YNA: You're Not Alone
Start date: May 1, 2016,
End date: Aug 31, 2016
Loneliness is a potentially worldwide pandemic and it is an issue that cannot be ignored or reassuringly labelled as ‘individualism’, if it is not the case. Especially not in a European context, where a large number of people live alone, do not have a life partner and seldom interact face-to-face with others outside of the workplace or school. Still, ironically, loneliness is often not a phenomenon determined by social/ physical contact, as lonely people often FEEL alone even when they have people around them.The objective of this Key Action 1 mobility project is to provide our young participants with a forum for discussing motivations, feelings and reasons regarding social life, family patterns, social exclusion (self imposed or cause by others), etc. in order to find solutions that inspire a sense of social appurtenance. We focus normatively on methods of promoting interaction and individual/ group mobilisation in order to prevent social isolation in local and global communities.We engage 50 young Europeans from Denmark, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania for a mobility project and 1 week’s seminar in Denmark, where we share knowledge, address personal/ social issues and seek solutions to a problem that keeps people apart (in both mind, spirit and physical form) instead of bringing them together. We ask the overall questions:- What are the reasons for loneliness and what specific effects does it have on individuals, groups and local/ European society in general?In the midst of a massive, desperate refugee migration to the European continent, this project explores local, regional and national individual/ group perspectives on the notion of loneliness. We are therefore also compelled to ask: - How lonely must it not feel for refugees to be forced to leave home, country and family members on a dangerous yet unknown journey in search for a decent (secure!) life? And how can we help (all) people overcome an unhealthy feeling of loneliness?- How can we learn from other cultures, especially new incoming immigrant traditions and mannerisms, when it comes to balancing independence with dependence, individualism with collectivism and social membership with happy solitude?Because, loneliness is the enemy of solidarity, unity and social membership and it can threaten those intercultural relations that the European Union prospers from. And anyone, man or woman, immigrant or native, young or old, knows what it is like to feel lonely in some form or another. The link to the Erasmus+ objectives is therefore obvious, as especially the European countries, according to several studies, have a high number of people who feel lonely, take drugs to accommodate social anxiety and do not find partners and have kids. That can be a dangerous unproductive trend and ultimately prevent human/ material mobilisation and growth. We see it as our duty as members of society to involve engage and Included people who need help.For us communication is key and the single most important tool in the tool box is listening. We will show films and have guest speakers who have personal and professional experience in dealing with loneliness, as we have every intention of making the seminar in-formal learning experience with formal training set-up.With the project we seek to find long term, easily transmitted (via academic reports, journalistic reports, social media links etc.) and implemented, free of charge, culturally adaptable/ cultural specific methods and solutions to a global trend of unhealthy loneliness. Evenly importantly, we see a great opportunity for the participants to develop more socially productive skills that can help them perform better academically along with fellow students, be more active in socially profitable initiatives and build intercultural (social/ business) relations.
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