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YOUropean 2015
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The goal of the European project "YOUropean» is to offer young people the opportunity to gain social solidarity experiences by meeting with people in situations of need. They may be people with disabilities, refugees, homeless people or people in materially precarious situations. This year the emphasis is placed on the question of the refugee problem, a very topical issue. Caritas provides the opportunity for such an encounter to take place. On the one hand the young people can discover and use their own social solidarity skills and learn to appreciate the concrete value of the lived, respectful social inclusion, on the other hand they learn about both the social structures as well as the principles of dedicated social work. "YOUropean 2015" is already the third follow-up project of youth exchanges following "YOUropean" from August 2012, "YOUropean reloaded "from August 2013 and" YOUropean 2014 "from September 2014 and will this time bring together, in addition to the initial partners Luxembourg and Montenegro, also Kosovar youth associated with the same social target. After Montenegro (2012), Luxembourg (2013) and Berlin (2014), "YOUropean 2015" will again Montenegro be held with 40 participants who participate actively and creatively in their respective societies. The participants from Montenegro and Kosovo come from poorer rural areas and are socially active by working as volunteers in the local Caritas. The young people from Luxembourg are active volunteers with Young Caritas. The youth exchange will also this time be based around the theme “Youth for a Humanitarian Society” and will thus include three moments: first, the encounter and exchange as well as the mutual encouragement of the young people towards each other, secondly joint social projects, and finally a joint closure of the project with all participants, including an evaluation and future planning regarding the implemented results as well as the sustainability of the encounter. Two methodologies are hereby used. One is the honest and respectful encounter. The young people should get to know each other and they should encounter people in precarious social situations in a respectful and personal manner. The other method is the open and intense exchange of views on social themes, either through workshops or meetings with experts or politicians or through social initiatives. This is to allow the young people to reflect on the importance of interpersonal solidarity for the development of the European society. The project will take place in Montenegro for two reasons. On the one hand, Montenegro is particularly suitable for the sensibilisation of young people for the European cohesion and for the issue of refugees and migrants. Many Montenegrins and Kosovars were or are refugees. Many of them have relatives in Luxembourg. In addition, the issue of Roma integration is being hit particularly hard in Montenegro. On the other hand Caritas Montenegro has shortly begun to introduce the participatory concept of social volunteering, Young Caritas. This development should be supported. The project will particularly teach the young people social skills and a greater awareness of European diversity and human solidarity. It will strengthen their language skills and expects from them the willingness to act responsibly and cooperate when meeting people in precarious social situations. It thus forms their humanity in many different ways. And it sensitives for the very difficult dealing with the refugee problem. The explicit wish is to embed the project into a broader objective: the increasing emergence and development of the department Young Caritas in many European countries encourages the creation of new partnerships and an even larger social network, as has already happened thanks to the “YOUropean” project which has lead to as the Erasmus + Strategic Partnership "Young Caritas Europe Network", which thematically also deals with the refugees and migrants. Thus, young people gaining their first experiences in the social sector would also be able to participate. At the same time the participants are offered an insight into social engagement, which may well lead to a future career choice.

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