Open your arms – Start the change!

In January has officially begun the youth Exchange project “Open your arms” which will be implemented on March 23rd-31st. The project that was receiving the APV (Advanced Planned visit) on January 12nd-15th, involved the representative from all the countries in the partnership (Spain, Italy and Portugal). This project that will involve 30 young students from 14-16 years old and many tutors, has the following objectives:

  1. Foster a youth exchange, based on non-formal education, involving 30 young people with fewer opportunities between 14 and 16 years old. The project aims to develop a global consciousness, improve cooperation skills in multicultural team working, and establish a proactive attitude towards different cultures;
  2. To create a tool to be used in schools by the youngsters about intercultural learning;
  3. Capacitate associations that are active in the youth field to be aware and involved in intercultural dialogue with young people;
  4. Promote an opportunity for youngster to develop their World citizenship.
  5. To implement participation in intercultural dialogue using verbal and nonverbal communication.


This project is born from the reflection of an EVS project, focused on intercultural dialogue that we are carrying out in Águeda, hosted by Psientífica Association. As EVS volunteers, we got in touch with a school reality that is addressing a changing period due to presence of young people with different ethnic, economic and cultural backgrounds. From our experience and from relevant literature, we have identified, in some European Region, a lack of structured and practical knowledge and know-how related to deal with these challenges.  We found this lack both in the education system (inappropriate tools, limited awareness of the problem, etc.) and in the social interaction (linguistic barriers, prejudice, lack of knowledge about other cultures) within society and school itself.  If we want to live in a multicultural society, we should start promoting the interaction in school among young people with different geographic, cultural and religious backgrounds and creating educational tools and atmospheres appropriate for an intercultural and collaborative learning. We feel it is pertinent and relevant to organize a youth exchange with young people from mainstream and minority cultures from our communities, so young people could get to know other cultures better and experiment new and stimulating intercultural relations, encouraged by non-formal education methods.


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