ECOS is an organization established by professional youth workers and educators from diverse professional sectors and active at local, national and European level. We are a multisectorial social cooperative, registered in January 2010, constituted with the main propose of facing two challenges:
- To contribute to the promotion, recognition and valorization of methodologies that can enhance learning, personal development and social transformation;
- To contribute to social inclusion and strengthening of social cohesion, towards the community development.
The social objectives of ECOS are the promotion of social integration and transformation, particularly by combating social exclusion and discrimination, promoting equal access to opportunities, encouraging dialogue and cooperation between different social actors of civil society and promoting social innovation and entrepreneurship by using approaches of non formal education, intercultural learning, education on human rights, citizenship and democratic participation and sustainable local and global development.
- Creation of spaces for structured dialogue, cooperation and collective construction among diverse social, business and institutional actors;
- Promotion, design, implementation and evaluation of playful, educational, social, cultural and sustainable development projects, in formal and non-formal spaces, through non-formal and human rights education, in a way that contributes to lifelong learning;
- Development of organizations capacity to do a more efficient management of their resources and projects through training and new technologies of information and communication;
- Monitoring, support, assessment and consultancy to individuals, organizations, institutions and respective educational programmes and social intervention projects;
- Promotion, recognition and validation of methodologies that contribute to social transformation.
ECOS has 9 cooperants involved in its mission, 5 professionals working permanently every day and has several different collaborators and partners in its network of local and regional, national and international partners.
ECOS is constituted by experienced youth workers – with diverse academic background in fields such as social education, sociology, psychology, economics, sports, sea biology and law – active on project management, training and coaching areas.
Regarding membership, ECOS takes part in different national networks, such as the National Youth Council, Portuguese Association for Permanent Education and Culture, Portuguese Association for Local Development, EuroDesk, and is close partner with different international youth networks such as Youth Express Network, Youth for Exchange and Understanding, UNIQUE, European Youth Forum, and the Africa Europe Youth Cooperation platform and several national youth councils.
Our main expertise is on the development of participatory-based projects that involves young people, organizations and decision makers, such as local and regional authorities and other stakeholders.
Due to the staff extensive experience on the youth training field, ECOS is also an expert organization on training and capacity building of youth organization and public and private institutions working with and for youth. We are currently supporting the development of processes of structured dialogue and educational programmes for several municipalities and supporting structured dialogue the youth policy development in the region of Algarve. ECOS also runs different international projects, particularly in the topic of youth participation, with the aim of sharing and discussing international practices for the implementation of more innovative and meaningful local and global practices and policies.