Today, young people across Europe are facing diverse challenges, such as growing competition in education and the labour market, difficulties in accessing their social rights, social exclusion and discrimination. At the same time, young people tend to close up in their own world full of technological devices, which only foster their frustrations. Due to the fact that Millennials are online constantly, checking emails, scrolling through Facebook, watching TV and playing video games, the amount of time young people spend active outdoors is slightly lessened in the last decades. Even though, getting outside into nature and living simple do great things for relieving stress, improving brain function, increasing concentration, enhancing creativity and so on.
The aim of this project is to enhance the participation of young people with fewer opportunities in our society, by engaging them in outdoor activities fostering their physical and mental health.
• To share how nature is used in non-formal education in the partner countries and reflect upon similarities/differences
• To make participants acknowledge the value of sustainable use of nature
• To reflect upon the physical and mental benefits of being in nature and simple living
• To empower young people with fewer opportunities, by providing a safe environment for them to gain self-confidence through working together for a common goal
• To give young people with fewer opportunities the possibility to take part in an international exchange and get to know different cultures
The proposed Youth Exchange will target 60 young people with fewer opportunities from 5 different Programme countries increasing their awareness upon the fact that outdoor activities, being in nature and simple living enhance their mental and physical well-being. The different activities of the youth exchange will encourage the participants to engage is similar outdoor activities and be healthier. Moreover, due to the Youth Exchange participants will realise what potential they have, their skills and talents, which will guide them in their future lives. They will gain experience how to cooperate in order to achieve a common goal, plan and prepare different projects, including dividing tasks, leading and overcoming problems, challenges or disagreement that may arise, thus gaining skills they can use in any area of their lives. Overall, they will be more confident, and their self-value will be increased.
First, an Advanced Planning Visit will be organised in May 2019, in Randers, Denmark with the participation of one youth leader from each partner countries. The youth leaders attending the APV should have the following profile:
– Able and committed to attend the Youth Exchange as well
– At least 25 years old
– Have a good level of English
– Have experience working with marginalised young people
– Have experience as a youth leader in youth exchanges
The Youth Exchange will be organised in June 2019, in Randers, Denmark with the participation of 60 young people with fewer opportunities between the age of 17 and 21, accompanied by 12 youth leaders from Denmark, France, Romania, Italy and Poland.
The partners of this project believe that there is huge potential to create deep impact, and a memorable experience not only for the participants, but for the local community as well.
The young people of this project will become aware that outdoor activities, being in nature and simple living enhance their mental and physical well-being. The different activities of the youth exchange will encourage the participants to engage is similar outdoor activities.
Building of a permanent structure and delivering an activity day for children will raise their confidence and self-esteem. They will realise what potential they have, their skills and talents, which will guide them in their future lives. During the project, they will learn how to use nature sustainably for the benefit of the local community. Moreover, they will gain experience how to cooperate in order to achieve a common goal, plan and prepare different projects, including dividing tasks, leading and overcoming problems, challenges or disagreement that may arise, thus gaining skills they can use in any area of their lives.
Since participants will spend 14 days with other young people who also have fewer opportunities, they will adapt and become more emphatic toward people with difficult background. By realising that they are not alone, they will be empowered to change their situation for a better future. All of them will reflect upon their frustration and how to turn that into something positive for them and for the society.
The young people will improve their foreign language skills and increase their intercultural awareness, which will increase their will to travel, move, study or work in another country. Furthermore, they will have greater confidence and willingness to mobility, which means they will have a wider range of possibilities in their lives.