The youth exchange “IN THE MOOD FOR SMILE” will be held in the Municipality of Brindisi in Italy and will last 15 days. The participants involved will be 30, coming from Poland, Slovakia, Albania and Macedonia. They will be hosted by “Casa Laboraotrio degli Urri”, a countryside residence plunged into nature. The main theme of the project is to sensitize youngsters about the social needs existing in our society, related to situations of social exclusion and marginalization. One of the instruments we can adopt to face social exclusion can be the art of clowning: we see the social and artistic dimension of a clown as an easy channel to get in contact with people with linguistic or social barriers, such as disabled or any other marginalized group. Activities will be implemented through three different steps: one dedicated to the intercultural learning, with a focus on prejudices and stereotypes; one to share the best practices of the use of art as a tool against social exclusion; one to the direct practice of the art of clowning. The youth will be involved in each stage of the project through active and participative methodology: the exchange of information will be encouraged and gained following a peer to peer method, where contents and tools are shared in an horizontal manner in order to stimulate the different learning approaches. At the end of the project, we plan to realize two action-visits, where the participants will perform the artistic techniques gained and will interact with beneficiaries of the local associations. The youth exchange will give participants the possibility to share those useful competences, which will make them able to be active in the future and, with the support of their local association, to create concrete actions to struggle with all the manifestations of intolerance and misunderstanding, and to overcome cultural, social and economic barriers.
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