scapegoat

Erasmus+ Youth Exchange
1-8 August 2021 - Corbeni, Romania

We Believe We are all the same

Through this project, we wanted to deepen our experiences and relationships with those who are different from us, who have different values ​​than ours, by virtue of nationality, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, education, etc. A key factor in a “process” of cultural exchange is that it requires us to meet, confront, explore, appreciate, and ultimately respect DIFFERENCE. During such a process of discovery, we inevitably hold a mirror in front of us and learn as much about our own identity and culture as we do about those we encounter, learning to appreciate them as two things that complement each other positively. 

By doing so, we manage to achieve our project objective, namely to reduce the level of intolerance and discrimination among young people, folowing three simple values…

diversity

Understanding cultural, national and social differences

inclusion

Awareness of the social, economic, cultural and educational mechanisms behind the situations of discrimination, rejection, exclusion and marginalization

unity

Increasing motivation to get involved in promoting equality and diversity

Our Story

It all started with an idea… we wanted to experience what it is like to be marginalized or discriminated against, to live the experiences of such people in order to truly understand them, to discover the origins and mechanisms of racism, intolerance, xenophobia and discrimination, to better understand the world we live in, to be aware and experience other realities, to learn to appreciate the difference in a positive way, to develop positive attitudes, values ​​and behaviors.

On numbers

Participants

Organisations

Group Leaders

Impacted people

ACTIVITY PROGRAMME

The activity program was created to accomplish the project objectives and included five levels:

LEVEL 1

Get to know each other and team building activities, which allowed us to achieve a positive group atmosphere, to facilitate communication and group dynamics. This stage was very important in the context of the approached subject. The planned activities were based on mutual respect, participants’ belief that everyone develops through this experience and that experiential learning is fun, enjoyable, rewarding and positive. If this wouldn’t be clearly understood, then difficulties and conflicts could arise, as activities led us to explore our thoughts, feelings, and emotions about our prejudices, beliefs, and worldviews. If the group wouldn’t get to know each other, consider the work environment a safe space for discussion, active listening and sharing experiences, we wouldn’t be able to achieve our goals.

level 2

Activities that explored the images and perceptions we have about other cultures, countries, social origins different from our own. These images and perceptions we are talking about are often the links between stereotypes and discrimination. If we do not understand where these images come from and do not learn to treat them in a critical way, we will not be able to analyze the influence they have on us and our view of the world. If we set out to reduce discrimination and intolerance, then the first step is to recognize these images for what they are – and only that – images that often have little to do with reality.

Level 3

Activities that explored the social, economic, cultural and educational mechanisms underlying discrimination, exclusion, intolerance and marginalization. If we are not able to recognize the mechanisms that perpetuate exclusion and discrimination, we will never be able to address and change them. It is essential to have a perspective on interests, power and politics, at the local, national and global levels, which are the main causes of conflicts between people. Few people would choose to leave their homes, if not for war, famine, lack of employment opportunities, political and religious persecution, etc. We need to ask ourselves why the world situation is as it is and why it is so difficult to reform.

level 4

Activities that encourage the motivation to act, to get involved in order to prevent the problems of intolerance and discrimination caused by cultural and social differences. Carrying out this project would be useless if, as a result, we would’t learn how to act to create change. Change was seen as an essential result of activities. We had established three levels of action together. Action on a personal level, for example, being more aware of ourselves and our vision of the world and recognizing the importance of our personal actions. Local action within their own communities to support minorities or other “different” people. Action at organizational level, by carrying out sustained activities to create a fairer and more tolerant intercultural world.

LEVEL 5

Reflection and evaluation activities – including the Youthpass certificate. Within the project, the participants took part in project planning and preparation activities, mobility activity programme and dissemination stage and performed numerous tasks. From this experience, they learned a lot. By regularly reflecting on their learning process they became more aware of how they are learning and the potential they have. Also, regular evaluation of the basic elements within the project (activities, facilities, group dynamics, etc.) was essential for measuring the progress of the objectives and applying measures to improve the work processes.

The experience

This summer I went on my first ever Erasmus+ youth exchange called “Scapegoat” and it took place in a lovely little village in Romania called Corbeni. The overall experience was eye-opening and fulfilling in ways I could have never imagined. “Scapegoat” is a program created by young people for young people and I believe that its goal is to learn together and from each other. Scapegoat is about recognizing the outcast, it’s about realizing our own stereotypes and prejudices about different groups of people, it’s about making ourselves uncomfortable in the best way possible. This exchange for me has opened up my horizons even more both regarding myself and how independent and responsible I can be and at the same time it has broken down fears and prejudices about other people, the biggest one being that people can in fact be very kind, very supporting, very generous and at the same time realizing how different yet how similar we all are, having similar fears and aspirations. Scapegoat for me was a passage to learning about myself, about other people, their cultures, traveling in a different country, coping with a different currency, making connections so quickly and so deeply like never before.
Amalia, Greece

In this project I discovered some incredible people, I found people that I never thought I was going to meet, and I really hope I can continue to have contact, friendship, or whatever it takes… until we meet again, I love you all!
Anoninous evaluation

Until now, I didn’t know that 38 people can live together without any problem, can share everything without any hesitation, can accept themselves for only loving each other. I found out this was the best project for me. I’m not joking it was amazing. I learned plenty of beauty, plenty of knowledge, plenty of feelings.
Anoninous evaluation

For me, when I signed up for this project, the most important thing was to learn English but once here the most important thing has been to know these incredible and unique people that changed my life.
Anoninous evaluation

The project „Scapegoat” was financed with the support of the European Commission through Erasmus+ Programme. This blog reflects only the author’s views, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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