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The next step!
Start date: May 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The next step!" is an international youth exchange for young people leaving child welfare. A total of 30 young people will participate. They come from Austria, Bosnia, Serbia, the Netherlands and Croatia. In most European countries care for young people under 18 is mostly well organised, but after 18 they have to make the step towards an independent life. The young people all have to deal with a complicated past. This could include addiction, divorce problems and abuse and neglect in the family situation. Also financial and educational problems are the rule rather than the exception.For those young people, participating in an international exchange is not something self-evident, although they can really benefit from it. Often, the group of careleavers primarily focusses on surviving. They are stressed by the things they need to arrange when they turn 18 (insurance, housing, finances, study and / or work) . "The next step!" offers young people the opportunity to meet peers from other European countries, to build a network, share experiences from their difficult past and work on a concrete personal plan for the future. A personal dream into a workable plan that's the goal!The week offers time to dream and also workshops in which you (re)discover yourself and get to know your strenghts and qualities better. Young people will learn to look from a different perspective at their past and get a positive boost to take responsibility for their future. In addition, they get practical tools which helps them to achieve their goals.But how do you work towards a long-term plan for the future? Concrete activities lead young people from a dream to the end goal. It begins with "Who am I?" where young people create a profile of themselves. Then "What am I good at?" where young people play "the Quality Game" to learn what they are good at and become more self-condifent. "What I want" & dreams are made clear by making a mindmap. To establish a multi-annual plan with specific goals a diamond box (with all milestones) will be made by all young people. At the end of the week the your network is also mapped out so you understand which persons from your network can help you with what.Obviously there is also time for relaxation. Think about intercultural activities, sports, games, energizers and team building. As many initiated and directed by the young people themselves.Overall, "The next step!" includes:-The preparation of a multi-annual plan for the future with personal milestones with which the care-leaver can work independently.-To offer a unique, international and unforgettable experience to young people who wouldn't normally participate in an international exchange.-The exchange of personal experiences with peers and building a network of trust.Besides the personal impact of the exchange on the young people all participating organizations will exchange methods and best practices which focus on careleavers. This will bring the services for careleavers slowly but surely to the next level!
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