Many times we have a chance to hear how world became a ‘global village’ as a result of exponential growth in technological connection. That global network made us all more interconnected, especially young people who spend significant time of the day on social media and internet in general. In such context, young people need knowledge about other cultures, active and empathetic communication skills and proactivity in understanding and respecting cultural differences and similarities. With that in mind, „Confluence of Cultures“ project was created.
Youth exchange “Confluence of Cultures” is a seven-month long Erasmus+ mobility project, which has the main aim of raising young people’s awareness of cultural diversity in European context. Youth we are working with expressed interest to learn more about other cultures, but through ‘face-to-face’ communication (not virtual) with other peers from European countries. As a result of communication with our partner organizations, we agreed that youth we are working with shares the same needs and we decided to work on this proposal – and create a project that will provide young people with opportunity to empower their cultural awareness and creative expression through non-formal education methods which will give them valuable experience of group work, understanding various aspects of culture, respecting differences and similarities, event planning, etc.
In order to achieve the project’s aim, we decided to set the following objectives:
1) creating safe, creative and stimulating environment for learning and experience sharing for 24 youngsters and 6 group leaders from Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Turkey
2) getting to know cultural aspects of participants coming from 6 European countries and developing open dialogue between participants through non-formal education activities
3) increasing awareness of cultural differences in Europe as part of tolerance building promotion and fighting against youth violent radicalization
4) empowering youth from 6 partner organizations for active involvement in local community and wider multicultural context
5) informing young people and local people about Erasmus+ mobility opportunities;
This project is implemented by 6 partner organizations: Udruga za promicanje pozitivne afirmacije mladih u društvu “Impress” Daruvar (Croatia), Agenzia di Promozione Integrata per i Cittadini in Europa (Italy), Maltos ordino pagalbos tarnyba (Lithuania), Spółdzielnia Socjalna Pracownia (Poland), ASK Yourself (Romania) and Belen Kaymakamlığı (Turkey). Each partner organization will be represented by 5 participants (4 young people aged 18-25 and 1 group leader over 18 years of age). Participants will be motivated young people eager to be a part of this multicultural youth exchange, willing to learn, share and contribute during all stages of the project. The youth exchange activity will take place in ŠRC Kukavica (Velika Pisanica, Croatia) in the period of 5th-14th July 2018 (including travel days). Participants will take part in non-formal education workshops that will help them learn more about culture in general, cultural differences, importance of tolerance and how to promote it in multicultural contexts. Some of the activities from the schedule include: getting to know each other and group building activities; getting familiar with Erasmus+ programme, Youthpass and 8 keycompetences; cultural simulation activity; practicing traditional dances from 6 countries;singing together; creating promotional material; storytelling; video postcards creation;traditional arts & crafts creation; preparing and holding a final event; intercultural nights;reflection groups… Participants will take active part in their learning process through all phases of the project and they will develop themselves both in personal and professional life.
With this project we aim to achieve a multiplier effect and sustainable impact. The envisioned results, impact and benefits of “Confluence of Cultures” include: organizing public event, improvement of participants English language skills, more open and tolerant dialogue among young people from different cultural backgrounds, creation of project video and leaflet, presentations and workshops in each of six participating countries on the topic of cultural diversity, increased capacity of partner organizations for project management and international cooperation, increased number of young people interested in non-formal education, volunteering and Erasmus+ opportunities, etc.