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Enthusiastic Youths Explore the Steps to Social Empathy in Europe
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Nov 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The aim of this project was to promote among young people the importance of active citizenship, social inclusion, solidarity, entrepreneurship, intercultural dialogue and healthy lifestyle. In order to achieve this aim, CSSI – Priorities carried out a Youth exchange, entitled “Enthusiastic Youths Explore the Steps to Social Empathy in Europe”, or EYES to SEE for short. The event was held between 12 and 20 of September 2015 in hotel Hashove near Vratsa, Bulgaria. А total number of 45 people with and without vision impairments took part in the Exchange. During the event the youths from Bulgaria, Belgium, Lithuania, Moldova and Poland, their group leaders and trainers were involved in a series of discussions, presentations, demonstrations, creative workshops, role-play games and practical field work. These activities wer designed to help the young people improve their skills for personal and professional development, thus increasing their employability chances on the European labor market. The typical informal education methods and techniques have also helped raise the participants' awareness and understanding of other cultures and countries, offering them the opportunity to build networks of international contacts, to actively participate in the society and develop a sense of European citizenship and identity. The youths have also helped raise awareness in the region and on an international level about the problems visually impaired people are faced with on daily basis. Outdoor activities such as hiking, visits to sites with cultural and historical significance, sports and leisure facilities in the region were also be used as educational activities during the event. The Youth exchange has broken many stereotypes, regarding vision impaired people, and the establishment of common European values such as good understanding, tolerance, social empathy and inclusion, voluntarism, etc. It has also offered participants a platform for sharing good practices and solutions to problems such as lack of access for people with disabilities to public buildings and facilities, information, culture and arts.
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