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S.M.I.L.E. - Sport Meets Inclusion and Links-up Europe
Start date: 01 May 2015, End date: 30 Apr 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project "S.M.I.L.E. - Sport Meets Inclusion and Links-up Europe" took place in Romania starting from 01-05-2015 to 01-05-2016 (12 months). It included 3 activities, as follows: A1) A long-term EVS from Spain for 7 months (September 2015-April 2016). The Spanish Sending Organization COCAT is based in Barcelona, and is a Coordination Platform of youth organizations of Catalonia. The Hosting Organization Association Lumea Lui Pinocchio is based in Panciu (Jud. Vrancea), and with its Educational Daily Centre Pinocchio, promotes the socio-cultural inclusion of the neediest children and youngsters of Panciu, with a specific attention to the local Roma community. EVS volunteer' activities will involve the realization of sport and cooperative games for the children and youngsters of Panciu and, possible, surronding areas. A2) An Advance Planning Visit (APV) in order to improve the quality of the further youth exchange's implementation that is included as third Activity (A3) of this project. APV has realized in June 2015, between 19th and 22nd. An Italian leader and an Italian young participant met the Romanian partner Lumea Lui Pinocchio and Zimbrul Carpatin (a Romanian youth association involved in the further exchange), and share details about theme, activities, practical arrangements, objectives and methodology. A3) A bilateral Youth Exchange between 22nd and 30th July 2015. The exchange idea born out of the enthusiasm of last year experience of exchange and involves two partners: the applicant is the association Lumea lui Pinocchio (Panciu - Romania) and the other partner is IBO Italia (Ferrara - Italy). Twenty-four participants were involved in the exchange experience (age 13-25 years old), together with 6 youth leaders and 1 accompanying person. The Romanian group included some youngsters with fewer opportunities, due to social, economic and educational barriers; some of them belong to the Roma minority. On the other hand, the Italian group included a participant with special needs. This constituted a concrete example of good practice of social inclusion and an added value for everyone. The exchange moved around Romania: it started in Bucharest, then moved to Campulung (Jud. Arges) and finally the activities continued and ended in Panciu. Through the use of non formal education learning methods (role-playig games, facilitated discussions, workshops, etc.), the participants took part in preliminary activities, ice-breaking and team building games, workshops on dangerous habits, grassroots sport and outdoor activities, the organization of an international sport event in Panciu open to the local citizenship, the discover of Romania, evaluation moments. The main theme that connected all the foreseen activities and places is the practice of grassroots sports and outdoor activities as powerful tools of social inclusion, healthy lifestyles and active European citizenship. The main project's objectives are: - to use sport as a vehicle to promote the attainment of life skills among young people, to spread healthy lifestyles among youngsters, as well as, as a tool to develop self-respect and respect for others and interest for cultural diversity. - to promote social inclusion and equity and foster important values for youth personal and social life. The exchange emphasizes the importance of an inclusive and fair Europe, a society where everyone can feel free to express his/her own talents and personality. - to stimulate active participation of youth in the society, through the valorisation of youth empowerment and engagement across cultural, social and other boundaries. Sports, outdoor activities and cooperative games constituted a tool for non-formal education and for acquiring new/improving existent knowledge, skills and attitudes, that can be useful also for a further training or a future successful employment. As achieved results, participants acquired useful life and trasversal skills, that have been certified through Youthpass Certificate, and were more aware of their role in the construction of a cohesive and inclusive Europe.
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