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EuroCultureCamp 2016
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The economic difficulties faced by the Eurozone, the Brexit referendum and the European refugee crisis provide the main justifications for this project. Global and European instability mean the values upon which the European Union was founded - peace, solidarity and internationalism - are more important now than ever before, especially for young people. At least 40% of participants will be young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. This project aims to bring young people together from the UK, Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, France and the Czech Republic to ensure representation from across North, Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. The purpose is to provide them with an awareness and appreciation of European values and the democratic process within the EU, as well as an understanding of different cultures and the need for political engagement and integration when it comes to refugees and other disadvantages groups. It aims to equip them with transferable skills that will both enhance their employability and build their self confidence. The project will take place, following an APV, at a campsite in the South of England. The 60 young people (50% male and 50% female) and 12 leaders will be accommodated in single-sex bunk houses in mixed international groups. After initial values assessments, some gleaned prior to the APV, participants will be engaged, on a daily basis, in a series of interactive session on the themes of solidarity, internationalism, cultural integration and EU citizenship. These sessions will be led by international leaders and it is envisaged that they will build skills in critical analysis, debate, and public speaking, as well as broadening cultural and intellectual horizons. The idea is that these sessions will culminate in presentations at the end of the project. There will also be afternoon cultural activities provided by each international group, involving physical activity, cooking and language exchange which will enhance team building and other skills. Participants will be expected to draw on these experiences for their understanding of the key themes of the project. Evenings will involve film shows; informal discussions and debates; and campfire singalongs. A pack and digital version will be produced including photographs, video and other material from the camp. This will be used to disseminate the results of the project.The results expected are that participants will be much more knowledgeable about the issues faced by the European Union and the people it helps and represents, especially refugees. It is hoped the participants will become ambassadors for European citizenship and solidarity, actively participating in social activism to promote democracy and internationalism from their local communities right up to European level. In addition, the newly acquired skills in the various sessions and activites as well as in communications/presentations will build their self-esteem and enhance their employability. As well as the impact outlined above, the lessons from this project will be used to inform the development of an international collaboration between youth and student groups around Europe and further afield who want to discuss and promote ideas of integration and cultural diversity.
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