The European House- Visions of a Common Future
Start date: 01 May 2015,
End date: 31 Oct 2015
The project "The European House", destined to be held in Weyhe (Germany) from July 17th to July 24th 2015 is the continuation of last year's summer camp held in Madona (Latvia) and is supposed to be continued in Coulaines (France) next year. It is the result of a long-standing cooperation between the three communities which are partners or twin cities. The Madonas Novads school district and the KGS Leeste (comprehensive school) can look back at a long tradition of annual student exchanges. As it is now our object to include the youth of Coulaines into our activities, we decided to broaden the scope of the encounter and decided to take turns in receiving each other in our local and native communities.
This year 52 participants, including one that is handicapped, aged between 14 and 20 years will take part in the camp in Weyhe. They will be monitored by 8 youth workers and teachers from the three nationalities who do each provide ample experience in intercultural echanges and communication and who are all multilingual. All group leaders, except one, know each other from last year and have kept in touch through social networks or even personal visits which facilitates the organization of the camp as well as the setting up of learning agreements. The handicapped student will be accompanied by one adult that will cater to her special needs. The German team will be assisted by former students who will help out with special workshop activities or translations.
Whereas last year's camp paved the ground for a future cooperation in the field of youth work, our objective this year will be a task-based encounter of young people from different backgrounds in order to explore their visions for the future of Europe. The Latvian students are all winners of various olympiades which are organized all over the country and covers all school subjects, including music, arts and physical education. The French students mostly come from disadvantaged families, some with a migrant background, who are supposed to serve as role models for the youth in their community. The German students are selected based on their interest in intercultural exchanges and encounters and due to their strong commitment to their school and/or community.
the main activities and task to be carried out in this camp are related to informal learning processes and the realisation that lifelong learning will indispensable in their future. This includes the willingness to learn and practice foreign languages as a mean to foster intercultural understanding and peace. The participants should develop an identity that goes beyond ther own national one and that might stretch out beyond the European boarders.
They will live in trinational camp and continously cooperate with members from the two other nationalities. The Youthpass as well as a personal camp diary, a quatrolingual vocabulary book, interviews with at least one member from the two other nationalities , and one pre-selected citizen of the host community will boarden their linguistic and emotional horizons as they will be obliged to ask questions and to express their own inteests, attitudes and preference; also in newspaper and radio interviews, a meeting with the mayor of the welcoming community and their presentations in front of the group and the school community. Together they will build the European House and later explain both its errection and its meaning.
The personal benefits for each participants of this camp, including the group leaders, are obvious: personal friendships and contacts will be forged, new identities and a broader vision of Europe will be born. On the local, regional and transnational level we will have produced young people that are open-minded and that tend to show a stronger willingness for cooperation with people other than the ones they know in their local community. We will have put them on a path that might lead them to become future pliticians, businessmen and women, educators or researchers that will bear the benefits, concerns and interests of their neighbours and friends in other areas of the world in mind when they will be looking local solutions,
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