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YW-Create your project; from theory to practice
Start date: 01 Mar 2015, End date: 01 Feb 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

“Create your Project: From Theory to Practice” included 28 youth workers from 5 different countries: Turkey, Poland, Slovakia, Italy and Norway. The project took place in Balestrand, Norway between 20-28 April 2015 and was arranged by Balestrand Ungdomslag. The participants came from different youth organisations and youth groups and from different cultures. They participated in the process of creating a mini version of a Erasmus +project and in a journey from theory to practise. They stayed on an organic fruit farm for nine days. Here they planted one tree each person, as a seed which will grow just like their knowledge of Erasmus +. They also experienced Norwegian culture and nature by taking part in both indoor and outdoor activities. The trainers, Tuba Ardic and Gard Eitungjerde Høyvik worked with the participants on the theories of improvisation theatre, game theory and intercultural competence and gave a detailed presentation of the Erasmus+ programme and the different elements of this during the project. The trainers used non-formal education methods which foster the participants’ personal and social development. With the help of the theories learned in this project the participants chose a topic on which they liked to do their own personal project toghether with a little other group. With the help of the trainers and the Erasmus + programme guide, they practised writing a Erasmus + project by using the application form provided. They did this in groups. The groups had a whole day to write a mini version of a project including a budget and a week’s programme. Afterwards they received feedback from the trainers about their application form. Each group got some hours to implement part of their week’s programme and received feedback from the whole group. By doing this we provided the participants the opportunity to learn about and experience both the project writing process and the use of theories in practise. The project writing and implementation day helped the participants to learn by doing, which is one of the main goals of the non-formal education method. During the project the participants, who themselves work with young people, learned tools of creativity like games, theatre theory and exercises. By working in an intercultural group, the participants experienced and learned about the different cultures. We hope this helped to diminish our prejudices against each other and foster European awareness between the youth workers. The participants also learned about the theory of ‘third culture’ which is about creating a new arena where two or more cultures meet. To achieve this we need, among many other things, communication skills and knowledge of the other culture. We believe in the importance of this project, especially with the spreading economic crises in Europe. By doing this training course which focuses on teaching youth workers about writing and implementing projects, we helped the participants to empower young people in their own countries. We hope that the mini version of the projects which the participants write during the project will come alive in the participants’ countries.
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