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Expanding Routes
Start date: Aug 31, 2016, End date: Oct 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project Expanding Routes is organised by Connecting Routes informal group (NL), with 6 partners: Anshei Maase (IL), Smokinya (BG), EstYes (EE), SynCro (CR), Egyesek (HU), Synergy Flow (GR). It will run from 31.08.2016 for 14 months, it will include 4 phases and 3 activities. There will be 65 participants all together, and they will reach another 400 young people during the project itself. The participants will be experts in youth work, volunteers, members of the involved organisations, and similar people from the local networks of our partners. Their target groups are young people often facing difficult situations or having fewer opportunities (economical, geographical obstacles, learning difficulties, unemployed). Some members of the target group will participate in the last Activity of the project, the dissemination and networking event.ContextIn the framework of Expanding Routes we will give new insights, methods and skills to youth workers who work with groups of volunteers and communities in work-camps, large scale EVS projects or on a permanent basis. We developed this project to answer a need we see emerging in the world of European youth work: to give an opportunity to youth workers to learn something truly new in their field. We want to reach this impact in 2 layers: the 1st one is to bring them to a study trip to unique learning communities in Israel, where they have 25 years of experience in mentoring young people in different ways; and to offer a fun and intense personal development training in Holland offering methods mostly not well-known to youth workers. The 2nd layer is the set up: an implementation phase is included and afterwards there is a dissemination and networking event, further enriching the possibilities to gain new insights and create new projects. All this is supported by a consequent use of Youthpass in order to track the learning process and to be able to use the results in a more effective way. Objectives- raise the creativity and problem-solving skills of the participants so they can support young people in the successful integration to society and to the labor-market; - allow participants to have new insights on how to work with their target-groups - especially less-opportunity youth - how to design an efficient mentoring process; - show a successful model of a small rural community which can inspire the participants to support the creation of similar projects;- create meetings among youth workers where they can exchange best practices.Activities&methodsPhase 1 - A1: study visit in Israel (November 2016)16 youth workers will visit 2 communities (kibbutz Neot Semadar and Hava&Adam community farm) to observe how they work, study, reflect, solve problems and celebrate together. They will meet local youth workers to share best practices in mentoring and working individually and in groups with young people. They will observe and join in the daily life of the communities to gain insights how work with young people in diverse levels and through diverse activities - working, eating, dancing, meditating together and reflecting on the experiences verbally and non-verbally. All meetings are non-formal facilitated smaller and bigger group discussions, and the other activities involve artistic, and non-verbal non-formal learning methods.Phase 2 - A2: TC in Holland (March 2017)28 youth workers will participate in a training course based on methods of learning by experience. They will participate in several creative individual, and smaller and bigger group processes, involving verbal and non-verbal communication, dramatic, visual and body-movement expression. There is a modeling process for planning, decision making, mentoring and cooperation. All the processes are accompanied by self-reflection and there will be emphasis on understanding how to use the personal experience back home in a professional way.Phase 3 - implementation (April - August 2017)Participants work on their own projects back home where they will implement their new skills and tools. They will communicate their results with their peers and document it for further use.Phase 4 - A3: networking and dissemination event; further dissemination of the results (September-October 2017)21 youth workers, experts, representatives of the target groups will participate in an Open Space Technology event for 1,5 days to share results, best practices and develop future cooperation. There will be an open-day including a press conference&networking event.ResultsDeveloped skills&competences - new tools to involve unemployed youth in the labour market and coaching them; more energy& inspiration &contacts to create new local and international projects also by the target groups.ImpactThe results are sustainable as we build the project on the existing activities of the partners. Possibility to create a KA2 project to further work on the tools&methods developed in this project.
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