Young Europeans for Active Citizenship
Start date: Dec 1, 2016,
End date: Jan 31, 2018
“Young Europeans for Active Citizenship” is a 10 days mobility of young people - Youth exchange, organized by United Societies of Balkans in Kastoria, Greece from 20th to 29th of June 2017 that brings together 56 young people and youth leaders from Greece, Italy, Romania, Turkey, FYROM, Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia and Estonia.The youth exchange explores the concepts of citizenship in general and European citizenship in particular and active participation of young people in social, economic and political life. The project tackles the issues of declined trends of social, economic and political engagement of citizens on national and European level, low trust in democratic institutions and representatives, little or no interest and knowledge of citizen’s rights and obligations, partial understanding of work and role of EU institutions and decision-making process in the Union. That’s why the youth exchange addresses and raises awareness about all of these issues and educates, motivates and equip young people with competences to take active part in democratic life and decision-making processes on local, national and European level. The youth exchange provides and introduces tools on how to be more active citizen, encourages and equips participants with knowledge and skills to run their own activities on these topics, clarifies the work and role of EU institutions, promotes international cooperation in the youth field, fosters mutual understanding and strong intercultural learning for participants. In order to achieve this, the project has the following objectives:- To raise awareness about citizenship in general and European citizenship in particular by exploring the concepts, their dimensions, their contemporary meanings, understandings and ways they are used;- To encourage active participation of young people in socio-political democratic life on local, national and European level;- To introduce the work and role of EU institutions and decision-making processes within the Union (theoretically and practically);- To empower participants to create and run campaigns on different topics and in different contexts;- To foster mutual understanding, solidarity, intercultural learning and intercultural dialogue;- To foster international cooperation, capacity and partnership building in the youth field working with citizenship education and active participation of young people;-To promote Erasmus+ Programme as tool to work with young people as well as for reaching and enabling active participation of youth with fewer opportunities.The working methods used throughout the youth exchange are various non-formal, experiential, peer and intercultural learning methods that will include: brainstorming, discussions, groups work, getting-to-know each other, ice-breakers and team building games, energizers, learning-by-doing activities, peer-to-peer work, lectures, debates, simulations, analysis and comparison, forum theatre and role playing, personal and group reflections, open-space activities, outdoor activities and presentations. The youth exchange strongly and directly impacts participants’ personal, organisational, social and professional development and capacities. Participants have the opportunity for comprehensive intercultural and peer learning and are empowered, educated and equipped with knowledge, skills and attitudes to become active youth leaders and youth workers in their organisations, communities and beyond. The project also develops the potential of participants and partner organisations to integrate European dimension in their work with young people. Personal reflection, widening the knowledge about other cultures, citizenship in general and European citizenship in particular, decision-making processes on national and European level, motivation for active participation and taking initiatives, gaining of practical experiences and tools as well as improving their knowledge and skills for setting up their own activities and projects are also outcomes of this youth exchange on participants.The project helps to establish an informal network of active youth organisations and young people from 9 European countries who can work closely on the topics that the project tackles or other topics, but also for preparing new joint project ideas, exchange of good practices and experiences, future cooperation etc.The project is expected to be an impulse for further follow-up activities organised by partners and participants on all levels, from the local to the European. Through additional follow-up activities, future projects in the framework of Erasmus+ and future cooperation of involved organisations, the project can have long lasting impact and effect on the personal, social and professional development of other young people, youth leaders and organisations as well as socio-economic impact and development of other communities, countries or Europe in general.
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