View our project on the Erasmus+ Results Platform here
“Changing Minds!” is a project which aims to exchange practices between a diverse range of youth and community based organisations in both Ireland and Romania which deal with young people in the area of youth work, disability, challenging stereotypes and influencing policy.
With the help of the latest digital technology, the overall objectives, supporting the main aim of exchanging and learning from models of good practice are:
(1) To change attitudes and prejudices often encountered in Ireland in relation to people from less developed countries (this partnership will focus on negative attitudes towards people from Romania which, if successful, will lead to be people becoming more positive and welcoming towards EU citizens from ALL countries).
(2) To change negative perceptions of disability which are evident in less developed EU countries (again we will start by focusing on Romania – and then expanding to include all countries).
Central to this will be two learning activities, whereby young Irish and Romanian people will be given the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of working with people with disability within Romania, as well as taking part in interactive workshops, conferences and being upskilled in digital media technology. It is hoped that this exchange experience will help the young participants to promote change amongst their peers and at local and regional level, whilst at the same time attempting to impact on policy change at EU level.
The project will involve 17 participants who are made up of young people from both Ireland and Romania. This core group will be involved in the partnership from beginning to end and will work with each other to achieve the primary aims of this partnership. This group will get to know each other from the learning activities and both physical and virtual mobility planned. It is anticipated, given the challenging nature of the work involved, that this group will form a close bond which will allow them to be comfortable around each other and truly learn from and exchange their experiences.
The group will be supported by 8 adults/accompanying persons who have extensive experience in the area of disability and social equality. This will ensure that all participants are suitably supported for the duration of the partnership.
The partnership is made up of 5 organisations:
The Aurelia Trust – an Irish organisation who work with vulnerable and disabled people in Romania, lead organisation in this partnership.
A.T.I.C. – a youth organisation in Romania with extensive Erasmus+ experience who will support the implementation of the project.
Skibbereen Commmunity School – a new second-level school that was opened last year after the amalgamation of three schools. Will work on this partership with St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar and other second-level schools in Romania.
D.G.A.S.P.C. – a governmental organisation in Romania with responsibility for ensuring standards are met in the caring for people with disabilities, homeless people (adults and children) and any vulnerable persons. Will work on this partnership with a local school – Liceul Teoretic, Negru Voda.
Ludgate – new digital hub in Skibbereen, responsible for digital aspects of the project including the effective “virtual” communication between the transnational partners.
The opportunities presented to young people in both partner countries via this partnership are immense, both practically with the opportunity to work in the area of disability and virtually with opportunities to train/learn in digital technology, media and website design, vlogging/online memoirs/diaries, language training and so on. This is invaluable to young people who live in a rural community or are otherwise rurally, economically or socially disadvantaged.
A website will be designed documenting the entire life-span of the project, including vlogs, short documentaries and a record of an intense social media campaign run for the duration of the project.
Fun, easy-to-read conference reports will also be made available after the hosting of our two youth-led interactive conferences in Ireland and Romania. Materials will be developed to support these reports by the participants which will be used , firstly, by teachers in Skibbereen Community School, St. Gerald’s College and second levels schools who work with A.T.I.C. in Romania and later will be given to other schools and youth organisations around Ireland, Romania and the EU.
It is envisioned that this is the first step in a much longer term process and begins by the partner countries challenging stereotypes in the area of disability which, by the very nature of the partners involved, will also impact on poverty and social exclusion in a wider context.
With the combined skillset and potential reach of this project consortium, the impact of Changing Minds will be effective and wide reaching across the EU.
For further information on the project, or to find out how to get involved, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Video about our work will be added here soon!
Skibbereen Community School
The staff of Skibbereen Community School work as a team to ensure that each student is given the opportunity to achieve their potential. The school has a very active learning support department who support the classroom teachers in their work.
St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar
St.Geralds College is a voluntary Catholic Secondary School established by the De La Salle Brothers in 1908. The College is under the trusteeship of the Brothers and has over 600 pupils attending at present.
“Mereu in miscare!”
Directia Generala de Asistenta Sociala si Protectia Copilului Constanta
Liceul Teoretic, Negru Voda