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Open Mic-Focus on YOU(th)
Start date: Jan 1, 2016, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Open Mic-focus on YOU(th) A1: AVP in Lithuania (4th-6th of February, 2016 in Lithuania) A2: Youth Exchange 'Open Mic-focus on YOU(th)' Session 1 (5th-12th of March 2016 in Lithuania) A3: Youth Exchange 'Open Mic-focus on YOU(th)' Session 2 (24th of April- 2nd of May 2016 in Ireland) This project promotes social entrepreneurship as a constructive idea to tackle the actual socio-economic crisis and as a viable to replicate solution for the youth unemployment, empowering youth to implement its initiatives and creative ideas. In May 2013 Eurostat published the new statistics for the youth unemployment, alarming when it still comes to over 23%. According to the National Youth Work Council of Ireland Annual Review 2014, 18% of young people (18-29) are experiencing serious deprivation in Ireland, and youth unemployment was 19.80% in June 2015. Young Europeans become more vulnerable and new initiatives lacks focus on a personal growth and development of young people. We believe that by supporting a personal growth and development of young people and by creating spaces for active participation and engagement in social life realities, youth can fulfil their personal and professional potential. This will lead to new social and business ideas and actions/ initiatives, thus reduced youth unemployment. By being committed to support youth we developed this project idea for international youth exchange, which is build on the outcomes, reflections of our previous international collaborations, beliefs and visions. 'Open MIC-focus of YOU(th)' invited young people (16-28) and their youth leaders from Ireland, UK, Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal and Spain to explore the concept of social entrepreneurship and to develop initiatives in their local communities during and after the project. We were aiming to create space and time to work on young peoples ideas and support their personal growth and development through inter-cultural interactions, Open MIC and other non-formal learning method. The issues that we addressed with through this project were: entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurship education, youth participation, youth work, youth policy, creativity and culture. These are the areas of work that is directly linked to the objectives of Erasmus+ program and Youth Mobility action. The main objectives of this project were: to creating safe and inclusive inter-cultural learning space for young people to engage in their personal and professional growth and development; working on further implementation of social entrepreneurship ideas of young people using group knowledge as the main recourse and Erasmus+ programme as a frame work. Youth Exchange 'Open Mic-focus on YOU(th)' Session 1 (5th-12th of March 2016 in Lithuania) was based on introducing and promoting the social entrepreneurship to the youth group; exploring different perspectives for tackling the social and economical obstacles that young people are facing (youth unemployment in particular); empowering young participants to develop their own initiatives and/or social entrepreneurship ideas; creating an action plans for social initiatives that young participants implemented in their own local communities; encouraging inter-cultural dialogue and international youth partnerships; promoting non-formal education as an interactive, innovative and creative form of learning and Erasmus+ program as a youth friendly frame work of opportunities. Youth Exchange 'Open Mic-focus on YOU(th)' Session 2 (24th of April- 2nd of May 2016 in Ireland) was based on working on individual sets of skills of young people and to further develop local youth initiative ideas, thus to evaluate the progress of their social entrepreneurship ideas. The main objectives for this international activity were working further with developing a key competences of young people as it is set in Erasmus+ framework with particular attention to individual needs of etch and every participant; reflecting on the experiences of implementing social initiatives in local communities that were planed by young people during the first international youth exchange and implemented before second meeting in Ireland; developing further steps of social entrepreneurship ideas and making action plans and accountability steps.
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