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Silence the Violence
Start date: Jun 1, 2016, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project emerged out of a serious problem that we are facing, namely the increased level of physical violence among youngsters, violence which involves children or adolescents and it receives daily attention in the media around the world.Youth violence can not be dissociated from other problematic behaviors. Violent youths are more prone to problematic behavior such as absenteeism or early school leaving, alcohol or drugs or a high rate of sexually transmitted diseases. All this led us to finding a way to involve young people directly in finding solutions that represent them and that express their attitude to violence, in a broader context, involving other young people from Europe.The aim of the project is to prevent physical violence among youngsters through sports and theatre arts.Youth Exchange objectives: 1. to reduce violent behavior among 40 youngsters participating in the project by the end of the exchange; 2. to raise awareness of young people and community about the issue of physical violence among youngsters by the end of the project; 3. to increase youngsters’ motivation to participate in sports and artistic activities by the end of the project; 4. to increase participants’ knowledge about European diversity, by the end of the project.The project aims to involve youngsters in theatre activities, since language is the main way to express oneself; thus, participants can find many forms of communication and interaction that can easily lead to various methods to resolve conflicts.The project also foresees practicing sports activities as a means of inclusion and also as a tool to develop self-respect and respect for others and concern for cultural diversity. This project aims to use sports and theatre as the main protagonists of acquiring healthy, non-violent behaviors among young people and enabling them to successfully manage their lives. The project will foster reflection on non-violent behavior versus the violent one, in order to foster awareness of the participants about the important values in their personal and social life. All these will be consistent with the programme priorities of promoting healthy behaviors, especially by encouraging the practice of outdoor activities and grassroots sports as a means to promote a healthy lifestyle and to foster social inclusion and active participation of young people in society. Throughout the project we will ensure that all activities are appropriate for the group of participants and that the activities/methods do not lead to exclusion (gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, age). To achieve this, we will make use of daily evaluations, interim and final evaluations and daily debates between the leaders and the young participants. During the activities, we will make use of non-formal learning methods which will be selected according to the activity's aim: role-play, Frisco method, sports competitions, debates, brainstorming, forum theatre, improvisation theatre, public cafe, creative workshops, exhibitions, get to know you games, cooperation games, trust games. The project will bring together 40 participants aged 14-22, from 5 different EU countries (Romania, Latvia, France, Greece and Italy). Each group will be composed of 8 youngsters (half boys, half girls and each group will include young people with fewer opportunities, trying to maintain equal access). As a result of this youth exchange, there will be a large number of young people who have expressed their views on preventing violence and become aware of the magnitude of this phenomenon. Participants will also become more aware of the importance of adopting a civilized behavior, regardless of the situations they may face. By involving 40 young participants in theatre and sports activities during this exchange we will contribute to changing the perspective of spending leisure time and counteract the effect of lack of occupation. The project will increase young people's positive awareness of other cultures by supporting the active dialogue and the inter-cultural exchange among young people from different backgrounds and cultures. Participants will better understand concepts like multiculturalism and European diversity and will become more tolerant of other cultures and towards people at risk of marginalization, by interacting with people from different cultures.

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