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Wide-Open Windows
Start date: Aug 11, 2014, End date: Aug 11, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context/background of the project: Objectives: Wide Open Windows(WOW) was the project of Olde Vechte Foundation addressing to the social need of development of the Peace-building processes. According to our beliefs, there are many organizations working with peace in the level of state, but not many that work with it in the level of the person. That is the gap that WOW focused on. In addition, peace-building is a process that is mainly happening in the offices and big ceremonial rooms. With this project we chose to transfer this process out of those places. We believed that by changing the way we look at this issue, we can gain new learning outcome. Therefore we changed the perspective by combining peace-building with outdoor activities. The combination with nature brings the learning process in real time situations and at the same time symbolizes the need of connection with our roots and the natural environment. In the project we focused and offered a perspective on looking at peace as a process that happens in connection with the resounding environment and not as one target issue. We choose to use the methods of non-formal education, learning by doing and method of the submerge, believing that peace is a state that can only be achieved in practice. Skipping the huge theoretical and historical background of peace-building we brought the participants of our project to face practical situations and to explore how they maintain peace with themselves and with others. Believing that learning is achieved better when it is gained by personal experience, we allowed our participants to explore and exchange their ideas of peace. The learning outcome was a useful material for transferring the knowledge to others. Therefore we offered to our participants the chance to create their own peace-building educational tools, based on the experiences gained throughout the exchange and the tools that they created or brought in it. Number and profile of participants: The number of the participants was 38, 5 young people per partner country, between 18-30 (including one youth leader). The participants were chosen with the criteria of balance of gender and experience. The background of the participants differed among the following categories: A. people with previous experience, knowledge and interest in Outdoor activities. B. people with previous experience, knowledge and interest in Peace-building. C. people with previous experience, knowledge and interest in both the areas. D. people with no previous experience or knowledge in none of the areas, but with interest and high motivation in it. In addition, many of our participants were active or experienced in the area of youth work. The motivation for participation for most of them was to learn new tools and gain experience in the field, that they would practically use in the near future and in their professional development. Description of undertaken activities: The project consisted of 2 activities: 1. APV, 14-16/9/2014: In this activity the youth leaders and facilitators of the exchange had a meeting before the exchange in order to get to know each other and to prepare the activities for the exchange. 2. Youth Exchange, 27/10-7/11/2014: In this part the youth leaders and facilitators of the APV met with the participants and together they worked on the topic of the project. This phase consisted of 6 main areas: A. On-line Preparation: Before the actual dates of the exchange there was a preparation period of 1 month. In this time, the participants had the chance to get familiar with each other and with the topic on-line. For this period there were specific activities prepared for them, which were created during the APV. B. Introduction: This part took place the first days of the exchange and the participants had the chance to get to know each other, to get introduced to the topic of peace and outdoor activities and to get familiar with the facilities of the organization. C. Participants Activities: After the introduction period, there was given space to all the young people of the project to create and perform their own activities. They had the chance to either create ex nihilo new activities or to reform old activities in a way that they would fit to the exchange. D. Outdoor: In this part the participants were going on an outdoor of 2 days approximately. In this they could use all the input gained the previous days, in order to practice the gained knowledge. In the outdoor there were included activities as rafting and biking, but the main body of this part consisted of a research for peace within a team and with the resoundings. E. Closing: This part served as wrap-up of all the experiences and knowledge gained the previous days of the exchange. In this the participants had the time to recap, to evaluate and to plan their future activities related to the topic of peace and outdoor activities. F. Follow-up: In the last part of the project, which happened aft
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