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Extremism? No, Thanks!
Start date: Jun 1, 2016, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The variety of cultures, languages and religions does not stop at the borders of the European Union. Extremist ideologies are not exclusively spreading in Europe but also in its Neighbouring countries. The EU is surrounded by number of countries that it has strong connections with through culture, language, religion and shared historical heritage. Recently the world has been reminded about the threat of extremism. This phenomenon is on the rise in Europe. Extremist movements, ideologies, parties and individuals present some of the most pressing challenges for European democracies. They continue to gain large levels of support from different segments of the society, even among some of the most economically secure and highly educated regions of Europe. Many young people are affected by populism and anti-immigration sentiments and fall into a very dangerous rhetoric.Taking into account those extremist movements in Europe, raising xenophobia and Islamophobia, we consider it highly important to gather active young people, youth workers and activists to discuss questions of multicultural society, interreligious and intercultural dialogue as well as to think about some practical tools how to fight discrimination and combat extremism. It is our belief that it is quite important to have a cultural and social connection with the neighbours around the EU in order to contribute to more understanding. Thanks to the meetings between young people and active youth workers, they can learn about the ways of living in other countries and different ways of thinking. In this way we can overcome differences and fight together against prejudice and xenophobia. That is why with this Training Course we target both the EU and non-EU countries. The training course will take place in Yerevan, Armenia and will involve 34 youth workers from Programme Countries (Lithuania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom) and Neighbouring Partner Countries (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine). During the Training Course we will look deeper into the issues of extremism, migration, discrimination, nationalism, intolerance and intercultural misunderstandings. The Training Course will support young people and active youth workers to learn about the ways of living together, accepting differences and fighting together against prejudice and xenophobia in these turbulent times. In all participating countries, xenophobia and discrimination form a big problem. Especially economic crisis contributes to this situation, when immigrants are blamed for stealing jobs, etc. The refugee crisis even further complicated the situation. However, it doesn’t matter if you come from the EU or non-EU country, what language you speak or which religion you follow, there is discrimination and extremism everywhere. This project aims at finding ways to combat it, by sharing experiences and by learning new tools. Our working methodology will be based on non-formal education. With this Training Course we aim to empower youth workers and youth leaders with skills, knowledge and attitudes to play an active role towards an intercultural society. Our objectives are the following:• To analyse today’s multicultural society in different countries;•To gain knowledge on key concepts, such as stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination, extremism, intolerance;• To understand the causes of extremism and where they develop; • To analyse the European values and how they can be used in contrasting those phenomena.• To discover the right attitudes towards an intercultural society;• To promote ‘theatre of the oppressed’ and ‘the human library’ as a tool;• To promote active citizenship, international dialogue and non-formal education. • To overview the European programs and create new projects related to the topic.Through exercises, discussions, presentation of examples of good practices, youth policies in the field of combating discrimination and promoting multiculturalism, we want to encourage peer learning and inspire youth workers to discuss follow-up and take action in their own countries following the Training Course. Moreover, during the TC special attention will be paid to developing skills and competencies of the participants that are needed when working with young people, especially people with fewer opportunities and empowering them to make real change in their local communities and societies.
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