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Youth Projects

``In Charge of Time`` Polish-Slovenian Youth Exchange

My Value:

One value that is most important to me in my work with youth is independence. In the projects that we complete I try to give our youth as much independence and areas for making decisions as possible. This gives them a place to „test-out” their ideas and deal with their consequences. It is based on the principles of Transactional Analysis and the PLYA (Project Learning for Young Adults) method which we had the opportunity to learn more about during our exchange in Slovenia. After working with the youth at PUM I wanted to create an opportunity for the two youth groups to meet. This would however require them to show independence and determination in setting out their goals.

The goal of the project:

The goal was to create an opportunity for Polish and Slovenian youth to come together in order to solve a social problem which they found to be relevant to their age group. We achieved this goal by applying for Erasmus K1 Youth Exchange funding. This allowed us to meet in Cracow in January of 2018 to tackle to problem of finding fun and engaging activities for youth that didn’t involve drugs or alcohol.

Methods used:

Project based learning for young adults. In order to complete this project youth (with the help of their project coordinator, meaning me) had to plan, organise and complete a Youth Exchange program. While in Cracow they used ActionBound – a mobile application – to create a field game around the city.

The process of conducting the project:

In March of 2017 we started having regular meeting for youth interested in taking part in an international youth exchange with Slovenia. During this time both teams learned about the partnering organization and the main goals and issues they are tackling, brainstormed ideas for a project they could do together as well as places where they could go in order to make this happen. Lastly, through collaborating together they reached consensus on a social issue that they would like to tackle together: how can teenagers have fun without seeking high-risk behaviours such as smoking and drinking. They planned to address this issue by creating a field game that would bring together both of their cultures in many different fields.

In April 2017 we applied for Erasmus K1 Youth Exchange funding and started planning the trip for winter break 2018. Since all youth taking part in the program fall into the category of fewer opportunities we knew that it was essential to provide linguistic support before the trip which took place between November 2017 and January 2018. This provided them with the much needed support they needed in order to build the confidence necessary to start communicating with others in English.

Both teams met in Cracow on January 19th, 2018. For one week we got to know each other and learned to communicate despite some linguistic barriers, and began to work on the final product – our ActionBound „In Charge of Time” field game. In it we take you on a (rather long) walk around the city where you are asked to completed many diverse challenges.

The video from our project can be seen on our projects website: http://atalaya.pl/projekty-w-toku/icot/

You can also play the entire game by clicking this link: https://en.actionbound.com/bound/ICOT

Final reflection:

I am in awe of how much each participant took the opportunities that they were given to them. To see how much they have grown during this exchange is priceless and I am delighted to see that they have already shown the initiative to conduct the next international projects together. I’m left with unbelievable gratitude.