Youth Exchange Between Limerick and Joensuu
Start date: May 1, 2016,
End date: Jan 31, 2017
East Meets West is a youth exchange project between Limerick and Joensuu. Nine young people and three leaders from Ireland will come together with nine young people and two leaders from Finland to plan, implement and evaluate a youth exchange programme that will take place in Joensuu and in Nurmes Youth Centre, Finland between 28.06.2016 - 3.07.2016. This partnership has been in development informally for over a decade as a staff member from each partner organisation has been in contact with each other exchanging working experiences. We finally decided to formalise this partnership and start planning a youth mobility project together.The young people taking part in this project share a common ground in having fewer opportunities in life. They come from backgrounds of communities with high levels of unemployment, mental health problems, low literacy and numeracy levels, one parent families and substance misuse. The young people are 13 - 18 year old boys and girls, with learning difficulties, low self esteem, poor social skills, ADHD, Asperger's syndrome and mental health problems. With this project we aim to provide these young people with new experiences that they would not otherwise have an opportunity for. We aim to positively influence their outlook in life and promote their active participation in the whole process of the youth exchange from planning to implementation through to evaluation in order to improve their self expectations and self esteem.The aim of the project is to bring together two cultures from two countries in promoting active participation of young people in their own self development and learning, and making new experiences which these young people would otherwise not have an opportunity to get. The learning outcomes for this project include promoting positive self confidence, strengthening language skills, developing acceptance of diversity, developing team working skills and promoting the prospects of further education / training / employment, as well as realising the possibilities of international opportunities for young people.The aim of the project for the two partner organisations is to share their expertise and knowledge in the field of youth work and educational disadvantage, to compare the policies, practises and methods use in the two countries. We also aim to extend our professional networks beyond our countries' borders and to expand to intercontinental partnerships. By doing this we aim to improve our own professional practise in the field of youth work and educational disadvantage.The project plan includes extensive preparation stage in which the young people will be actively involved in researching their partner countries, and planning and developing programme activities. The implementation stage comprises of the youth exchange which will take place in Joensuu and in Nurmes, Finland in June-July 2016. The activities during the exchange include educational visits, sporting and team building activities, making learning diaries for reflecting on self development and using the Youthpass for monitoring learning outcomes. Young people will actively participate in group work, individual reflection, informal and structured interaction and dialogue and team building. The emphasis will be on creating opportunities for young people to make new experiences, achieve a sense of success in taking part and through this develop their self confidence and life skills, the theme being see the world, feel the world.We hope to have empowered the participants to realise their own potential and the opportunities they have around them. The young people will have grown in self confidence, developed their social and life skills and accumulated a bunch of new life experiences. They will make lifelong friends and have created international networks with peers who they share common ground with beyond borders of countries and cultures. The young people will make memories that will last them a life time. Background the methods what we will use is Finnish Eräperinne , which mean surviving at forest. In Nurmes Youth Centre their have use outdoor and adventure pedagogik over 30 year. Our camp will be campsite at the beach of Pielinen lake, which are the most biggest lake in Finland. Hole area represent a fauna call Siperian Taiga. This kind of forest would be experience to the Irish and told also something our roots and national minds.Long term benefits will include a positive influence on the participants outlook in life, improvement in their attendance, participation and retention in education and the realisation of possibilities of further education / training and employment. For our organisations the long term benefits will include the improvement in their working practices, and the possibility of extending the international network of colleagues to a further partner country.
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