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Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Feb 29, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Europe has truly become an international continent by allowing for freedom of movement between member countries we see people from all walks of living calling a different EU country their home. We find people from all corners of the world living and working in almost all of the EU countries but is this really that simple? We have seen all these different people and in many cases we have worked or studied with them in our countries and we have very often experienced some problems with them. Why are we not living in harmony all the time? This training course focused on communication, and especially the miscommunication as a result of cultural differences and the impact this has on the harmonious or discriminatory effect on behaviour. English is considered an international language and people in most countries aspire to have English as a second language. Many countries offer English as a compulsory subject at schools and others offer it as an option to students. However we also see that in some countries grammar is given more emphasis and the result; people knowing the rules of the language but are unable to speak it. There are few countries in the world that use English predominantly as the main language of the country and of these we can see that four of these countries are truly multicultural countries allowing for people from different backgrounds and groups to coexist in one community in harmony, these countries are The United Kingdom, the United States of America South Africa and Australia. We can see from these countries that the different cultural backgrounds of the citizens are incorporated into the culture of the country. We can see this in the UK where curry is one of the most popular dishes, yet its origin is from India. We see pizza being a popular fast food but its origins are from Italy. So the question posed is “Is it language which causes the foundation for discrimination?” There is a story of a president from Cyprus directly translating a common Greek saying to the Prime Minister of Great Britain, almost resulting in an international incident. We could confirm the truth of this story but it was an excellent example of how the lack of communication skills and also the lack of tolerance to understand others can result in serious problems. This story true or fictitious sets a perfect example for our project showing how two sides of a situation need to be understood for the truth to be uncovered. This training course evaluated communication and the approach people adopt with regard to communication and see who this can either be grounds for discrimination or reasons for cooperation. We worked with youth workers from a variety of EU countries to examine these problems and try to discover how we can develop our communications skills and also our tolerance of different cultures to allow us to communicate and understand each other better in order to allow for a more peaceful and harmonious approach to our rights to freely move within the EU. During the training course we identified that we often discriminate without realising it, with societal norms dictating our behaviour either to the genders or to specific nationalities. We also examined roots of stereotypes and realised that many stereotypes are started from bad behaviours of others from that country, thus giving us as people a greater responsibility to act when we are abroad. The project identified many problems in our society and also developed tools and methods to overcome these problems and more specifically to help young people prevent and overcome these problems.
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