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Start date: Mar 2, 2015, End date: Dec 1, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Both organizations have a long history of international partnerships. Last year’s youth exchange was the renewal of the relationship that existed between the Bronwlow Area Youth Project and the Jugendzentrum Gewölbe over 10 years ago. This relationship with our project partners was reignited during the initial international exchange project in the summer of 2013. I believe it would be beneficial for both organizations and young people involved to experience first hand the different perspectives that exist within two countries. Therefore, a reciprocal exchange project would evidence the the cultural diversity that exists and the impact that this has on young people in our societies. The Erasmus + funding will allow our organizations to further expand opportunities for young people experiencing social exclusion, marginalization and isolation, from both within Northern Ireland and Austria. Therefore, the project will allow us to continue to work with the young people involved and support them through the programme and the development of skills in the areas of communication and interpersonal skills, group work, and presentation skills, whilst encouraging participation and the development of team work. In addition the other elements of the project include widening horizons through building relationships with international youth organizations and young people, and promoting ownership and encourage young people to resource plan, implement and evaluate a programme. The main areas this project will explore are perspectives relating to identity, culture, history and experiences within our respective countries, in addition to the exploration of Youth Participation and Youth Services within an Austrian and Northern Irish context. Our methodologies will focus on an informal and non formal approach through icebreakers, games, team building games, to cooking workshops and cultural evenings, and outdoor education. To fully appreciate Northern Ireland Culture we will be utilizing study visits and leisure activities all of which will have a learning component. Through this programme the young people will carry out independent research on the host country, they will learn about the geographical location, the language, types of food and activities that are associated with the country. The young people will participate in practical activities and discussions, and develop their knowledge of the differences associated with both Countries. This project will develop confidence and skill base of young people and leaders by working with other's from outside their own environment and Country. It is envisaged that the impact on the young people will be focused on widening horizons and indeed perspectives, propagating acceptance and understanding of identity and culture. On an individual basis, it is envisaged that these young people will develop personal skills in the areas of communication and interpersonal skills, group work, and presentation skills. The above aspects are also relative to our organizations in relation to staff skill development. The very nature of informal and non formal education vary' s with interpretation and can be underpinned by other priorities or agendas. Observing and experiencing different mediums of youth work has great benefits in the development of skills for youth workers, and indeed youth provision of young people. In addition the relationship between organizations, leaders, and young people, will be developed further creating stronger links for future projects.
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