Let's build our European home!
Date du début: 1 mai 2015,
Date de fin: 31 oct. 2015
"Let's build our European Home" is an exchange born in the mind of four partners coming from Spain, Wales, Montenegro and Belgium. The four partners share several commonfeatures: they all met during a contact making seminar held in December 2014, they are all partners from the same network (ALLIANCE) and live in countries where the balance between national and regional identities is often at the center of public debate: It feels like this is an ongoing issue in Belgium, where Flanders and Wallonia are constantly struggling to find political and economical balance, in the UK, where a referendum for the independence of Scotland took place last year and there is a significant voice for independence in Wales, and in Spain, where the central government had to deal with regional demands for the longest time. Montenegro went a step further since the country won its independance from Serbia in 2006.
As youth workers, we are confronted with the issue of how the youngsters we work with will define themselves (that is, what is their identity) ans where they belong (that is, what is their community). It is understandable that youngsters are even more confused when facing these questions. They are still constructing their identity and they are still looking for references in order to do so. But what happens when the references are not as clear as they used to be? What if youngsters have so many options to choose from that eventually they decided not to choose any?
This is the starting point of this youth exchange. Through this project, we aim to explore the concepts of identity, community, intercultural awareness, citizenship and boundaries through the idea of "home". We'll support youngsters in sharing their points of view and experiences around the following questions: where do youngsters feel safe? where are their roots? How do I define myself? How do I define my community? Which community do I belong to?
The exchange will take place in the village of Borreda (near Barcelona, Spain). Each group will be composed by 6 youngsters: 5 participants and one leader. The aim of this exchange is to give this opportunity to young people who are not used to travel and to meet peers from other countries/cultures.
The activities are designed to ensure a pedadogical progression for the participants: first, participants will take part in several team building activities, an "ethnic dinner" and a hiking day in the countryside, second they will share and debate over the concept of "home" and will visit the community housing of Can Tonal, in the end participants will enter in the practicals and will build their own birdhouses. Once the birdhouses are ready, participants will go out in the local community to put up one of each country taking part in the project: Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium and Montenegro. This will be the first European community of birdhouses in one of the partner countries. The others will be established as soon as participants will be back to their home countries. Pictures will be shared in order to keep the participants informed of the set up of bird houses.
The objectives of the activities are the following:
- allowing young people to discover youngsters from other countries and to establish a positive group dynamic;
- exploring the concept of "home", by sharing ideas and values connected to the concept (shelter, privacy, warmth, safety ...)
- identifying common/shared values as young Europeans,
- exploring different concepts of "home" in the hosting community (Catalunya) and discovering how people co-exist in different communities;
- creating symbolic but concrete results which connect with participants home communities.
We expect that all those objectives will impact in the long term the participants and the local communities as well as will strenghten the cooperation between partners and inspire other organisations to step in the implementation of youth exchange.
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