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Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Apr 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Project "Connecting Cultures" will take place in Agros, Cyprus between 19-26 November 2016. It will gather 48 participants, between 18 and 25 years old, from 8 EU countries, interested in art, national traditions and curious about the world. It was created with the aim of preserving and promoting folk culture of different countries, as well as to raise awareness about other European nations, learn about their origins and thus to fight against harming prejudices. This Youth Exchanges bring together groups of young people from different backgrounds and from several countries, providing them with an opportunity to meet, and tackle issues under various themes. This leads to a better understanding of the diversity of culture, and to an appreciation of the value of that diversity. Group exchanges aim to combat prejudices and stereotypes, to promote active citizenship and to raise positive awareness of other cultures among the young participants and in local host communities.In this project we will discuss about the culture, gender equality, the ethics, the education system, the music, the traditional dances of partner groups. We will have lectures, team games, workshops and discussion about all the unique cultures that are included under Europe . We are going to make activities with the aim of knowing Europe : quiz, building maps, sport games, round table, open discussions, presenting traditional histories, workshops and outdoor activities. We will have a special day about mixing cultures and combine people from different background. The main topic of our exchange is discovering cultures and learn new ethics, arts and traditions. During the project we will try to build bridges between the European Youth and we will promote the volunteering and the values of our common future in Europe. Also during the project we will organize intercultural nights where all the partner groups will present their country, their culture, traditional foods, drinks, music and dances. With this project we want to mix different cultures and cross borders to other traditions, languages and mentalities by involving actively with groups from other countries. The project will discuss differences and similarities among the participants coming from different parts of Europe, and search the connection of their approaches in youth work and the needs of young people with fewer opportunities. Through this project we want :•To promote cultural awareness in participants and their intercultural learning process.• To offer to participants a clear methodological approach and new tools based on arts and creativity in order to improve the impact of their youth social initiatives.• To share among participant’s local best practices in youth work and creative working methods focused on promote social inclusion among young people.• To foster new networking youth initiatives based on arts and creativity as tools for social transformationWe want to share our own skills and show that despite differences we can be united thanks to our common interests and goals. We will discuss the discrimination during the special workshops, games and also by contacting with other, differing youngsters. We apply non-formal education methods and involve into the process of arrangements in order to give the youngsters a chance to be active in social life and expressing themselves, also we want them to use their own creativity.The main theme is to show colorfulness and multiculturalism of European countries. We focus mostly on dance and music because we believe that this will have a positive impact on the promotion of a healthy lifestyle (dance as a sport) as well as will show the opportunity for young people to spend their free time in a very fruitful way. Firstly they will keep fit, secondly they will support and spread traditions of their countries. What is more we will gather youth not only from various countries, groups will be also multi-religious. Despite all this differences, we will be all united in the common dance. As a result of cooperation we will try to disprove some stereotypes and prejudices about societies and will keep all our activities in the spirit of solidarity, respect and mutual understanding. Our aim is also to include local community into our actions so that we could develop creativity and entrepreneurship. We will give participants a chance to present their skills and ideas.We have more in common, but there are as well differences in our origins, and traditions. Especially now, in the age of globalization, we should be proud and preserve our cultural heritage. Maintaining traditions and broaden the knowledge about it will make us more aware and open minded citizens. What’s more during our project we will be able to notice that our contemporary culture and and we, as a youth and as a human beings, are similar. It will cause the reinforce of awareness of young people’s sense of European citizenship.
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