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Cultures in Dialogue
Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 31 Mar 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Currently Europe has approximately 500 national minorities and every 7th citizen in Europe belongs to a national minority. These numbers exclude ethnic minorities which have arisen as a result of the recent 30-40 years of migrations into Europe. Taking into account both national as well as ethnic minorities, the cultural landscape of Europe is far more diverse and is set to become even more diverse as a result of the current refugee situation in Europe. This situation amounts to nothing less that the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War, and in its wake, the number of people in Europe belonging to ethnic minorities will increase dramatically. The process of including these ethnic minorities in European societies in the coming years is an agenda that will require long term commitment and solutions from many sectors. “Cultures in Dialogue” underscores the importance of collaboration and finding solutions together in the face of this immense challenge. It is based on the underlying premise that youth organisations can play a particularly important role as part of civil society's overall involvement in securing inclusion for minorities. Against this backdrop, the overall aim of “Cultures in Dialogue" is to strengthen the capacity of youth organisations to act in the fields of intercultural dialogue and inclusion of minorities. This applies particularly for rural areas which have had less exposure to foreign cultures and therefore also have less experience in building inclusive communities. The specific objectives of the youth exchange are:Objective 1: Increase young people’s awareness and knowledge about minorities, national and ethnic, in Europe. Objective 2: Create a space for young people to reflect on their personal and their organisations´ role in relation to intercultural dialogue and inclusion of minorities. Objective 3: Develop the skills of the participants in terms of leadership and joint decision-making, building effective work teams, communication, generating and developing ideas and project management. Objective 4: Develop the skills of the participants for intercultural communicationObjective 5: Create a European network among partners and participants to facilitate continued exchange of ideas and planning of youth activities related to intercultural dialogue and inclusion of minorities The youth exchange will take place at Jaruplund Folk High School in Germany on 17-23 October 2016. The youth exchange involves 35 participants, including group leaders and 5 facilitators in the preparatory team, from each of the participating countries: Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Germany. The youth exchange will be based on the principles and practice of non-formal education and will adopt a learner-centered approach using the knowledge, interests and experiences of the participants as the starting point. In this way the participants take center stage throughout the youth exchange. Through a series of workshops on culture, minorities and minority issues as well as specific skills workshops, participants will map out the landscape of minorities in Europe and will discuss the assets which minorities posses as well as the barriers and challenges faced by these. Participants will also develop concrete ideas and suggestions for how youth organisations can promote and facilitate the process of social inclusion for these groups. As a result of the youth exchange participants will gain a good overview and hands-on experience with working concepts, methodologies and tools in the fields of intercultural dialogue and inclusion of minorities. Together with the skills acquired by the participants, participants will be a in a position to transfer the learning of the youth exchange in their own organisations and in this way contribute to the development of project activities and learning process of youth leaders in their own countries. "Cultures in Dialogue" will also create a platform for continued sharing of inspiration and ideas for concrete initiatives as well as the results of these. The platform will be particularly beneficial for partners in their efforts to strengthening their work in the fields of intercultural dialogue and inclusion of minorities as it will allow for valuable short cuts in the learning process of the partners involved. It is the long term ambition of "Cultures in Dialogue" to contribute to the overall agenda on inclusion of minorities in Europe and the important role which youth organisations can play in this process in European societies, by increasing the awareness, competences and engagement of young people and youth organisations in these fields.
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