Youth accompany their (grand)parents on Europe’s first adult exchange program
Europe is in dire need of more open-mindedness and “general knowledge about the other” across all nationalities, professions, and political convictions. This is particularly the case for citizens aged 40 and above, as those have benefited much less from the extensive funding made available for youth work in recent years. In times of political, economic and ecologic crises, it is crucially important that Europeans work together instead of against each other. Because such pressing issues are on top of the agenda today, we cannot wait until the younger (and presumably more European-feeling) generations make it to the decision-making positions. We need to take action today and invest in life-long learning opportunities to bring forward a prosperous Europe today.
The aim of the exchange program is to enable people aged 40 and above to engage in a lifelong learning process alongside their (grand)children by widening their horizon and challenging their thinking for a more unified Europe. The success of the Exchange Program can be measured on separate levels: The most immediate success will be to have participants benefit from the program, allowing them to reflect upon their previously formed perceptions and opinions about “the other”.
The next level of success would be to have this impact spread positively in the home communities.
Finally, we hope that the reputation of this program spreads so that we receive applications from interested participants from all across Europe to continue our operation in a demand-driven way.
For the immediate outcome, we will deliver an interactive and participative exchange program that will bring together all "exchangees" in the Ruhr area, before they will each visit their exchange partners' home. We will survey expectations of youth and grand(parents) prior to the exchange to tailor the program to their needs.
For the community level outcome, we will coach the participants about possibilities to act as multipliers at home (photo exhibitions, travel diaries, etc.)
Finally, to increase the reputation of the program, we will work hard on press coverage, reviews, and on obtaining public support, explicitly not only addressing social media outlets but also more traditional forms of news circulation to cater for an older target group.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe