SHAPE Your Life: Introducing Sport, Health, Activi..
SHAPE Your Life: Introducing Sport, Health, Activism, Power-up & Empowerment in Everyday Life
Start date: Mar 1, 2015,
End date: Nov 1, 2015
The idea behind the exchange was to experience a whole unique week of healthy behavior, with an aim to show the participants that living healthy does not require much effort and in the same time provides long-term benefits. This project came as a follow up and an upgrade of the successful YE “GREEN Your Life” organized by Mladiinfo Slovensko and focused on sustainable living and ecology. It took place in September 2014 in Bratislava and the eco-community Sekier, Zajezova providing the participants with an unique experience of 10 days in sustainable world. Wanting to continue the spirit of sustainability, we had created the project SHAPE Your Life as a continuation after the GREEN Your Life. Whereas the ecology was the primary focus of our previous youth exchange, here we were reflecting on ourselves as individuals and on our personal development through maximizing the capacity of our body and mind.
The idea of the exchange went along with the measures foreseen in the EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2013-2020 (available at: http://ec.europa.eu/health/nutrition_physical_activity/docs/childhoodobesity_actionplan_2014_2020_en.pdf). The sport as an catalyser of healthy, but also inclusive lifestyle has been also recognized by the European Food Information Council and the United Nations through their campaign to use sport for promotion of Social Inclusion and Diversity (http://www.unorg/wcm/content/site/sport/home/unplayers/memberstates/pid/16005). All these data shows that the sport should be integrated in our daily activites, and that healthy living does not only understands taking care about the environment, the food or the system as such, but it starts from ourselves and what we do with our body and mind.
The healthy behaviour would be understood as a combination of sport, healthy food, activism, mind power-up and becoming empowered. The goals we wanted to achieve were: to motivate youth develop personally and thereby become more aware about themselves and about the society, to increase their individual capacities by making a balance between their body and mind, to understand sport as all inclusive and open action, where everyone can take part and be equally treated, no matter the background or experience as well as to use sport as a tool for enhanced social participation and inclusion. Therefore, each day was focused on different topic in regard to the exchange: Sport, Health, Activism, Power-up and Empowerment (S.H.A.P.E.). The participants started each day with outdoor activities adjusted to their physical condition and healthy-lifestyle awareness, being divided in three groups: beginner, intermediate and advanced. The outdoor activities were closely connected to the topic of the day and had shown the importance of sport, team-building, leadership, mental balance, and empowerment and support. All the activities at the youth exchange had been based on the peer learning, learning by doing, simulation, and other methods of non-formal education in order to assure best transfer of knowledge.
The project had shown to have a positive impact and long term benefits on personal and social development of the participants: they not only gained and improved skills that are important for young people living in the enlarged Europe like intercultural competence, ability to work in international team, language skills, but also the exchange helped participants to raise their self-confidence, self-awareness and self-reliance. Additionally, the participating organizations got 6 strongly motivated individuals ready to share their knowledge with their peers. The participants got empowered and received concrete skills on how to include more sport activities and how to use the sport for social inclusion that they can transfer to the members of their organizations and therefore, widen the scope of activities of their organizations.
This project included 36 participants coming from 6 countries. Participating countries were Slovakia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Germany, Georgia and Poland. The project took place in Prcanj, Montenegro in the period from 22-06 to 29-06-2015. Montenegro has been chosen as a location due to the location on the seaside and the closeness of the mountains providing suitable conditions for a wide range of outdoor activities in a smaller area.
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