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From Prejudice to Discrimination: how to take the step backwards and learn from European cultural diversity?
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project aims at raising awareness on the issue of discrimination among European youngsters. Participants with various European backgrounds will come together in an informal environment, learning from each other’s cultures while developing creative tools for fighting discrimination in youth work. The tools resulting at the end of the project should contribute to diminishing the impact of negative attitudes which often lead to discrimination.We noticed that youngsters become more aware of the roots of discrimination, when they come in direct contact with each other. After spending time together, they develop a more realistic image about the others and formulate lessons from which very many could learn, such as the example below:"What became clear to me, is that we could solve a lot of problems, if we work together. Discrimination is preventing us from doing that right now. People have a lot of prejudices about other countries, and about people that they’ve never met. To have a good future and live peacefully together on one continent, we need to diminish discrimination. An easy task? No. But this project made me feel very positive about it, and I think it must be possible". (W. Kalkman, participant to a youth exchange in The Hague, in 2015).Through their work in a non-formal learning atmosphere, participants to the programme will try to answer the main question in the title of the project: "From Prejudice to Discrimination: how to take the step backwards and learn from European cultural diversity?". The project combines two activities under the same mobility: a youth exchange and a training. Both activities end with achieving a concrete goal, as a direct result of the learning outcomes and daily experience exchanges. The main objective of the youth exchange is to produce ten collages and gather them in a e-brochure which will also include the video links from the presentations of the collages. The e-brochure aims at presenting creative thinking and it can be used as an inspiration source in youth work, promoting creativity exercises as a tool for fighting discrimination.Based on the results of the exchange, participants to the training will have to turn the 10 collages into a card game. The game is also meant as a tool of fighting discrimination in a creative and positive manner, exploiting and exploring the suggestions proposed by youngsters themselves. The exchange will take place in The Hague during a period of seven days, between 23 and 29 September 2016 (excluding traveling). It will be attended by 35 people from five countries: Romania, Poland, Iceland, Russia and The Netherlands. Each national group will be formed from 6 youngsters (aged between 15 and 19) and 1 group leader - in total 7 participants from each participating country.The training will also take place in The Hague, during a period of five days, between 3 and 7 December 2016 (excluding arrival and departure). It will be attended by 23 participants (aged above 18) from Romania, Poland, Russia, Iceland and The Netherlands. For the youth exchange, participants will be selected on the base of several criteria agreed with the partners: interest in international projects and learning about other countries, age, gender, frequency of traveling abroad. The participants to the training will be selected from people involved in working with youth during non-formal and outside school activities: youth workers, youth leaders, youth programme managers, youth policy makers or youngsters active in the field of youth work.We want to combine the two activities in one project as we think it is equally important for youngsters to understand that people have negative attitudes, to explore discrimination and develop skills to combat it, as it is for youth workers to recognise discriminatory attitudes, to challenge them and to become aware of their negative consequences in youth work.The working methods used during the project will be: thematic workshops, team work, icebreakers, energizers, discussions, individual work, exercise, presentations, experience exchange, creativity techniques, filming, simulation, role-play, outdoor activities, open space, reflection, documentation – all with the aim of learning by experience while keeping balance between theory and practice.The products created by participants working together will no doubt leave impact on the way they will be thinking about people from other countries. They will better understand how discrimination works and will develop innovative skills to tackle it in the future. They will become aware of the chances offered by Erasmus+ programme.As longer time benefits for our organization, we want to:- acquire new skills for innovation and creativity;- kick-off a new project, following upon past activities;- develop new tools for youth work;- raise international cooperation in the field of youth to a new level, by including Iceland and Russia as new partners.

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