First idea about Erasmus+ youth exchange raised in YAD Jyvaskyla´s local team in late winter 2020. Since people had heard about it but didn’t have an idea how to proceed they invited YAD´s projectworker Sami to tell them what it is about and how to get things going on. After some clarification about young people started to think about the theme of the youth exchange. After some bouncing around with different ideas Mental Health was chosen, since it felt that everyone had something to say about it.
Because it is impossible to arrange a Youth exchange without a partner organisation or youth group, we started to look for one. We sent “letters” to some organisations we already knew and Sami used his contacts to find a partner. We were lucky and found NECI (Network for European Citizenship and Identity) from Cyprus. Now that partner issue was sorted the work really started.
Young people in Finland and in Cyprus considered the reasons and justifications for implementing the project and the responses were compiled for the application. When the work for the application was ready we submitted the application to Finnish national agency of Erasmus+. Then we continued to get ready if our application was successful. Late in july we got a greenlight from the National agency and we could continue our preparations for the Youth exchange.
Throughout the spring there was some uncertainty and challenges because of the Covid-19. Because of the virus all the planning needed to be done online.
The young people themselves play a key role in the development and implementation of the project. So far the following things have been planned and arranged: APV (Advance Planning Visit) i.e. preparation meeting, accommodation, meals, day by day program, various activities and a draft schedule which will be confirmed during the prep. meeting.
When young people were asked why they want to be involved in the project, the following reasons emerged: the opportunity to meet new people, challenge themselves and learn new things, new experiences, internationality, getting to know a new culture, the desire to learn and help with mental health issues.
Next in our blog some insights from our advanced planning visit, Stay tuned!
You can also follow us in Instagram to get the latest updates of our project @Mentalhealth_exchange