Home Is… – Youth learning program in Bulgaria

‘Home is…” is 12-month long project of empowering young people to became healthy, supportive and engaged young adults in order to create healthy, supportive and engaged societies wherever they go. The main activity of the project is a 10-day long…

Home Is… – Youth learning program in Bulgaria

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‘Home is…” is 12-month long project of empowering young people to became healthy, supportive and engaged young adults in order to create healthy, supportive and engaged societies wherever they go.

The main activity of the project is a 10-day long youth exchange taking place in Ravnogor, Bulgaria (2-11 July 2019).

The project unites 36 participants (group leaders included) form 6 countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Spain.

The aim of Home is to foster inclusion and active citizenship, through intercultural dialogue among young people related to mental health and healthy habits.

Objectives of Home are:
(1) Supporting the transition of youngsters to adulthood, through creating awareness of themselves and their surroundings, increasing self-esteem and self-empowerment
(2) Stimulation of participation of youngsters, including those with fewer opportunities, promotion of the importance of an active citizenship by proposing activities for a better understanding of European values and identities of different levels, strengthening intercultural understanding and connections
(3) Raising awareness about the importance of inclusion and solidarity by involving participants with mixed backgrounds, youngsters with fewer opportunities who will participate as part of one integrated community
(4) Promotion of European values such as democracy, equality, diversity and tolerance, and encouragement for their dissemination in various peer groups
(5) Preventing radicalization and violence in youngsters by educating them about potentially critical topics (refugees, immigrants, cultural similarities and differences)

We invited participants from two distinctive backgrounds. On one hand, people with a vast experience in mobility, those young people who move around due to their decision or to outside factors. On the other hand, we invited people who feel they are tied down to their current home, who are afraid or have no opportunities to travel and expand their horizons. The struggles and challenges of both of these groups come from the home, that is, the physical place in the universe where their life is centered at the moment. They also share somewhat the fear of creating a new home, wither by fear from settling and commitment or by fear of losing the already existing one, trying themselves out in a different location. The lack of stability and certainty is a shared feeling of this generation. Through this project we invite our participants to create their own state of home, that is, through self-confidence and self-empowerment, create the feeling what they are missing and what prevents them from being active creators of the society, changemakers themselves.

The youth exchange is a simulation of creating home within through 5 steps: (1) physical universe, (2) mental state, (3) participation, (4) implementation and (5) release. By the end of the 10 days participants have a model on how they get accommodated to a new environment and people, and how they became part of this community.

The youth exchange consists of a variety of activities based on the principles of non-formal education, discussions, role-playing, experiential learning, theatre, media expression, learning-support groups.

When it comes to the results of the project, apart from the learning of the participants, the growth of everyone involved in the project (participants, group leaders, organizations and their target groups as well as their communities) is as well an important aspect. The final impact of the project is that once the participants leave they feel at home anywhere they go – meaning they feel like they belong, and that they are also conscious about and responsible for what is happening around them, in their immediate circle and also on a larger scale and in the long term – a group of young adults conscious about the state of the planet and others inhabiting it, taking concrete action to make it a better place for everyone.

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