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Non-formal education, the steps to active citizenship
Start date: Aug 1, 2014, End date: Mar 1, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This training course is aimed at giving special attention and focusing the the needs of youth workers, youth leaders and social workers who work with young people especially those who do not have the opportunity to voice their opinion or are excluded from society due to various factors. The aim is to highlight the importance of non-formal education as the key to become active citizens. Non-formal education is accessible to everyone, participatory and learner centered, prepares the individual to become an active citizen, holistic and process-oriented based on experience and action, and starts from the needs of the participants. For these reasons non-formal learning enhances active citizenship as it makes the individual ask questions, practice and reflect. Through the involvement in non-formal education participants acquire and develop a set of skills and competences that include better communication, team work, decision-making, cultural and language skills, sense of initiative, confidence and entrepreneurial skills, thus they become more active in their society. Participants from Malta, Cyprus, United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, Bulgaria, France, Romania and Poland with 3 participants from each country along with 2 trainers and 2 members of staff. Promoters will be encouraged to prepare the participants before participating in the training course. Preference should be given to those participants who work or intend to work with young people who are excluded from society. Objectives: - To debate the concept of active citizenship and the role of non-formal education in preparing responsible and active citizens of Europe; - To provide young people an opportunity to exchange ideas and examples of good practice in the area of integrating non-formal education and active citizenship; - To enable young people to see Europe as an integral part of their historical, social, cultural and political environment; develop awareness of the dangers associated with exclusion, including racism and xenophobia, through educational measures for and involving young people; - To encourage autonomy, creativity and a spirit of enterprise among young people, particularly in the social, civic, cultural and environmental contexts; - To produce relevant tools and resources and initiate projects to support further the development of the European dimension within the youth programme; - To learn life skills and prepare for active citizenship; - To provide a space for establishing partnerships and projects in the field of non formal education and education for European citizenship. - To transfer: to the own reality of participants, in order to improve ways of working with young people - To share: different perceptions, current situations and experiences. The basics of our methodologies are active co-operative learning combining experience and theory implementation. This way we will define our methods: learning by games, round-table conference, moderated discussions, learning by doing, plenary sessions, interactive work based on advanced preparations, creative workshops with coaching. It is sometimes said that in international projects cultural stereotypes might affect the working procedure and the team spirit. The group leaders will prepare the participants in advance for the possible conflicts and will work on that the participants will be tolerant and respectful with each other. The proposed games, workshops and discussions will also serve this purpose as the participants will be able to spend long time with mixed groups. We will also organise cultural evenings where promoters will have the opportunity to show aspects of their country, region and language. This will enhance the acceptance and enforce social inclusion in practice. We plan activities for enhancing the process of NFL. All activities will be targeted. That means all activities will be organized and structured according to our objectives. Moreover we will focus on the participants' motivation and interest during the training period. As soon as the project will be approved by the NA we will search and ask for the participants' learning and practical experiences and needs for self-improvement and so we will plan our daily agenda of NFL accordingly. We also planned not so strict in implementation and timeline activities because we aim to flexibility during learning proces and in methods and approaches.

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