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EU Achieving Change Through Sports!
Start date: 14 Jun 2016, End date: 13 Sep 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

EU Achieving Change Through Sports (EU ACTSports!) encourages 24 young people to participate in a bilateral Youth Exchange between the UK & Italy in August 2016, focusing on: ending discrimination; Empowering young people to become Active Citizens; developing personal and work-based skills; and developing young people’s understanding of culture on a local, national & EU-level. Participants are aged 16 to 24 years old, and are for the most part Not in Employment, Education or Training. Approx 50% of participants will be from a BAME background or secondary generation migrants, some will be at risk of gangs & officially homeless. Participants all will have Skills needs, in particular: Communication; Inter-personal; Team; Work-based skills; Punctuality.EU ACTSports! will utilise Sports for Development principles alongside cultural activities to develop participants’ Tolerance, Cultural Understanding, Conflict Resolution tools, Life Skills, Employability, knowledge of their Rights & Responsibilities as EU citizens, & Active Citizenship on local, national & EU-level. Given rising incidences of discrimination and hate crimes in the UK, Italy, and the EU – EU ACTSports! will offer a platform to discuss discrimination, actively promote social inclusion, and for young people to brainstorm ways they can help reduce rates of discrimination. Sports for Development: EU ACTSports! will utilise team sports as a tool to bring UK & Italy participants and other community groups together on a level playing field and approach the topics of tolerance, social inclusion, and conflict resolution through strategically adapted sports activities. Cultural awareness: EU ACTSports! will bring different young people from different countries & cultures together for an unique cultural experience. Young people will participate in a series of fun activities utilising non-formal techniques such as: tasting different foods from different cultures; cultural scavenger hunts; listening to music; learning about different cultural groups throughout the EU, specifically in the UK & Italy. For instance, young people will learn about the history and heritage of the UK’s BAME communities and Roma community through walking tours, sports activities, and peer-to-peer discussion. Young people will also learn about the difficulties facing migrants and minority groups in Italy, including the Waldensians and current asylum seekers, through sports and cultural case studies. Active Citizenship: In addition to the knowledge and understanding given through Sports and Cultural activities, EU ACTSports! will teach participants of their rights and responsibilities as EU citizens and ways that they can impact the future for the better. This will be achieved through collaborative workshops, role-plays, and field trips to key institutions – including Europe House and the UK Supreme Court. Skills development: The development of skills necessary to participation in society and work, including Inter-personal, Leadership, Team-building, Punctuality, and Communication skills, will be integrated into all activities involve in EU ACTSports! Additionally, the last day of activities within each country will involve reflections on the whole trip as well as an Employability session designed to enhance participants abilities to identify, apply & obtain work, while also ensuring long term employment. Employability skills sessions will include: CV building; Jobsearch skills; Interview techniques; Mock interviews; & Peer-to-Peer guidance. Young people will also learn new language skills both in English & Italian and will be encouraged to continue of their new language skills beyond the youth exchange. LITC and Commissione Sinodale per la Diaconia will continue to support participants after the Youth Exchange in accessing long-term employment. EU ACTSports! will immediately impact on the attitudes, understanding, confidence, and job-readiness of participants. Attitudes towards other countries and groups as well as their attitudes towards participation in civic life will change. The skills and knowledge developed through this project will also help participants move into long-term employment- with further support offered to all participants by LITC and Commissione Sinodale per la Diaconia. These immediate impacts will have a further impact on participants peer groups as well as their communities as EU ACTSports! will challenge participants to brainstorm ways that they can help bring an end to discrimination – with LITC and Commissione Sinodale per la Diaconia offering support to realise their proposals. Additionally, participants will contribute to their regional economies as they move into employment and there will be an increase in informed voters at a local, national, and EU-level.
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