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P.E.A.C.E 2015 (Sharing Peace And Cultural Education)
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Oct 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This Project was a full youth exchange with REACH Across hosting Stage 1 in Derry, N.Ireland in July and Associazione Culturale hosting Stage 2 in Viterbo, Italy in August . CONTENT/BACKGROUND: Both organisations aimed to provide a youth exchange that would provide new international and inter-cultural experiences, opportunities and learning, that would have a positive and developmental impact on participants, their beliefs and their respect for others. OBJECTIVES The primary themes were to foster mutual understanding between young people in different countries and to promote European cooperation in the youth field. The project aimed to increase the awareness of participants in relation to cultural traditions, society and youth-related issues in other European countries. The primary objectives included 1) Enabling participants to develop a greater understanding of the social structure and youth provision in respective countries and encourage them to be active citizens and to make recommendations for Shared Futures on a local and European basis. 2) Make participants aware of the consequences of sectarianism, racism or intolerance and of the benefits of integration, diversity and social cohesion. 3) Helping participants to develop the necessary skills and competences, to work as future youth leaders, as well as developing their employability and career prospects.. 4) Promoting healthy living by providing sports sessions, outdoor activities and the opportunity for participants to help prepare some meals and increase their awareness of food hygiene, under the guidance of a qualified cook 5) Educating participants about social and cultural changes occurring in Europe and to make them aware of employment and volunteering opportunities in Europe. NUMBERS & PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS A total of 24 young people aged 14-18yrs old and 4 leaders, as well as 4 advance visit representatives, were involved in the exchange and the majority of participants were from officially recognised areas of disadvantage or isolated areas. The REACH Across group were selected using a cross-community criteria so that the project would promote local and international integration. DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN The project involved 2 groups of young people who jointly participated in programmes of activities and educational events that encouraged active European Citizenship, increased levels of community participation, youth integration and greater awareness of cultural diversity. The programmes included 1) Cultural Tours, visits to local community organisations, meetings with political and public representatives etc, to promote a greater understanding of the social and political structures in respective countries and to discuss local government systems and responsibilities. 2) Workshops that identified current issues and challenges facing young people in Europe, such as high unemployment, University costs, mental health, immigration etc 3) Education visits to historical or current landmarks/museums of division or intolerance, as well as visits to progressive and intercultural organisations or facilities, such as a multimedia centre that provides a range of development opportunities for young people, 4) Workshops that developed the skills and competences of participants such as Craftwork, Costume Design, Digital Media, Basic Language, Catering etc 5) Sport sessions and outdoor activities that encouraged teamwork and helped to develop confidence levels amongst participants RESULTS AND IMPACT The primary themes were to foster mutual understanding between young people in each country and to promote European co-operation in the youth field. The project aimed to increase the awareness of participants in relation to cultural traditions, society and youth-related issues in respective countries. The project also aimed to encourage participants to be more active, healthier and respectful citizens and to develop personal skills and confidence levels. It is our belief that the Project did raise awareness amongst participants of respective cultures and current social conditions and it also had a positive development impact on many participants in relation to personal skills and confidence levels. The project did encourage members of both organisations to be respectful of arrangements, menus, events etc during each stage, although this was not completely achieved.
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