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European citizenship for all
Start date: 04 May 2015, End date: 03 Jun 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Youth Center Chicago in Belgium welcomes youth from the underprivileged neighborhoord. Our kids have often a problematic school career and/or are in ghetto schools. The international PISA study confirms that Belgian and French students' school results are strongly determined by their economic background: more poor students obtain less good results. Tunesia also suffers bad overall school results. In Finland, the « students failing » rate at age 15 years is 33% in Wallonia / Brussels - against only 3.8% in Finland (source: Test PISA). Also the students from poor backgrounds demonstrate better results in Finland (12.4%) than in Belgium (21.8%). We want to see how Finland manages that: through exchange, meeting with peers, parents and youth workers, witnessing youth in Finland. Ismael, a teenager of our Youth Club Chicago, participated in an international exchange. He was so satisfied that he wanted to offer the same experience to his fellow teenagers in Brussels, France and Tunisia. Thus, the Erasmus+ project "boost the school" was born last year during a European exchange. Young people from Helsinki, Brussels and Sousse (Tunesia) will exchange during 6 days in Finland. Each country brings 7 to 9 participants and 1 or 2 leaders. The program will consist of sport activities, cultural evenings, visiting schools and youth clubs in Finland, theater activities, moments of self-reflection and group evaluation. The participants will have to share cultures, learn to live in group, speak different languages, meet people from different countries. During the trip, there will be rules to follow, the youngsters will have to show responsibility. We will pay special attention to their school careers. We want to reflect on the obstacles they encounter at school, compare between countries and learn from good experiences. Participants will be able to get a wider view on educational policies, see how their situation is also the result of the choices society makes. That is important for people with fewer opportunities, since it gives the perspective of possible solutions. They will learn about the Finnish school system, document it in a video. They will share their findings in presentations in their different countries, to politicians and their youth clubs. The exchange aims at making the participants stronger. They will acquire a number of competences through preparation of the exchange, assuming part-responsibilities, giving presentation in front of a group. During the exchange, they will be forced to self-reflect: what do I want to be, how can I succeed in school. The participants will no longer be limited to their neighborhood. They will see another horizon. They will be motivated to go to school. The aim is that the participants acquire maturity, gain self-esteem, get more character that will enable them to take up a more stable position during their school career. The final aim is that will have more chances to succeed (also in school and later - work).
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