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Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Oct 1, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

An informal team of friends with disabilities was formed by young people who participated in programs that were organized by the association "Agapi" within the framework of the program YOUTH IN ACTION-Exchanges Erasmus youth and informat group (St. Petersburg ). The program was organized to gain experiences with the support of "Agapi". In the context of these actions we opened our horizons to actions that target the neighboring countries of Europe and neighboring peoples. The long cultural history of Russia, the common religious beliefs of the people of Cyprus and Russia motivated us to design and implement this program. St. Petersburg, the Russian metropolis of culture and arts, will be the center of our activities. The 60 participants (young people with or without disabilities from Cyprus, and young people from St. Petersburg who will host them) will have the opportunity to talk about the importance of music and art , as well as the role of people with disabilities in the society. They will be familiarized with artworks of incomparable beauty and great monuments of world culture. This highly motivating experience will encourage them to learn more about fine art and the importance of painting. Furthermore, the two groups will interact and cooperate with each other, which will boost their communication skills. In addition, young people will have an excellent opportunity to cultivate principles such as museum education, namely the respect for artworks and proper behaviour in museums. Each action will be followed by illustrative depiction (painting) of the participants' ideas and emotions. Where East and West, art and religion, the secular and the spiritual wealth of the human creativity meet each other, young people will find the common elements between each other and will interact in a calm environment. Thus, they will learn to respect each other and cultivate their spirit. The learning methods implemented throughout the program are based, on the one hand, on structured theoretical training, including educating the youth the local history, musicology and theater which is to be carried out by pedagogues participating in the program (measurable results will be yielded). On the other hand, the non-formal learning through cooperation, dialogue, communication, museum education and expression of feelings will take place. Moreover, the encounter with the diamond of world's cultural heritage, the famous Hermitage Museum, will be indelibly imprinted in the memory of all participants.
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