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S.P.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 Comune Di Tortona hosting Stage 2 in Tortona, Italy in August. CONTENT/BACKGROUND: Both organisations provided a youth exchange that offered new international and inter-cultural experiences and learning opportunities, that have had a positive and developmental impact on participants, their beliefs and their respect for others. OBJECTIVES The primary themes included fostering mutual understanding between young people from different countries and promoting European cooperation in the youth field. The project also increased the awareness of participants in relation to cultural traditions and youth-related issues in other European countries. The primary objectives were generally achieved by 1) Enabling participants to develop a greater understanding of the social structure and youth provision in respective countries 2) Making participants aware of the consequences of sectarianism, racism and intolerance and highlighting the benefits of integration, diversity and social cohesion. 3) Helping participants to develop leadership skills and personal abilities, that would enhance their employability and career prospects.. 4) Promoting healthy living through sports sessions and outdoor activities, as well as self-catering duties that increased their awareness of food preparation and hygiene 5) Educating participants about social and cultural changes that are currently occurring or unfolding in Europe and making 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 programme in Derry included 1) Visits to local community organisations, to learn of support programmes and methods available to adults and young people 2) A tour of the N. Ireland Parliament and of the local Council Chamber that included meetings with political and public representatives 3) Education 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 of division or intolerance, as well as visits to progressive and intercultural 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 The programme in Tortona included a) An international banner project that featured national symbols, landmarks and traditions b) Mountain hiking, outdoor activities and sports c) A craftwork session called Dreamcatchers d) Workshops that covered the story of Europe, Greek Mythology and drama skills. There will also be a P.E.A.C.E Workshop - Moving wall. A wall made up of bed sheets where the young people can do drawing and graffiti on the themes involved with Erasumus+. 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 and each of these themes were achieved during both stages. The project increased the awareness of participants in relation to cultural traditions and youth-related issues in respective countries. The project also encouraged 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

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