Start date: Aug 1, 2015,
End date: Dec 31, 2015
This bilateral Youth Exchange brought together 40 participants from Malta and Ottmaring, Germany. The main aim of this Exchange was to discuss on how dialogue can be the key to overcome attitudes of fear and lack of inclusion, and through each participant's experience, we tried to formulate an easy step-by-step approach to tackle such feelings. Through hands-on activities and time spent in contact with other's cultures and young people facing social exclusion, through discussions and voluntary work, the participants learnt how to appreciate common grounds and celebrate the new learning experiences.
The young people returned to their homes empowered to make a better world by encouraging their family and friends to look at what they have in common with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and how they can find ways how to coexist positively. Most of the participants came from sheltered backgrounds which do not offer much exposure to such realities. This is precisely the purpose for this youth exchange. As the week progressed the young people learnt how to appreciate each other beyond our screens of judgment.
There were a total of forty participants. Leaders and topics focused on solidarity and appreciating others' cultures. NGOs were invited to strengthen the learning outcomes of the project. From feedback received, the participants were involved even from the pre-application stage. Some participants came from socially challenged families, one of the youngsters was a wheelchair user, another participant had cognition difficulties whilst a third participant suffered from ADHD. Having said this, all participants felt comfortable with the rest of the group. There were activities such as the secret friend activity which served as a very good ice-breaker and team building exercise.
We can safely say that all participants understood the value of solidarity and everyone else 'out there'. A desire to help others and value the struggle to survive of so many people fleeing from their birth country to find some sort of serenity and peace. This helped the participants appreciate their own reality without undermining others who are badly off.
Get Access to the 1st Network for European Cooperation