“Successful project designs for youth”
Entrepreneurship has a big role in the Economic Development of a country. The EU Commission and governments are investing in programs to foster entrepreneurship, including social entrepreneurship (I.e. The Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan by the EC).
We want to carry out this project because we know that the Dragon Dreaming method has been a source of inspiration and an efficient tool for individuals and entities that have managed to transform their dreams, into successful projects, inspiring young people.
In the same way, the project’s partners want to be drivers of change in the society in which we live, especially in the youth field.
With this, we hope to improve the participation of young people, in the activities that we deliver and to help engage the most unmotivated or marginalised youth.
This youth exchange has been designed to equip young participants with valuable tools on entrepreneurship and inclusion, that will also improve their job possibilities, during their professional future career.
This project, addresses different and relevant needs of each participating organization, as well as the Erasmus+ programme objectives, specially expected for this Key Action, like: inclusion, basic entrepreneur skills against unemployment, improving learning performance, promoting an active participation in society, increased self-empowerment, self-esteem and motivation, enhanced intercultural awareness and networking with other European, active young people.
We believe that Dragon Dreaming innovative methodology is a relevant tool for youth motivation and therefore, for a better future socio-economic development. We also liked that the technique creates a learning space, with theoretical and practical sessions.
The specific objectives of the project are:
1. To learn a new technique for the design of creative, collaborative and sustainable projects.
2. Acquire new tools to improve their employability, participation and motivation, especially those at disadvantage situations.
3. Creation of a common space for the intercultural exchange, in order to contribute improving the European awareness and citizenship.
To meet the participant’s objectives, an inspiring and educational youth exchange for youth participants has been designed, as a vital role in that purpose.
The participating entities: Creativity Works Preston (UK), Permacultura Cantabria (Spain), ILA (Netherlands), «World Net» (Italy), Viesoji istaiga Jaunimo laisvalaikio centras (Lithuania), «H2O» (Portugal) and 3PA (France), would like to improve the youth competences, project design tools and international scope, hopefully being of inspiration for the young people.
The main activity of the project is a youth exchange about Dragon Dreaming, as a tool for the collaborative design and implementation of sustainable projects. Permacultura Cantabria will be the hosting organization, so the activity will take place in Ramales de la Victoria Cantabria, Spain. It will last 10 days.
The methodology during the youth exchange will be flexible and adaptive, but mainly participative/active, with a lot of cooperative work. This way, we focus on practical sessions, over the theoretical ones, being much more effective, in terms of a non-formal program, and we facilitate the encounter, among the young participants.
We will attempt to create a mutual learning environment, using non-formal education methodologies (teamwork, workshops, role-playing, debates, individual work, evaluation sessions, and feedback).
We will use a daily evaluations, to make suggestions or appreciations, and adapt the methodology, if needed.
Free time is purposefully planned, so that participants have the possibility to interact, in an informal environment, to know each other, develop a good group atmosphere, discuss about the exchange topics or making future plans.
In addition, some preparatory activities will be carried out, to guarantee a pleasant and safety stay for all the participants. This will consist mainly of: plan the travel to Spain, getting travel and health insurances, using free resources for an adequate linguistic preparation, cultural preparation, gathering information about project topics, preparing their country presentations, etc.
Finally, secondary activities will take place, after the youth exchange: an internal workshop, led by the group leader, to transfer the knowledge acquired to other members of the staff or people interested; the evaluations and a strong dissemination campaign.
Each entity will send 1 group leader and 5 young people.
Group leaders are youth workers that will be chosen by their respective organizations, according to their relevant experience, personal interest and physical ability for fully engaging in the activities planned for the project. We will be looking for a person with a model behaviour, well-organized and ready to empower his or hers young team, giving them the opportunity to join in, lead, and build their skills.
The young participant´s profile is young people aged 18-30, members of the NEET group, interested in improving their personal and professional profiles and in gaining knowledge about new strategies to develop sustainable projects, employability skills and other useful soft skills (communication, teamwork, leadership, etc).
We look for an open and enthusiastic attitude, high learning motivation and willingness to apply the knowledge gained in real life, as those traits will increase the active participation, allowing the participants, to fully engage in and enjoy the planned activities.
In addition, we will pay close attention to the balance between the number of men and women and the participants´cultural diversity and we will give preference to socially disadvantaged youth, so that we have a diverse group, since we have realised that diversity is very rewarding, for each individual within the group.
The desired impact of the project and results of the project are:
The acquisition of new skills in design and project management, by the participants, which will promote entrepreneurship and boost their employability.
As young entrepreneurs and youth workers, their role as multipliers will also benefit other young people with whom they interact.
Dragon Dreaming will also foster diversity, creativity and sustainability, so that educators will be able to offer more attractive activities and trainings, which fully attend the youth’s needs and wishes, improving the participation of the youth with whom they work.
Young people will strengthen their teamwork capacity, as they will work together, during the whole project. They will also gain self-knowledge and could identify what their strengths and weaknesses are, when working in a team. All this will contribute to their personal well-being, motivation and professional development.
The skills and knowledge acquired by youth participants will have a positive impact when they would like to create and start their own projects, in their corresponding regions. The active role that participants will play, during the youth exchange, will give them new ideas to carry out, in future projects, in a collaborative way with other people, but will also broaden their working perspective, by learning about organisations and management.
The systemic impact will be the widening of interest in European projects and intercultural learning of other stakeholders, at local and regional levels, as we plan to disseminate the project results, in different institutions.
In particular, we hope to be able to increase the participation and interest of the most demotivated or disadvantaged young people, as engagement with hardest to reach is an ongoing issue. Through active listening, for example, we can incorporate the opinion of people who are shy or who belong to minority cultures.
The project will also improve the youth participants’ career development plans, by promoting lifelong learning and mobility. As a result of all that, they will have a more competent, proactive and motivated attitude.
The strategy of dissemination on national social networks will be coordinated, to achieve national topic trending and to attract the attention of the media, making the education sector aware of specific options to promote entrepreneurship and youth employability, through non-formal education.
For their part, the sending organisations will expand their experience and capacity to manage European projects and create contacts for future partnerships. In addition, it will improve our recognition and visibility within the European and international learning community, creating connections between different stakeholders, in the field of education.
The project will contribute to the Erasmus+ community, as we will share our results within the Erasmus+ network, so that other centres and organisations can be inspired, by the project.