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Expanding more borders: 2nd youth exchange for Icelandic and Belgian youth at risk
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Emmaus from Belgium, and SLF from Iceland will organize a second Youth Exchange Program. The objective of the project is to provide opportunities for youth at risk in many different ways, increase their self-empowerment and self esteem by challenging the participants in environment and circumstances they are not used to. Our most important goal is to offer these youngsters, who don't often get the chance, the possibility to participate to an empower-mental and inter cultural group exchange with youngsters from another country and with another cultural background.There are about 15 participants from Belgium and 15 from Iceland.Profile of the youngsters : youth at risk between 14-21 year with emotional, behavioral and psychological difficulties, eating disorders, school drop out, aggression, self-mutilation, depression or anti-social behavior.Description of activitiy: Belgians will be the host and the Icelanders will be invited for a 7 days exchange program.For us, the project is more than only this activity because this will be our second exchange with the same group. On an international level we want to meet with the youngsters on a regular basis before and after the activity. This is to prepare the inter cultural experience, getting to know each other, team building and practicing necessary outdoor skills and handling gear.The activity in Belgium exists in body work, bouldering and crawling, outdoor activities, sleeping outside, prepare their own meals, group expedition, outdoor activities, cooking on stoves, campfire and camping outside, forum theater, icebreaker games, trust games, swimming, soft polo, orienteering game.Methodology used in carrying out the project : We will use experiential learning, adventure therapy, group dynamics, forum theater, outdoor and other active and creative methods during the activity. We expect that the program will have a strong impact on the learning and growing process of the youngsters and the development of the group with their mentors. We expect increasing in the sense of empowerment. We also expect a positive impact on the cohabitation in the residential homes where some of the Belgian youngsters live. A feeling of pride for having reached something together and greater engagement. There will also be a serious impact on the level of our working methods and organization.Longer term benefits : the participating organizations will experience new and alternative views, methods, cultural ways and personal styles. We will gain more experience and competence in dealing with youth at risk, experiential learning and adventure therapy. We hope this program will increase the participants independence, self esteem and quality of life for long term.

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