Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: Jan 31, 2016
"Milestones" was a European partner meeting with a difference. It was designed to deliver significant and sustainable practical benefits to ourselves and our partners from other Programme countries, in terms of evaluation, process review, knowledge sharing, and forward planning. At the same time it aimed to set an example of good practice in youth participation, empowerment and equal opportunity. It has provided constructive and creative feedback to the National Agencies of all the countries involved, through a communiqué from the project partners. Through our dissemination of the project results, we have also provided an excellent promotional opportunity for Erasmus+.
The theme of the project was international youth work and non formal education, with a focus on employability and inclusion - in other words, the core business of all the partners involved. The title of the project "Milestones" referred both to the measurement of the partners' achievements to date, and to the different stages of young people's personal development which international projects can impact, using a progression of activities (youth exchanges, training courses, youth initiatives, EVS etc). The objective of the project was to review, reflect, evaluate and develop our international work together, leading to a more strategic approach to our future partnerships, and more effective planning and project delivery processes.
All the project partners share the aim of making an impact on young people's personal development and their transition to the world of work, which is problematic in every part of Europe. We share the same type of methodology (youth participation through non formal education, creative projects and enterprise) and the same values (particularly in relation to cultural diversity). We also share a strong commitment to inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities. This is why we chose inclusion and employability as the core themes for the meeting. Bringing together participants from so many European countries and cultures was also a celebration of cultural diversity: we used the theme of “Christmas around Europe” as a focus for this intercultural learning.
The project was run as two separate but interlinked strands, one for professionals and the other for young people from each partner organisation. The young people worked as a media team, responsible for recording the professionals’ outputs and disseminating these through a website, film and social media. By being involved in this meaningful way they have been able to develop a greater sense of active European citizenship and mutual understanding.
Through sharing experience, best practice and evaluation of impact, the project has promoted international cooperation in the youth field, encouraging knowledge-sharing and strengthening the capacity of all the partner organisations involved.
The project took place at the Glaramara Outdoor Education Centre in Borrowdale in the Lake District, over a period of five 5 days. There were 39 participants from 16 countries (Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and UK). Activities included ice-breaking and team building activities, presentations by all partners, structured discussions around the project theme, and "Walk and Talk" sessions which allowed participants to appreciate the outdoor education dimension of youth work as well as to have free ranging conversations. There were also information sessions on Erasmus+ best practice, daily review sessions, and intercultural evenings. The project ended with an evaluation of the week.
Project outputs included over 50 agreed proposals for follow-up projects; a website; two documentary films; a set of promotional “postcards” from participants; and a communiqué to the National Agencies and European Commission delivered in writing and on film.
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