Start date: May 18, 2015,
End date: Dec 17, 2015
From birth on, we absorb the notion of naturalness and nationality as part of our essence. We are Galecians, Minhotos and Bretons. Therefore, together with so many other people we assume the same identity condition, as if it were something unquestionable. Part of what we are comes unquestionably from our heritage. In an age where we are almost forced to forget our roots, it is the duty of the organizations working with young people, to raise awareness of and honour those who preceded us. Bearing in mind the connection between the three regions, it was interesting to investigate during this project how these people were able to influence with their culture.
The objectives were to: promote regional cooperation between the three regions; get to know and revive customs and traditions of the Celtic society that influenced the construction of identities in Galicia, Minho and Brittany; understand the similarities between regions, taking into account the Celtic culture; promote mutual aid, self-esteem, responsibility and autonomy, contributing to the acquisition of personal, social and professional skills; sensitize the youth on the importance of their participation in community development, fostering creativity and entrepreneurship; acquire and / or strengthen language skills; raise awareness of European citizenship and sustainable growth; provide interculturalism.
The participants were 29 young Portuguese, Spanish and French, from 14 to 20 years, and 6 group leaders, residents in rural areas with high levels of social exclusion. In this project a participatory methodology based on non-formal and informal education techniques was applied. The project activity took place in the city of Viana do Castelo.
To achieve the objectives of the project, an approach to the Celtic society was made, including history, culture, customs, crafts, economy and music. The young people presented today’s repercussions of Celtic culture in each region and identified the common remains of the Celtic culture in the three regions involved in the project. Furthermore, they presented projects implemented in the regions based on new experiences and alternatives of the Celtic culture. This part allowed them to reflect on new paths and professions, such as entrepreneurial opportunities. They visited the citadel of Santa Luzia, one of the most important for the study of the Castro. In order to prepare for parallel workshops for delivering the final product, they reflected and debated in discussion groups the revitalisation of the Celtic traces. During the last days, they processed in parallel workshops, all the information gathered and learned in previous activities and prepared strategies to implement what they had learned into their communities, raising awareness of the Celtic culture and its influence on the people living in these regions, and mentioning possibilities of building a better future. Therefore, they wrote and illustrated a children’s book which works as a Celtic cooperation material. They enjoyed sportive activities, visited cultural and nature spaces, and had living and leisure moments.
The participants had an active role in all scheduled activities and thus realized that it was necessary to engage in an active civic participation and hence, in the search for solutions to problems affecting the life of their community. Thus, participation in scheduled activities, beyond enhancing the development of knowledge about their heritage and of a European citizenship, resulted in an increase of information, the feeling of being able to participate, critical reasoning, tolerance and general civic virtues of the youth. Furthermore, participating in this project put the young people in touch with different realities, such as personal interaction issues, responsibility, cooperation and leadership, interculturality and learning a new language. The young participants also expressed their personal commitment, their ideas and experiences during the activity, fostering creativity and entrepreneurship. Moreover, sharing the knowledge with their local communities provided input for the social promotion of the young people. Each local community also got to better know its region and the potential of its territories. Being a project that was intended to boost entrepreneurship and employability also contributed to the integrated and sustainable development of the local community, contributing to an increase in the quality of life and satisfaction of locals. This project, instilled sustainable concerns that the young participants will use later in their lives.
Seeing the final product may also awaken the interest and motivation of other young people to replicate the process in their regions, in order to develop them and to create employment opportunities.
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