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Help Our People Excel
Start date: May 15, 2015, End date: May 14, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The goal of the H.O.P.E. project was to support cooperation between groups of enthusiastic young people from the Czech Republic and Ukraine who wanted to work with children and youth in their free time. They were young people who had been involved with groups of children and youth for several years and achieved noteworthy results. During the project, 20 participants aged 17-30 prepared a presentation from a floorball tournament in Kolomyia, which allowed the Czech and Ukrainian volunteers to exchange experience and made it possible especially for the Ukrainians to keep learning about this sport which was still rather unusual for them, and at the same time they could get new experience in working with children and youth that had been tested by the Czechs, in a context different from the one they were used to. It helped them increase their knowledge and skills to be prepared to work with all kinds of problem children and youth groups. They learned about volunteer work with children with different handicaps and socially excluded youth. During the exchange, many interesting events took place, providing both parties with new experience and examples of good practice from the partnering country. The goal of this exchange was to get new experience and ideas, which the Czech and Ukrainian volunteers could apply after the end of the exchange in their meetings and leisure time activities in local communities. We know from our experience that long-term youth work tends to become stereotyped and thus ineffective and without results. The exchange participants were able to understand in more detail that working with children and youth should teach them something and be fun at the same time. Another long-term goal consisted in increasing the personal development of the participants, their moral qualities, and social interaction. We believe that the exchange encouraged them to be involved in further formal and informal education and improved their employment chances. The participants learned not only the rules of floorball during the exchange but also how to communicate effectively, understand cultural differences, how they can influence communication themselves, how to work in a team, defend their opinions and rights, deal with organization, logistic and financial aspects of this activity, how to cope with stress and resolve problems and conflicts related to this work.
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