Health promotion in multicultural Europe
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2017
In this project we wish to promote health and wellbeing amongst the young. This is a current topic as social exclusion and youth well-being have deteriorated in Europe. Traditionally prevention of diseases and problems has been used and such approach is somewhat out-of-date and has a negative tone in regards to modern health education. We wish to emphasise the positive approach to wellbeing and want to promote health instead of merely preventing the problems from occuring. In this approach adolescents would have a more active role as subjects instead of passive objects, and therefore the current project would offer something new to the topic. Through positive approach the aim is to encourage students to take more responsibility of their own wellbeing and those around them. Promotion of health is a welcome addition to the traditional prevention of problems.
In addition to working on the topic of youth health promotion we also wish to enforce positive inter-cultural attitudes by working in multicultural groups. Through working in partnership we wish to provide opportunities for both participating schools and our students to raise awareness of cultural differences and similarities and to develop empathy and understanding through collaboration. Along with our main objective, promotion of health amongst the young, the project also adds to international interaction, participation in multiple events, self-confidence and self-expression. All this enables project participants to be better EU citizens.
We have chosen main themes that affect the wellbeing of the youth, and we wish to tackle these topics in various ways. These very topics will be discussed as they not only play a great role in the health of the young but are also a relevant part of their everyday lives. The main topics of discussion are as follows:
- social life (social exclusion, bullying, hobbies and friends)
- computers and smart phones (gaming and the Internet)
- substances (alcohol, drugs)
- physical activity
The topics for the research groups and the annual division are as follows:
1) social life: social exclusion
2) computers and smart phones: gaming
3) substances: alcohol
1) social life: hobbies and friends
2) computers and smart phones: the Internet
3) substances: drugs
Students will familiarize themselves with the given topic in small intercultural groups. Deeper familiarization takes place in small groups and in the end of the project each group will assemble the final product e.g. teaching material, drama, poster, newspaper, video, website. Furthermore all groups will explore other topics of the project on a more general level with other students in mutual meetings. Main methodology is to conduct health surveys for fundamental data collection in Italy and in Finland. Results of the surveys will be discussed in greater detail in various ways. Other methods are workshops, debates, reflection in small groups and visits and cooperation with project partners.
Hundred Finnish and Italian upper secondary school students + ten teachers will be involved during two years. Each group will work for one year and after that new students will enter the project and continue working on the same theme. The first (Finland autumn 2015) and third (Italy autumn 2016) visits will include more familiarization and data collection whereas the second (Italy spring 2016) and fourth (Finland spring 2017) visits will contain more working on the own topic and preparation of the final products.
The main aim of the current project is to promote youth health and wellbeing. We wish to raise awareness in health-related issues and we encourage students to take responsibilty in health-concerning decision-making in their own lives and of those around them. We hope that this will result in improved well-being. Through intercultural group working the awareness and understanding of different cultures will rise and, therefore, the students will learn to emphatise and develop their cross-cultural attitudes. Further, their self-expression skills and self-confidence will improve. In the long run, we aim at these participating students becoming healthier, more responsible, more self-confident and more international Europeans who would have a fluent output - better EU citizens, that is.
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