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Reign Ministries Bicester
Start date: Sep 7, 2016, End date: Aug 6, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project is led by a youth work charity based in Bicester, England that exists to develop youth and youth workers.We seek to identify four individuals from European countries who have a concern for young people and who desire to gain experience in the youth work field as they serve as part of a team in a cross-cultural setting. Participants will work alongside veteran and student youth workers from a variety of countries and cultures in order to engage with local young people, many of whom come from disadvantaged and immigrant backgrounds, and who find it a real challenge to engage socially and within the workforce. Participants on the project will work in the schools and community in an effort to build relationships with teenagers and to offer opportunities for social inclusion and personal development. This will be done by offering lunch time clubs in the schools, after school groups, community drop-ins, mentoring relationships, social activities and residential trips away. Participants will be particularly encouraged and supported to use their own interests and talents in the final phase of the project to help launch new local youth work efforts into previously un-contacted subgroups of young people. Through the efforts of our team, young people will find a place of belonging and will find the support necessary to develop to their full potential. We also model how a diverse group of people can live and serve together and provide a community where young people can be invited to serve alongside the team and perhaps engage in future youth mobility projects themselves. Whilst most learning will occur through engaging in youth work and reflecting on that work, learning will be supported by meeting three times per week for support and for building youth work skills. Participants will also join with other youth workers from across the country at six one-week long support and training conferences. In addition, field experiences in England's Lake District as well as Northern Ireland will allow for team bonding and the sharpening of visionary and leadership capabilities. Participants can expect not only to make a positive impact on local young people, but to gain proficiency in English, increase awareness of their own interests and talents, gain the ability to learn for a lifetime through self-reflection, gain an appreciation for a variety of cultures, and leave with the inspiration to be an agent of social change. Many will take the experience and learning gained from this project, particularly in the area of launching new youth works, back into their home areas. Many participants also discover a desire to engage with young people as a lifetime vocation and go on to Higher Education to train for a career in youth or social work.
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