood (Checkoway 1998; Torney-Purta 2002). In such understanding, GO and NGO are environment for developing active citizenhip, play a role in the developing engagement of youths.


Study more:

Empowering youth, 5 ECTS CR


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