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Crossing borders
Start date: Jul 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

1. Context/background of project:The project will have 'Crossing borders' as the project-theme. We have chosen Crossing Borders as the theme of our project, because the refugees spreading over Europe is a hot topic that inflicts every country in the EU and will do for a long period of time. Next to this, we want to enhance intercultural awareness by the participants learning about each others cultures and therefore learn the differences that borders between our countries make. The third part of the theme is that participants explore their personal borders.2. Objectives of project:By carrying out a work program, combined with a strong mix of activities and non-formal learning methods, the project will match the objectives of the Erasmus+ program and those specific to Key Action 1. Especially the following objectives will be reached with this exchange:- Increased sense of initiative and entrepreneurship;- Increased self-empowerment and self-esteem;- Improved foreign language competences;- Enhanced inter-cultural awareness;- More active participation in society.3. Number and profile of participants:In total, this exchange has 37 participants from three countries (Croatia, Spain and The Netherlands). The youngsters will be between 17 and 20 years old; the leaders are between 25 and 35 years old. The group will include participants from different backgrounds in terms of culture, educational levels, social skills, financial resources and geographical locations.There will be a few participants with social obstacles, cultural differences and disability. 4. Description of activities:During the exchange, we will organize multiple day-trips, such as visiting Amsterdam, visiting a museum and visit the beach/sea. Most of the days we will stay around our accommodation place and organize workshops (discussions, creativity) and a sports day. Allcountries will present themselves during the cultural evening. Other evenings we will arrange some music and a nice get-together.5. Methodology to be used in carrying out the project:We will encourage the youngsters to 'cross their borders' during the exchange in many possible ways, such as discussions, sports and workshops. We would like them to rethink some prejudices they may have and to share their vision on important decisions. We try to make them aware that different cultures have different opinions, but also to show them different cultures can be alike. It's about similarities and differences, but most of all to respect each others being. During the exchange we will follow a program with activities and non-formal learning methods. The theme of the project is strongly imbedded in the program by different kinds of workshops. The participants will be given tasks during the preparation of the exchange, for example organizing the cultural evening. Leaders will help where needed, but the aim is that participants do as much as possible by there selves. This way they will take initiative and will create entrepreneurship.6. Short description of the results and impact envisaged:The expected impact is that the youngsters should get out their comfort zone and cross their borders easier. A youth exchange is a great way for youngsters to develop themselves. Not only by learning from other cultures, but the youngsters the youngsters have present themselves for other youngsters. By giving them a task, the youngsters are more dedicated to the project. By this way they learn to organize and fulfilling tasks. he impact on our local community is also big. We work with host-parents. They will host our youngsters. This is a good way for the youngsters from Spain and Croatia to learn about Dutch habits, but also it means for the host-parents that they learn from their hosts. By organizing a bbq for the host-parents and volunteers we get them together in contact. We have 2 or 3 evenings in the program that the youth Center is open for everybody. Local youth, host-parents, old-participants, parents etc. During these evenings there is a good integration with the local community and the youngsters7. Potential longer term benefits:Because we work with host-parents, the whole community of De Weere knows the IPA. This results in good relationships between the organizers of IPA and the inhabitants of De Weere. We use newspapers and social media to carry out our project and to inform people from the region about the exchange. In this way, we try to create a sustainable relationship between IPA and the community.The longer term benefits for the youngsters are multiple. Youngsters develop themselves during an exchange in the area of communication, social skills, entrepreneurship, self-esteem, inter-cultural awareness and society-participation. They will benefit of the exchange for a much longer period of time than just the exchange itself. Most youngsters are enthusiastic and want to participate for a couple more years at IPA.
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