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Chapter Exhange - Changes through Action
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Apr 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Chapter exchange is a Youth Exchange between different AFS chapters in Europe where important topics and problems of the European community are discussed in order to create a greater knowledge and understanding regarding the topic, to contemplate on a solution and find ways to bring that knowledge into the community. This Chapter Exchange is a two year cycle with four participating countries, Iceland, Germany, Portugal and Slovakia where each country will host one Youth Exchange with approximately six month intervals. The over title for the all of the youth exchanges is “Changes through action” and links all four projects together. This application covers two of the four exchanges. The first exchange will take place in Iceland with the title “Changes through action: Seeing beyond our national identity and exploring the multicultural Europe””. The context of the exchange reflects in the name where participants will be asked to put their national identity aside and matters of immigrant and refugees are observed and the multicultural Europe explored. The second exchange will take place in Portugal with the title “Changes through action: Urban Sustainable Development and Migration flows” where the aim is to challenge participants to think, discuss and create projects for sustainable urban development, focusing on migration impact in urban areas. The inspiration for this theme comes from the UN 16th development goal. The objectives of the projects are:-To bring together young participants from different corners of Europe and creating a common understanding and shared responsibility for the challenges of our themes: multicultural Europe and Sustainable urban development.-That participants will develop intercultural skills through working in an international group.-Promote European citizenship by opening up a platform to discuss matter important to all of Europe.-Activate young people in their volunteer work in their own countries by giving them an opportunity to construct a creative project related to the topic that they can implement at home.-Inspire participants to use the knowledge that they will gain after the week, encourage them to continue with the projects they started and to create new projects related to the topic in the future. Each participating organization is a chapter within the European AFS network. Each organization is responsible for selecting a team of ten people to take part in the project. That means that in this project there will be ten participants from Iceland, ten from Portugal, ten from Slovakia and ten from Germany, or forty individuals in total including team leaders. All participants have in common being volunteers for AFS and the major part have been on a student exchange which is the main activity of the AFS organization worldwide. The methodology used during these Chapter Exchanges are non-formal educational methods. The main activities will be workshops provided by each participating organization related to the topic, external experts and creative sessions where participants will get the chance to create their own projects related to the theme. Other non-formal methods used are team building, cultural experiences and games. Our desired outcome of this project is that our participants will become qualified to discuss, present and lecture the topic of the multicultural Europe and urban sustainable development within their organization, on a national level, on a European level seminars, like the Volunteer Summer Summit hosted by the European federation of Intercultural Learning (EFIL) or even to other Youth Organizations interested in this topic. These projects will perhaps not make them experts on the topic but we hope that people will surely be more aware and empowered to continue working on the knowledge provided in the Chapter exchange. We also hope that to enhance organizational, communicational and intercultural skills of our participants since this is multilateral project where cooperation and understanding is a vocal point. For multiplied effect we advise all of our participants to present their findings to the local AFS organizations and we will encourage all participating countries to present their results on as a wide platform they have access to, so that awareness of cultural diversity and understanding can reach further than only our participants. This project is a great opportunity to unite different cultures with the objective to create a joint view of topics that are related to the diverse society that Europe is today. By hosting this project we create a network of individuals that acquire knowledge and skills that can be beneficial to their volunteer work, personal and professional life. We hope to empower people to take action and be active citizens on local, national and European level and by doing so move further towards the goal of creating a just and peaceful world.

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