Start & End Date: 01.05.2016-31.12.2016
Place: Erfurt
Participating Countries: Germany, Lithuania, Portugal, Croatia, Greece
Project Partners: Rokiskio jaunimo organizaciju sajunga “Apvalus stalas” (LT), Escola Profissional Do Montijo – Associação para a Formação Profissional e Desenvolvimento do Montijo (PT), Raplection (HR), Hellenic Youth Participation (EL)
Number of Participants: 35 participants

Grant Giver: Erasmus+
Key Action: KA1, Learning Mobility of Individuals
Action Type: Youth mobility
Grant Amount: 16,264 EUR

After successful implementation of the 3rd version of this youth exchange last summer, together with the partners we decided to develop “YE Make the change come true – Live your life sustainable No.4”. Due the positive feedback from the partners and space for improving the content of the project, complemented with the interest of the young people for the topic, we want again to provide experience for the young people in our communities.

The project “Youth Exchange: Make the change come true- Live your life sustainable No.4” wants to continue this line by promoting an awareness treading of resources and the environment, as well as healthy behaviors through young people from different European countries through outdoor education and activities in a social context. Employability and social inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities will be strengthen through these activities. Young people are the key for our future and the next generations in our society. So they are the base in each country and culture, which should be as stable and strong as possible especially in our nowadays political and sociological surroundings.

Within this Youth Exchange, young people will reflect on their “Ecological Footprint” and the lifestyles in their countries and regions, concerning architecture, science and technology, transport, fashion and healthy lifestyles. This project will allow them a glimpse behind the scene of natural production, as well as it will give them the responsibility and reliableness. The aim of the project is to mediate intercultural learning, giving youngsters the opportunity to learn about themselves and to take over responsibility with content-related inputs about the topic. During the project, they will discuss why a sustainable way of thinking and living can foster the employability of young people, so that they will be able to identify themselves with this way of thinking and treading their environment and resources.

The aim is to connect these learning effects with a lot of fun through outdoor activities, to wake up their interests of a healthy work life-balance, which they will develop during the seminar with the help of the activities by themselves or with the help and input of the other group members. A main interest is to empower them in sharing and argue for their opinion. So the participants are going home very brave, motivated and keenly experimental to become active by themselves.

To reach the aims or the project, we designed one activity:

Youth Exchange in Erfurt
Youth Exchange held from the 13th till 21st of September in Erfurt, Germany.

The project wants to continue this series by raising awareness of the use of resources, the environment, and provide an understanding of a lifestyle of health and sustainability – together with young people from different European countries. Employment opportunities and social inclusion of young people will be improved through these activities. Young people are the basis on which every country and culture is built and it is our belief that this base needs to be as strong as possible. Within this YE the participants will discuss the situations in their countries and address topics such as agriculture, climate change and sustainable lifestyles. The project will give the participants a look behind the scenes of natural food origins and production and demonstrate them a sense of responsibility and the importance of reliability.

The aim of the exchange is to facilitate intercultural learning, to give young people the opportunity to learn about themselves and to take up responsibility by creating their own input for specific topics. Over the course, the participants will learn how and why a lifestyle of health and sustainability will improve also their employment opportunities and their wellbeing. We will combine these learning objectives with a lot of fun, various outdoor activities and provide an environment that supports constant interaction between the participants. A central aspect of this program is to boost the confidence of young people, to encourage them to stand up for their beliefs, so that they will be eager and motivated to take action upon returning home.

Together with our partner organizations, new projects and initiatives will be realized. To continue the partnership and cooperation beyond the duration of the third YE, all partner organizations are encouraged to support their participants in events at local level. During the entire exchange the learning will happen with using non-formal education methods and most of the inputs will come from the participants themselves. This way they will learn new skills through simulations, presentations, games, self-development etc.

Number of participants: 35

Profile of participants: Young people, interested in environmental studies, aged 16 to 30.

Methodology

Within each single session, there were different tools of reflection implemented. The group was asked who do you feel?, what did you learn?, how did you like the ??activity?, what did you learn? how is the situation in your country? etc. One method for the Youth Exchange to raise awareness among the participants, was to meet always in a circle, where each on can see the others, in order to give everyone chance to be involved and be part of the group. Every evening, before closing the day, the participants meet in their fixed reflection groups to evaluate what they liked, what they didn’t like and what they would like to improve about the day. These results they wrote down on a paper and handle this out to the team. On the daily team meeting between group leaders and the team, this was the basis to discuss the program of the next day and to check if the needs of the participants were tackled. Each morning, we started the day by going back to the results of the reflection groups, giving comments about what can be changed and what not (fix. weather) and explaining the flow for the day. In the middle of the project, we made a mid-term evaluation instead of the daily reflection group, also for the participants to have better inside and understanding about the feelings, learning moments etc. from the other participants.

On the last day there was a huge evaluation session, with oral and written evaluations. Out of this, we received an honest feedback, about the objectives of the project, about the activities, the team, the own involvement, wishes for the next project etc. These results and the feedback from the partners are the basis for our future work and the continuation of this project line.

Impact

On this Youth Exchange the participants had space to exchange views on what sustainability and healthy lifestyle in their idea means. They had chance to reflect on their Ecological footprint (EF) during the Youth Exchange and to find solutions in different spheres of their life for reducing it. It was offered the opportunity to put in practice such ideas of healthy life style by offering a wide variety of activity material and sports equipment – as is provided by the venue we chose. Participants were able to speak in a second language, practice public speaking and team working skills in a new and different environment. Participants learned to act in a cross cultural setting
and how to move out of their own comfort zone. By meeting young people from other European countries, the participants understood more about the European dimension of the issues we are tackling. They compare situations and were empowered to reflect their experiences and to use them in a proactive way. Also we strongly believe that this youth exchange was chance to get to know the key competences and practice them during the project. From the YouthPass certificates we noted that high extent the following competences were developed:

  • communication in foreign languages;
  • learning to learn;
  • social and civic competences;
  • sense of initiative and entrepreneurship;
  • cultural awareness and expression.

Gallery

 

Testimonials

Gentiana Strugaj

Participant of Youth Exchange
I was part of the youth exchange “Make the change come true – Live your life sustainable”, because I am very interested in the topic. I was fascinated from the group dynamic and their active participation during the project. We promoted a healthy life style with workshops, discussions and a lot of outdoor activities. I created good partnerships for my future project and made good friends.

 

Dissemination Materials

Not available at the moment.