Youth in "C.R.I.S.I.S" is a multilateral youth exchange within the framework of Key Action 1. The exchange took place over 8 days in Agros, Cyprus. The participants came from Cyprus, Romania, Italy Spain, Ireland and Slovakia. The theme aimed at exploring history, culture, traditions and politics of the participants from respective countries. These topics were explored through a range of non-formal learning methods such as arts, sports, drama, a cultural visit and a community project. The objectives of the exchange were to provide a forum for diverse cultures to come together and have a recognition for similarity and appreciation of difference, foster and encourage personal and social development through interaction on an inter-cultural level, empower young people to be active citizens and have an increased sense of belonging to Europe.
During the project, we discussed about the financial crisis and how this affects youth life. The young people presented the financial situation in their country and suggested new ways to increase youth employability and entrepreneurship. In this way participants, learned from each other, shared ideas and experiences and acquired new knowledge on how to overcome the crisis.
This project targeted the priorities of the ERASMUS+ programme since it tackled the issue of citizenship, youth participation, cultural diversity and inclusion at their most basic level. This allowed them to deal with fields of life, which are affected by those historical happenings. By improving cultural self awareness and developing interpersonal skills in a multicultural environment, it allows young persons to be better able to stand up for themselves, be more active, resist peer pressure and xenophobia, be more goal oriented and view life as a positive, meaningful experience. In turn, these young people will act as multipliers among their cohorts who in the long run will become better citizens.
Mixing different cultures and crossing borders to other traditions, languages and mentalities by involving actively with groups from other countries was the great achievement of this project. The working programme used informal learning in form of discussing, games, group activities. Through this, they experienced a new way of discovering their own history. The programme implementation was partly in hands of the participants themselves as well as professional trainers providing input and guidance through the method of experiential learning. The preparation, implementation, evaluation and follow up was coordinated by the leaders or contact persons of each country.
In this project we discussed about the culture, the ethics, the education system, the music, the traditional dances of all the partner groups. We held lectures, team games, workshops and discussions about all the unique cultures that are included under Europe. We prepared activities with the aim of knowing Europe: quizzes, building maps, sport games, round tables, open discussions, presenting traditional histories, workshops and outdoor activities. A special day was set for mixing cultures and combining people from different backgrounds. The main topic of our exchange was discovering cultures and learning new ethics, arts and traditions. During the project we managed to build bridges between the European Youth and we promoted active participation. Also, during the project, we organized intercultural nights where all the partner groups presented their country, their culture, traditional foods, drinks, music and dances.
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