Nonformal education as health promotion method among European youth: the example of transitional Albania

E. Tresa*, G. Burazeri, S. Van den Broucke, G. Qirjako, K. Czabanowska

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Nonformal education methodology is promoted by the European Union as a priority. Western Balkan countries are supported in using this methodology via access Community funds (Erasmus +, previously Youth in Action). Nonformal education (proven as the most effective education method for youth) is expected to have the same impact if used in Public Health. We aimed to explore how nonformal education methodology contributes to health promotion through elaborating the example of transitional Albania. An Exploratory Sequential Mixed Methods design was used. We organized two focus groups: one with students of medical sciences and another with none medical students. We randomly selected eight participants per focus group from the Beyond Barriers association database (Contact point for Erasmus+ Programme in Albania). We used conventional content analysis to analyze qualitative data. Exploratory group interviews were conducted previously, using a questionnaire, which was piloted prior to administration. Of a population of 581 youth who participated in nonformal education activities during 2007-2013, 113 youths were interviewed. Ninety percent of interviewees declared that nonformal education activities have influenced improvement of their skills/competences or helped to acquire new ones; 53% declared that they reflected a change into personal behavior/actions/attitudes. Trainees learned through practice. They intended to retain the healthy behavior even when the activity was finished. Nonformal education activities offered equal opportunities to all youth despite their gender or field of study. Nonformal education methodology is recommended to be used in health promotion campaigns targeting young people as a very effective tool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1463-1472
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Promotion International
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • non-formal education
  • health promotion
  • young people

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