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Volunteering your way out of marginalization and poverty.
Start date: Mar 20, 2015, End date: Sep 19, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This multilateral youth exchange will bring together migrant youth and youth leaders from the UK, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Portugal for a 12 day activity in Lithuania with the intent of exploring the role of volunteerism as a tool for preventing marginalisation, social exclusion and poverty among migrant youth. The exchange will be held from 01.06.2015 till 12.06.2015 in Trakai region. The APV be held in the same place as the exchange from 24th to 25 of April 2015 and will involve 2 representatives from each partner organisation. Recent years of recession have greatly increased the rate of unemployment throughout Europe and the surrounding areas. Migrant youth, associated with greater social, economic, physical and/or cultural disadvantages, are at a particular disadvantage. Addressing this issue with effective solutions has become even more critical than before as it impacts not only the individual but the local, national and continental environment as well. Our partner organizations plan to address this issue via the youth exchange process with the goal of facilitating an exchange where youth can come together in a multilateral, tolerant, inclusive environment and develop the skills they need to increase their employability as well as empowering them to develop the skills they need to fully participate in all levels of society (social inclusion). This will be done with an eye towards using volunteerism as a way of developing entrepreneurial skills and innovative approaches to unemployment as well as gaining new skills to reduce and prevent marginalisation and poverty. The young people will be chosen by the participating countries and criteria will be that they will be representative of the target population (migrant young people facing unemployment) with a goal of 50:50 ratio of male and female participants to ensure gender equality. Our youth leaders will meet the criteria of being peer leaders, youth migrant activists, and having some experience in working with youth on a international level as well as involvement in community councils or forums. The objectives of this project will be to bring together youth leaders and at risk youth to work on issues that will help resolve and remediate the issues related to unemployment, poverty and social exclusion that affect migrant youth, focusing on innovative solutions and entrepreneurship through volunteering. We anticipate that we will be able to further spread our findings and knowledge to other youth organisations active with the issues of practicing peer education as a tool to promote social inclusion and increased employability of young people. The following working methods will be used during the youth exchange: theoretical inputs on various aspects of communication, information and ICL and exercises (simulations, consensus and confrontation exercises, workgroups, etc.); presentations of best practices; role play and simulation exercises; workshops on management of a peer group, inter-cultural communication, peer on peer communication; Open Space method; Forum Theatre; volunteer work as a way to pick up new job skills, presentation of the Erasmus+ Programme with a special focus on new developments and opportunities for cooperation between the partners on the project’s theme. The impact and results that we anticipate will be an identification and acknowledgment of the issues related to unemployment among migrant youth, concrete solutions to address these problems (such as volunteerism), the active use of these solutions with continued refinement through feedback and communication, dissemination of the results to include a wider and wider audience, and sustainment of these practices via support through youth leaders and partner organizations. This project will give the young participants an opportunity to organize informal peer led activities for their peers and local community, while accepting feedback on the chosen methodology and to be active citizens through volunteering. The skills learned in this exchange are not only applicable to unemployment but can be expanded to form a broader base for life learning experiences in general allowing for improvement in knowledge, skills, thought processes, engagement in active citizenship, volunteerism, intercultural dialogue, intercultural tolerance, and increased communication skills. These long term, synergistic benefits will help to propel forward a more inclusive and better attitude towards active citizen participation throughout Europe and the surrounding countries.

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