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Crossing Borders - Together through Transition
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Youth Exchange "Crossing Borders - Together through Transition" emerged of the desire of young people coming together again with an established group out of participants from Germany and Slovenia to strengthen friendships and (re-)start a dialogue about each other’s living situation and obstacles in transition from youth to adulthood and professional life. It considers the need for continuity and stability of newfound friendships and the special interest in achievements and problems arising out of the challenging situation getting on the track from ending school to vocational training e.g. To come along with this unfamiliar phase of live participants wanted to meet in a totally new atmosphere and surrounding in the Finnish wilderness which stands metaphorical for their mentioned biographical episode of live. Moreover, the Youth meeting will benefit from the participation of a Finnish delegation joining the whole group in a special role as “junior counselors” and giving expertise, experience and represent the hosting country. This one-week youth meeting should on the one hand allow an intensive dialogue between all people involved about their individual strategies to cope with this situation and to mutually benefit from experiences, ideas, motivational approaches and inspirations. On the other hand it should contribute to a better understanding of the similarity of situations regardless of nationality and origin all over Europe especially for youth. During the planned activities participants will support each other in creative ways to cope more effective with their current developmental tasks leading to economic independence. This includes growing self-confidence and a more positive attitude towards unfamiliar and challenging situations - associated with a heightened sensitivity and awareness of the fate of other European citizens e.g. for the phenomenon of the high level of youth unemployment in order to conquer prejudices against other nationalities.The majority of the 24 youth participants in the age between 15 and 25 will have been finished school and are looking for an apprenticeship or internship. Some will already stand right before starting their jobs or possibly also want to attend a secondary school. But in their collective situation the whole group of participants will have to make important decisions for the future life and learn to cope with disappointments.The meeting includes - as its core activity - a 2 1/2-day excursion in the sense of an adventurous journey in a foreign country, which will be dedicated to the theme "transitions". Route and mode of transportation will decisively be chosen and organised by the youngsters. This phase of the project is claimed to serve the suggestions from the upstream workshops, inputs and discussions and give participants an opportunity to build a transfer to their own life. In this phase, group and individual activities are alternated. After returning the meeting will conclude with a visit to the city of Helsinki, including cultural activities.All together - as a positive momentum - we expect a strengthening of existing friendships, which can be seen as a resource for the further life both in private and professional context in an increasingly integrated Europe, as well as a further improvement of language skills and personal opportunities in the labor market due to foreign experience and the development of skills such as teamwork, empathy, acceptance of responsibility and creativity. The activities will also have a positive effect on the ability to reflect and supports the youngsters but also the involved staff members in their overall educational process.Due to positive and long-lasting experiences arising out of meeting with people from other cultures in Europe or even worldwide a more open mindset is encouraged and often a growing interest in travelling abroad and in political and social processes arouses. This leads also to an better understanding of the concerns and problems of others independently of one’s nationality or origin. With regard to the processes of globalization and the increasingly growing mobility opportunities but also requirements a youth meeting in general can support a positive development of multicultural living environments and lifestyles.
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