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Inclusion for equality
Start date: 10 Mar 2015, End date: 09 Sep 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The idea of this youth exchange was developed in the course of youth encounters in 2013-2014 where the young people met to work on community oriented initiatives and on possible ways of making the idea of community participation and social inclusion of disadvantaged youth understandable for their peer groups. This time the partners from UK, Latvia, Portugal and Turkey decided to work with a particular target group – young people belonging to a national or ethnic minority groups. Participating partner organizations agreed that inclusion and empowerment of youth representing different national and ethnic minority groups is essential for European youth policy development, advancement of solidarity, participation and democracy. However, they felt that this issue is a complex one, it needs to be explored in the more targeted type of environment and addressed with peer education dimension as they find it important to include and facilitate this aspect in their own international peer led initiatives and projects. We decided to undertake this youth exchange in Latvia as its population has been multiethnic for centuries and is represented by different national minority groups living together. The youth exchange will involve young people and youth leaders from the UK, Latvia, Portugal and Turkey (16 pax from each partner country) and will take place in Riga region, Latvia. Two representatives from each partner organization will take part in the APV (Advance Planning Visit) where they will establish project delivery roles and share responsibilities for various aspects of the youth exchange. The APV will take place in Riga region a month before the exchange. The target group for this youth exchange is young people mostly with a difficult social background, representing different national and ethnic minority groups and facing employment difficulties. This target group has fewer opportunities to be exchanged and get intercultural understanding. They do not possess the sufficient resources to get international experience. But empowering them to set socially valuable goals and giving them instruments to reach these goals will make our societies healthier and more humanistic. The young people - participants of the exchange will have different experiences in intercultural contacts from nil to quite experienced peer leaders and ex EVS volunteers. By using knowledge and experience got during the previous projects and involving suitable methods and ensuring that the project is firmly rooted within the local community, we hope that this youth exchange will give the possibility of reaching out to young people representing different national and ethnic minority groups widely in Europe. This exchange will create interlinked educational environment as the participants will share their personal impressions about peer leadership and non-formal educational means, and we intend to evolve their knowledge and skills by integrating them into the society and thus raising their employability. The methods of non formal education such as using facilitated discussion, developing positive relations and delivering projects will engage young people in the exchange. The actions and performances developed by young leaders and youth workers during the exchange to publicise and promote minority youth inclusion and employability will help them and other youngsters recognize/multiply the value of such experience. The Erasmus+ programme will be also explored and promoted which will lead to follow-up projects and usage of the skills gained during this exchange in them in terms of paying more attention to the topics of Dissemination and Transfer of Skills / Knowledge from the project. The idea of this exchange is that advantages gained and skills acquired will be used not only by participants of the project but also spread around local youth groups and the organizations that take part in such intercultural follow up projects will relate this to both a local and European context.
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