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Reach The Border
Start date: May 4, 2015, End date: Dec 3, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The aim of youth exchange “Reach The Border” is to gather young people from Latvia and its bordering countries to use untraditional ways of traveling to explore the border regions of Latvia. In this way they would discover themselves, environment and people from their and neighbouring countries. During this project we want to discover what is border for a young person and how it reveals itself in a research process when a person actually steps his or her foot in this area. To reach these aims the youth exchange will be divided in three parts - preparation, research and summary. On the first part of youth exchange participants will learn how to work together as a team in international environment, to reveal their own perceptions about borders, their skills and potential. On the second part participants will be asked to develop their research and creativity competences, because during research they will need to get to know the route they will be given, contacting with locals, documenting their stories. Meanwhile learning about local culture, traditions and daily life. In the third part of youth exchange program anticipates summary of collected data and creation of conclusions, as well as gained experiences during exchange. In this way we want to reveal how a country and active citizenship does not end just within a border of city, but it continues in every part where a man lives. This should be remembered when participants of the project will be creating their own initiatives in the future, including young people and peers outside of the city and its center. Using diverse traveling methods they would learn about alternative mobility opportunities. They would break their communication barrier, that exists between different social groups. During the project they could not successfully fulfill this task of overcoming barriers if they wouldn’t learn to work together with people around them. To reach the aims of the youth exchange it is planned to use non formal education methods such as team building activities, discussions, brainstorms etc. During the project it is planned to use some other methods as well, therefore emphasis will be put upon documentation of information that would be learned, making interviews, communicating with locals etc. Also during the project it is planned to learn how to use untraditional mobility methods as a part of ways to get to know regions. As in the project participants will be divided in 7 groups to discover border regions, in each team there will be one participant from Latvia who knows Latvia and Latvian language. But from Lithuania, Estonia and Belarus there will be all together 5 participants from each country. In each team there will be a leader, but all of the participants should be aged between 18 - 30 years, interested in cooperation, able to react to unplanned events. From each country there should be a person who has experience in creative field or in research process. All questions that surrounds the activity will be discussed between team leaders during advance planning visit, letting all participants from each country give their own voice in creation of the project. To make the project more successful there will be 2 facilitators, besides team participants and group leaders, who will help to plan workshops and deal with organizational management issues. Those facilitators will stay in Riga, during participant research process in regions, to help in the case of need. The contribution of this project will be put upon participants creating the environment to develop their own skills, important knowledge,to learn and understand their environment and people better, while discovering themselves. During the project participants will be given a choice of presentation format of the results that will be showed to society in the last day of the project. This will create a chance for society to learn about life around border regions, breaking their own myths about this environment, what is the difference between the border in human minds and in real human created areal. In this way participants would prove they can work by themselves and prove the abilities of young people. Project materials and conclusions will be open to everyone on internet. During autumn, when young people will return back to the city for studies, we will create additional event letting participants from Latvia and hopefully also from other countries to join again in an event with presentation of this project.
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