In 2019, several members of Stamily wanted to create an initiative to improve the quality of life of Young People Who Stutter (YPWS). From our experience, we saw that there are YPWS who stutter openly, to whom stuttering is not an obstacle. There are also YPWS to whom stuttering is an obstacle, who do not communicate much and live in isolation. To improve the situation, we wanted to create a network of people who know what stuttering is and who can support YPWS to achieve their dreams. To create the network, we decided to start with youth workers (YW).
On one hand, we know there are about 70 million people who stutter around the world and on the other hand, there are youth workers, teachers, parents, friends etc. with a huge amount of resources available. Sadly, currently these different parties do not always have good knowledge about stuttering and are not always cooperating. In order to improve the situation, three stuttering organizations (Estonian, Icelandic and Dutch) submitted a project to Erasmus+ called “Stuttering is Beautiful”, which received funding. The project came under the Erasmus+ Key Action 2: Cooperation among organizations and institutions, If you do not know what Erasmus+ plus is, you can take a look at Erasmus+ opportunities here: https://erasmus-plus.ec.europa.eu/opportunities-under-erasmus .
During the project we had four meetings – one in Estonia, one in Iceland and two in the Netherlands. We researched which resources are currently available for YW about stuttering, conducted interviews with YW, and tested the manual with YPWS. We hosted three seminars with youth workers where we introduced the manual and had interactive exercises and discussions.
The project is now finished, and the online manual is published. You can read more on the Stamily website: www.stamily.org/manual
You can find an introduction video here: https://youtu.be/LsZcZmXpogw
To raise awareness, please take a look at the online manual and share this story with YWs. As Stamily is an international organization with many young people who stutter (YPWS), this is the perfect place for YW and YPWS to meet. When we increase the network where different parties work together and support each other, we will increase our outreach of YPWS. In such a society, where our differences are accepted, people support each other and become better people together.
Stamily also encourages our members to write more Erasmus+ projects. If you have an idea, please contact Stamily at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can find people who are interested in your ideas and then create something wonderful together.
Hardi Sigus, Sigríður Fossberg Thorlacius, Satu Nygren, Sybren Bouwsma