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Look beyond the fence, break the stereotype!
Start date: May 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project is one of our steps we are taking in building bridges between the local population and the refugees. We think that accepting the new and unknown is possible only if meeting the „unknown“. This YE is therefore bringing together 5 countries and 48 participants, to discuss the questions of the personal identity, values, stereotypes and general human rights and - most of all - to build new friendships. The development of a friendship is possible when persons are close enough to meet or do things together regularly and share ideas or feelings with each other. However, often there are almost no opportunities for the refugees to meet with the local youth in an environemnt that would enable them to get to know each other well enough to make a friendship posible. From our experience, we can say that a youth exchange creates the most natural and safe athmosphere, where youngsters can really be themselves and where the three aspects needed for a friendship (proximity, regularity and sharing) do happen in a relatively short period of time. The idea is to establish good conditions for the development of friendships between the local population and the refugees, which would afterwards result in a lasting peer education for the refugees and would build a strong base for their successful integration. However, the aim of this YE is not only to make a solid ground for new friendships on the local level, but to make new networks on the international level, to break the stereotypes about each other, to break the fear of each other (dangerous refugee vs. hostile local) and to learn about the human rights in a natural, friendly and fun way.

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