When analysing social exclusion, the search reveals a major underlying factor in this issue which is the challenge of our abilities to embrace diversity and enhance inclusion. This has been further challenged by the recent increased political polarisation. Violent and racist behaviors and words seem to be justified by the fear of “others/them”, and we have the perception that this crisis is something that we must fight by all means. Therefore, building mutual respect for and acceptance of diversity is crucial to serving as protective factors that imply preventive measures that assist young people in being inclusive and proactively standing against exclusion and xenophobia. Hence, this project aims at promoting intercultural awareness, social inclusion, and diversity among the young participants, while supporting their development as global active citizens.
The aims and objectives of this project were:
1. Improving our understanding of diversity, social inclusion, and intercultural awareness; 2. Developing our understanding of the importance of peace and human rights in society; 3. Developing our ability to explore and multiply the positive impact of interculturality; 4. Exploring practical methods for enabling diverse groups to effectively work together; 5. Developing our communication skills and self-confidence related to diversity values.
The main activity of this project was a youth exchange for 42 participants from Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and Türkiye who came together and learned about the issues of diversity and inclusion in an intercultural environment with an intensive exchange of ideas, opinions, and perspectives to learn from each other. The programme was designed based on the research, needs and issues expressed by young people, considering their time constraints, learning needs and other challenges. It was flexible to adapt to the learning needs and styles of the participants over a range of the entire project. This project contained three main stages: initial preparation - wherein participants took part in multiple activities and exercises, exchange mobility - wherein participants joined a 9-day-long activity in Vienna together with the chosen participants from partner organisations, and follow-up - wherein participants implemented follow-up activities to transfer their newfound competences.
Outputs of the project: The results of this project are directly connected with its main objectives and the desired learning outcomes and impact. One of the tangible results is the set of follow-up plans that were created by the participants on different socially relevant topics. Participants have implemented their follow-up activities and they continue to do more on the topic of diversity. During the mobility, they have also produced several multimedia resources which explain different concepts and topics such as tokenism & positive discrimination. The majority of these multimedia resources have been compiled together in a youtube playlist. Besides the tangible outcomes, the results of this project mainly lay in its intangible outcomes, which are directly connected to learning and competences acquired by the participants, who went through the whole programme and learned practical, emotional, and theoretical competences around diversity. More details about this project are published on the ERASMUS+ results platform in this Project Card.