The Peace To Breath Youth Exchange took place in Estonian countryside, a place called Viikingite küla from March 1-9, 2017. The project was organised by Let’s do it Foundation (Estonia) in partnership with OLEMISEN BALANSSIA (Finland), Asociatia idei si proiecte pentru tineri activi (Romania), GENCLIK SANAT ARASTIRMA VE EGITIM DERNEGI (Turkey), OPPORTUNITY GLOBAL (UK) and funded by the Erasmus + Programme of European Union and designed to help young people from 5 above mentioned countries to understand and appreciate cultural differences, promote unbiased communication and tolerance, break down barriers, build trust and positive attitude and widen their horizons.
The main objectives of the Youth Exchange were to:
– unite young people from different countries and backgrounds to support peace, anti-discrimination policy and non-violent communication;
– break existing stereotypes and prejudices towards different cultures, traditions and views;
– inspire youngsters to become the volunteers and ambassadors of peace in their communities;
– involve the youth with fewer opportunities;
– promote the spirit of initiative and creativity;
– establish successful cooperation and long-lasting partnerships with partner organisations, volunteers and activists to continue and develop the collaboration in terms of Erasmus + programme and beyond.
For this project, we’ve selected the participants ensuring the gender balance and following the principles of inclusion and equity (14 male and 16 female participants), from whom there were participants with the fewer opportunities, such as representatives of ethnic and religious minorities, youth with economic obstacles and unemployed youth, thus promoting principles of active participation and inclusion.
During the youth exchange, 30 youngsters with different social, national, cultural and religious backgrounds had an opportunity to take part in different non-formal educational activities, such as seminars, workshops, group discussions, simulation games, theatre plays, intercultural events and other activities and gain knowledge on how to prevent and combat xenophobia, racism and biases that lead to discrimination and exclusion, overcome common stereotypes and contribute to the formation of the critical thinking.
As one of the results of the project a blog was created to share the drafts of social actions, that participants created during the Youth Exchange in order to carry them out in their communities; share their articles containing thoughts, reflection, insights they’ve gained during the activity and their perception of the concept of peace. Please find the direct link to the blog: https://wordpress.com/stats/day/ptobblog.wordpress.com
As for the youth organisations, this project helped them to have more qualified and motivated activists/volunteers and staff, strengthen cooperation with international partners, thereby enhancing an intercultural dimension of their activities.