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À Nossa Maneira
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Project "À Nossa Maneira" is a youth exchange program that will take place in the city of Covilhã, from July 21 to July 30, 2015, in central Portugal. In it, 44 young people from 5 countries (Austria, France, Greece, Italy and Portugal) aged between 14 and 18 years will participate. This youth group is characterized for being drawn out of disadvantaged socio-economic contexts: in situations of failure / dropout and they tend to isolate themselves, restrict their social interactions, and rely instead on social networks and online games, sharpening situations of exclusion. Given these difficulties and obstacles, the goals of the youth exchange program "À Nossa Maneira" consist mainly in : Promoting the practice of sports and traditional games as tools to acquire habits towards a healthier life. Promoting inclusion combat and debunking gender stereotypes through the practice of physical and sporting activities; Encouraging the practice of physical exercise "In our own way," showing that it is possible regardless of our physical condition or social context, In short it is intended that the young participants acquire useful knowledge through education by sport to apply in their day-to-day: teamwork, spirit and effort delivery, fair play, and respect for rules to achieve a common goal. The theme and the activities of this project were chosen by the Portuguese youth group, which also helped the technical team of Beira Serra to plan and took the responsibility to lead some of the activities of the exchange program. The program, in broad lines, will consist in the presentation of a small audio-visual document previously prepared by each of the groups which will allow all of the participants to get to know the characteristics and traditions of all the nationalities present, followed by an intercultural dinner. The group will later present to the local community a traditional game of each country, conduct a camping Trip in Serra da Estrela, (an emblematic location of the center area of Portugal) and practice team sports (kayaking, climbing, abseiling, guidance paths , hiking). This exchange program will still include a visit to the Center for Sport at the University of Beira Interior with a debate and with athletes with physical disabilities, a participation in an issue of the local radio to publicize the project to the local community. In conclusion, the project À Nossa Maneira will allow the acquisition of knowledge and skills to a group of young people from particularly vulnerable socio-economic contexts, based on the methodology of non-formal education, more specifically, an experiential approach in which young people have to take responsibility, meet and divide tasks, meet challenges and work together to accomplish a common goal. It is expected that at the end of the project, young people targeted for intervention are able to demonstrate in their daily lives, by their attitudes and behaviors, the skills learned to help them break the cycle of exclusion and isolation. Two months after the end of the activity, an anonymous questionnaire to assess the extent to which young participants took measures to apply in their day-to-day skills acquired will be held. Because education through sport is an exceptional tool in the way of inclusion, this project wants to allow participants to become aware that it is possible, regardless of their socio-economic and physical condition, that each can practice sport 'their way'.
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