FIT FOR EUROPE 2016
Start date: Mar 1, 2016,
End date: Dec 31, 2016
Royston Youth Action (RYA) exists to enable young people from disadvantaged communities to broaden their horizons and to increase and develop their life aspirations. Our inner city area of Glasgow is one of the most deprived areas of the United Kingdom and young people have few opportunities to get out of the city, let alone experience spending quality time with young people from other countries, learning about other cultures and seeing what is best about other places and lifestyles. RYA is a forward looking, ambitious organisation who has a real passion for doing the best it can for these young people. During the summer of 2015 we sent our first group of young people to go on an international youth exchange to Austria and the benefits gained by the young people and our organisation have been numerous and impressive. The step up to hosting an international youth exchange is a natural progression and links to our organisational planning following attendance on numerous "fact finding" Youth in Action and Erasmus Plus programmes. The objectives of the project are; to offer a chance to young people with fewer opportunities aged 13 - 15 years from a diverse group of EU countries to come together to form new friendships; to learn about different peoples and cultures; to understand the benefits of healthy lifestyle, sport and exercise; to understand the part the EU plays in their lives and what part they may play in the future of the EU; to plan ahead to continue and improve upon the initial exchange experience and to grow the bonds between the respective organisations. These objectives link to those of the Erasmus + programme and specifically KA1 Youth Mobility by concentrating on young people with fewer opportunities highlighting social inclusion, by promoting active European citizenship through volunteering in particular, by embedding intercultural dialogue throughout the whole process and by "internationalising" an organisation that can only benefit and go from strength to strength as well as supporting priorities around healthy behaviours and healthy lifestyle.The exchange will be for 50 young people supported by 15 group leaders and support staff. A lack of opportunities in general is the biggest problem facing the young people we and our partners work with, and becoming more international is part of the solution, so we are giving young people an opportunity to understand this and a motivation to start a "European journey" in their lives. The activity programme will be kept simple in order for the participants to get the maximum feeling of achievement and benefit from the exchange. The main elements of the activity are:1. Welcome, introductions and icebreakers, to allow participants to relax and get to know each other.2. Team and confidence building through various outdoor problem solving exercises3. A Glasgow City Challenge to take the team and confidence building process further as well as giving the chance to discover Glasgow4. Information session on Erasmus+ and Youthpass. Practice of Youthpass5. Information session and discussion on healthy living and lifestyle6. Various outdoor activity sessions to enjoy exercise and appreciate the natural environment 7. Interactive discussions / presentations and quiz on "my Home, my Europe" (youth issues and similarities especially in the context of Europe, and my place in Europe)8. Sport and problem solving challenges to encourage interaction and dialogue9. Intercultural and social evenings10. Daily learning review and Youthpass sessions11. Forward planning for future events12. Final evaluation and Youthpass sessionThe methodology will be interactive which means that participants will have an active role in all sessions. They will work together mainly in mixed teams to enhance the opportunity for intercultural learning. All activities require team work and co-operation between participants, both in national groups and mixed groups. Participants will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning outcomes through the exchange. By the end of the exchange, they will have developed a sense of shared European identity, a respect for cultural differences and an understanding of healthy lifestyle and living. The project will give participants a greater self confidence and belief in what they are able to achieve. It will expose them to possibilities of a life beyond their current circumstances. It will raise aspiration and encourage possibilities of more healthy living,through non formal education methods. It will increase understanding of the European project and their place within it. At the end of the project, all participants will receive a Youthpass certificate which validates their learning. It is hoped that this can begin a series of reciprocal youth exchanges to take the concept further and to help more young people through multiplying the effect of the experience.
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