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Young Erasmus+ Ambassadors of Peace
Start date: 04 May 2015, End date: 03 Oct 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The idea for this youth exchange came up to discussion with the young people in one of the helpleader groups in the parish in Kvevlax, Finland. Their youth worker met new partner organisations on the contact making event "CME Erasmus+ Intro" in Antalya, December 2014. The objectives of this interconfessional youth exchange were among others to break stereotypes that the young people might have against other confessions, to gain a mutual understanding of one and each other's confessions, to have an intercultural learning process and to become more aware of traditions linked to confession. The participants learned more about the other confessions represented on the youth exchange. Through new friendships with people from other cultures and confessions one will get more open-minded. The young people gained better social comeptences and it might be easier for them to cooperate with people from other nationalities and confessions in the future. They also practised English for a week, which might have improved some of the participants' language skills. The youth exchange widened the horizones of the youngsters. There were 41 participants and groupleaders from Finland, Poland, Turkey, Armenia, Russian Federation and Ukraine (6 participants + 1 groupleader). There was also an APV before the youth exchange started, which gathered 10 people (1 youth worker and 1 young participant per country). The participants were aged 16-28 (most of them were around 20 years old, but some were younger and some were a little bit older). The methods that were used were non-formal and interactive. The participants discussed the topic of confession from a historical perspective, from an everyday life perspective, the difficulties that might be connected to confession and the connection between all the confessions represented on the youth exchange. They treated the subject through using different non-formal working methods: workshops, simulation and role games, interviews and discussion. During the youth exchange, the participants made a video which connected to the topic of the youth exchange. This video will afterwards be shown when the young people visit schools in their local area in order to present the results of the youth exchange. It will in this way make an even broader impact on young people in Europe. The participants will, as the name of the youth exchange, be Young Erasmus+ Ambassadors of Peace - YEAP-ambassadors. They will make an impact on their local community through the knowledge and understanding of other confessions that they have gained during the youth exchange. We have also established strong partnerships between the partner organisations for future cooperation.
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