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Act for your Community! Training on community development
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Jun 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This is a Key Action 1 project devoted to community development. As such, the project will promote and empower participants with new competencies focusing on active participation. We see our communities as a wide spectrum of people of different levels of education, experience, and age. This is why we propose an innovative approach to community development, focusing on three different pillars. The first one (first training) will focus on intergenerational dialogue and learning. Too often people representing different age groups do not work together for the benefit of the local community. We want to address this issue head-on by educating participants on intergenerational learning. The second course will focus on art. Art (whether it is theatre, or painting) is one of the most effective tools of active participation of everyone. We will promote the use of various art methodologies as tools for community development. The final element (third course) will address the issue of sustainable living, and will focus on social ecology. Social ecology is a result of interplay of various social, environmental and economic variables. We will focus on what is at the centre of social ecology – the social aspect of sustainability and living in harmony with the environment (including the nature). All together, three courses (intergenerational dialogue, arts, social ecology) will form a framework offering an innovative educational experience aimed at the empowerment and development of our communities. All three courses will be held at the ASHA Centre in the Forest of Dean. The objectives of the project are: - Increasing participants’ knowledge of the concept of community development - Increasing participants’ competences in addressing intergenerational learning, arts and social ecology in youth work in a holistic manner, sharing tools and good practices - Increasing capacity of European youth organisations and youth groups in addressing community development issues, notably through social ecology, youth entrepreneurship, active citizenship and non-formal education - Enhancing participants’ awareness of intercultural learning and international youth work - Mainstreaming community development in local and European youth projects, notably in European youth projects (Erasmus Plus and beyond) - Promoting opportunities offered by the Erasmus Plus Programme to young people across Europe and the wider world We plan to involve 99 participants representing 11 different countries and organisations from every corner of Europe. We will aim at organisations working in both big and small cities and communities, in order to increase the level of mutual learning. The methods will be based on non-formal and experiential learning. We will use a combination of theatre, active participation, leadership, entrepreneurship-based and education for sustainable development methods throughout the course. Our aim is to offer a holistic educational platform, where peer learning will be one of the approaches. The project has a number of immediate, short-term and long-term impacts. The immediate impact will be on the participants, and on the local community where the course will be hosted (Flaxley, Mitcheldean, Littledean, Cinderford) as we plan to include activities involving our local community. The short-term impact will be on future projects, which participants will develop during the course. We hope to inspire them to design future Erasmus Plus courses in cooperation with each other. The long-term impact will be on all of the local communities, which will be represented by 99 participants of our courses.
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