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Europa ist keine Insel - Toleranz und Verständnis gegenüber anderen Kulturen
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The programme for the 9th European youth camp, which takes place annually and alternately in the respective twin towns, has the topic: “Europe is not an island – tolerance and understanding towards other cultures”. This topic was chosen deliberately, because in the course of globalization and the current difficulties with refugees Europe has shown an increase of hostility to strangers. The countries from which the young persons come – France, Poland, Hungary and Germany – are affected to varying degrees.In the week of our joint camp, we would like to make the young people aware of the different cultures and to activate a learning process of all participants. By means of recognizing differences and similarities, one’s own unquestioned positions can be reconsidered and maybe new food for thought can be given. The young persons will get to know their European neighbours on a personal level, find common ground and experience cultural differences. They are going to present their twin towns and the values which are important for them in their European native country. By means of direct encounter with young refugees from crisis areas in the world, they get to know their personal life stories and how they manage the situation in their new home despite the cultural differences.From each of the following areas ten young persons as well as two persons who look after the children take part in the youth camp: Dol de Bretagne (France), Jablonka (Poland), Nagymányok (Hungary) and Reichelsheim (Germany). Half of the group from each country consists of male and the other half of female young persons at the ages of 13 to 15 years. The participants come from structurally weak and rural municipalies; many of them can only take part in the project with the help of support.One focus of this encounter of young persons is the examination of the reasons why people flee, the effects on Europe and the opportunity to come into personal contact with refugees. In a presentation and a conversation with people doing voluntary work in the working group “Round table for international understanding of each other” and by talking to refugees living here, they will experience how actively the support of refugees is put into practice in the municipality of Reichelsheim and how integration can be successful. By means of visiting a refugee shelter for underage refugees the participants of the youth camp will meet persons of the same age who have come to Germany without their parents. The management of the shelter for refugees is going to prepare this joint afternoon in terms of the activities.In a return visit, the young refugees will be invited to a joint celebration in the youth camp. Here, the first encounters can be deepened. Sport, games, dance, music and international meals make an unconventional communication possible, beyond cultural differences.Another part of the youth camp deals with the issue of Europe. In workshops, the young persons create collages about the diversity of Europe or they design flags of Europe according to their own ideas. During a visit of the head office of “europa direct Odenwaldkreis”, the young persons will be shown the opportunities to actively participate in European youth projects, such as internships abroad and voluntary service etc., which they can use for their personal training. One of the “Europeers” is going to tell about her experience gained in a voluntary year.

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