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Energizing Bridges between East and West
Start date: Jan 15, 2015, End date: Jul 15, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context and background 2015 is a pivotal year for international energy policy. Not only the ongoing Ukraine crisis is strongly connected to energy safety, but the upcoming COP (International Climate Conference) in Paris will have a strong influence on all organisations participating in this project. Energy, in our understanding, does not only refer to energy policy but also to the energy flow within the structures and members of our organisations. The project was thus dedicated to play with this double meaning. The attention of all activities was set on the bi- and multilateral exchange of information, allowing us to build bridges between the organisations, to continue to explore partnerships, as well as between the different countries and the participants. This based on our strong belief that it is vital to face gobal problems by global solutions and to empower young people. That is why we, as the German Green Youth, set up activities in which the participants were enabled to express opinions, take initiatives and get responsabilities. Cooperation The first activity, a Training of Trainers in February 2015, was followed by a Job Shadowing in April and May 2015. All activities cumulated in a multilaterial Youth Exchange at the end of May 2015. While the Training of Trainers and the Job Shadowing were bilateral activities between the Green Youth and the Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe (CDN), the Youth Exchange was a multilateral activity. The other partner organizations from Serbia (Udruzenje ZOS) and Georgia (Georgian Young Greens) are both associated with CDN. Participants and implementation The first part of the project, the Training of Trainers, emphasized the bilateral work between the German Green Youth in Berlin and CDN in Belgrade at the same time preparing both offices for the following activity, the Job Shadowing. The ten participants from the organisations were encouraged to recognize and use the international dimension in their daily routine and to learn about the structures of the other participating organisations, in order to implement the in their own work and to enrich their project ideas and strategies. The Job Shadowing based on the learning results of the Training of Trainers and was carried out by one participant, send from the Green Youth to the headquarter of CDN in Belgrade. The Job Shadowing was an „on the job“ learning experience during which the third part of the project, the Youth Exchange, was prepared. The Youth Exchange brought together 29 participants from Georgia, Serbia and Germany during one week to discuss and exchange on different topics, as energy policies and strategies, the future of Europe and the European identity as well as the possible impact of youth work. Goals and impact By leaving space for a high level of engagement we also encouraged the participants to build an international network and strengthen their own competencies, such as self-reliance and leadership. Another dimension of the project goals was the consolidation of a European identity, by reducing boundaries between the different cultures and counteracting stereotypes. Furthermore we aimed at collecting knowledge and establishing guidelines as well as a toolbox of best practices in order to improve our future international projects.

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