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Acting for Change
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Nov 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The youth exchange "Acting for Change" will take place from 5th to 16th of August 2016 in Innsbruck, Tirol. The early 21st century has been characterized by a multitude of severe and intensifying crises around the world that the youth of today are struggling to deal with. These issues can be divided into two main categories: Social and Economic problems: * Discrimination and social inequality * 62 billionaires own as much as the world population's poorer half * Levels of depression, anxiety and violence are on the rise Environmental problems: * Man-made climate change is threatening the very survival of humans on earth * 50 percent of all species have vanished during the last half century However simultaneously, alternatives are emerging. All over the world people are experimenting with community-based alternatives to consumerism and exploitative economics. Millions of big and small initiatives in a variety of fields, such as Transition Towns, are connected by the common goal of a more sustainable and social-just society. The Waldhüttl project, where the youth exchange takes place, is one of these initiatives. It is a social project that was founded to give homeless Roma a shelter. Additionally, a community garden was established to create a meeting place for the inhabitants of Innsbruck and the Roma people. Next to the Waldhüttl is a home for refugees. After highlighting some of the social and environmental challenges that are relevant to today's society, participants will have direct contact with the Roma people and will gain an insight into the daily lives of this discriminated minority group. They will also meet the refugees and have an exchange about their life situation. They will learn about the connection between social, ecological and economic problems using the Waldhüttl as an example. A mountain trip will help to internalise the topics. The youth exchange will motivate participants to take responsibility for acting towards a more sustainable society. Participants will have the opportunity to investigate and experiment with hands-on methods of acting towards change, such as permaculture practicals or public activities. Prejudices should get dismanteled and commonalities between different nations should get highlighted. The youth exchange wants to reach also other young people and the public. For this public events are planned and the media will get involved. A network to the partnerorganisations is allready established.The youth exchange will last 12 days, partner organisations are from Belgium, Italy, Ukraine, Moldova and Austria. There will be 35 participants, the youngsters aged between 16 and 30 years, genderbalanced, half of them will have fewer opportunities, such as from rural areas, social or economic problems. Each countrygroup will send one to three group leaders. There will be two cooks and a volunteerteam to support the youth exchange.
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