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Getfamilyar Triangular Youth International Exchange Project
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Oct 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Youth Exchange Project development and outcomes were informed and guided by ACDF’s Getfamilyar Project. The project explored the theme of using performing arts as a strategy and medium for engaging young people and facilitating their involvement in productive pursuits, learned about the processes and activities used by ‘ACDF Getfamilyar Project and considered the concepts behind its use of performing arts. Participants use the performing arts workshops and taster sessions to explore ideas and create new work for their performances. This provided an opportunity for them to identify similarities in artistic processes between singers, dancers, photographers and producers in the construction of their performances and how each genre uses material and individual interpretations to facilitate crafting their performance responses. By considering the similarities in artistic processes as a starting point for new performances, participants were able to develop a better understanding of expressive visual language and how observations and discussions can be melodised and developed through work in the studio, and exchange across performing arts disciplines. All participants performed their work during sharing showcase events in all participating country. The youth exchange project outcomes focused on: Adopting the Getfamilyar Project's strategy of using the performing and visual arts as a tool for building young people's resilience and confidence; Enhancing participants leadership and organizational skills and project planning and implementation abilities; Increasing individual performances and presentation skills; Providing opportunities for beneficiaries to establish friendships and build bridges; Enabling participants learning from their respective experiences; Enabling beneficiaries to plan a project for implementation in their country based on the ACDF Getfamilyar Project’s strategy; Promote mutual understanding; Providing opportunities for beneficiaries to learn more about the ECC, its people, institutions, values and culture; Increase participants’ understanding of other youths and youth cultures; Provide opportunities for artistic collaboration, engagement and performance between emerging artists and professional artists; Provide opportunities to convey the diversity and artistic merit of performing arts in participating countries and increase their awareness and understanding of local arts culture, values and society. In addition to achieving its stated outcomes, the youth exchange project accomplished additional and notable outcomes as a result of the innovative and participatory approach to implementing the project and as a direct result of the pre-planning visit to The Netherlands. The extraordinary level of interest among participants, comments and request for follow up discussions immediately after the first Confidence Building and Presentation Skills Workshop and during the entire programme was refreshingly positive, and while interest and participation during the other workshops was high and the learning outcomes were achieved, participants’ eagerness and hunger for involvement in discussions relating to self- confidence, motivation and self-worth gave credence to the stated objectives of the youth exchange programme. All participants commended the youth exchange project for facilitating ideas and culture, and at the same time being familiarized with the socio-economic problems affecting young people across geographical and national boundaries. The experience of being part of the youth exchange project has broadened individual’s horizons of learning and experiences, added to experiential knowledge of performing arts, music production and relational dynamics. It has enhanced participants’ interpersonal skills including communication and participation, thus contributing to the development of their personality. A collective summary of participants’ overall impression of the youth exchange programme is captured in a feedback given by one of the youth participants after the first Confidence Building and Presentation Skills workshop: “I am involved in what can be a life changing experience and learning. The youth exchange program has given new energy to my candle of hope.” The youth exchange project was a unique experience that blended a hands-on approach with participatory discussions during the workshops. There are precious memories to preserve that will remain an invaluable reminder of the importance of service, engagement, participation and friendship. One of the most important learning outcomes from participating in producing the theme song “We are one” is the importance of service and instilling a sense of sacrifice within us so as to bring about positive changes through voluntary contributions in our communities.
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