This project promoted social entrepreneurship as a constructive idea to tackle the actual socio-economic crisis and as a viable to replicate solution for the youth unemployment, empowering youth to implement its initiatives and creative ideas. In May 2013 Eurostat published the new statistics for the youth unemployment, alarming when it still comes to over 23%. According to the National Youth Work Council of Ireland Annual Review 2014, 18% of young people (18-29) are experiencing serious deprivation in Ireland, and youth unemployment was 19.80% in June 2015. Young Europeans become more vulnerable and new initiatives lacks focus on a personal growth and development of young people. We believe that by supporting a personal growth and development of young people and by creating spaces for active participation and engagement in social life realities, youth can fulfil their personal and professional potential.
Open MIC-focus of YOU(th)‘ invited young people (16-28) and their youth leaders from Ireland, UK, Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal and Spain to explore the concept of social entrepreneurship and to develop initiatives in their local communities during and after the project. We were aiming to create space and time to work with young peoples ideas and support their personal growth and development through inter-cultural interactions, Open MIC and other non-formal learning method.
The issues that we addressed through this project were: entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurship education, youth participation, youth work, youth policy, creativity and culture. These are the areas of work that is directly linked to the objectives of Erasmus+ program and Youth Mobility action. The main objectives of this project were: to creating safe and inclusive inter-cultural learning space for young people to engage in their personal and professional growth and development; working on further implementation of social entrepreneurship ideas of young people using group knowledge as the main recourse and Erasmus+ programme as a frame work.
Participating Organisations: Politikos tyrimu ir analizes institutas (Lithuania) Viesites novada pasvaldiba (Latvia) RECREATURA_arts&culture (Spain) Intercultural Amigos da Mobilidade (Portugal) FDYS (Ireland) Youth Discovery Ventures Ltd (United Kingdom)
Open MIC- Focus on YOU(th)
1st Exchange Lithuania (Daugirdiskes) March 2016
Photo Gallery ‘Open MIC-Focus on YOU(th)’ International Youth Exchange, Lithuania/Daugirdiskes
Open MIC- Focus on YOU(th)
2nd Exchange Ireland (Co.Wicklow) April-May 2016
Photo Gallery ‘Open MIC-Focus on YOU(th)’ International Youth Exchange, Ireland/ Co.Wicklow
Young people about their ‘Open MIC – Focus on YOU(th)’ exchanges experiences
Maria Sanchez/ Spain
After our journeys to come back home and remembering all of our memories after this exchange I want to say a big thank you to Eurobug, but also Aiste for making this project possible. Thank you for giving me the opportunity of publishes every day a daily recap on this page of our exchange in Ireland with some photos. At first it was a hard job for me a, but I have learned a lot. I cannot forget the rest of members of communication team. We have made a good work guys! Soon we will see the result of all the photos, interviews and videos that we have done. But thank you too to all of you, all together we are a very good team. I expect to see you all somewhere of the world!
Craig Donnelly/ Ireland
Hi my name is Craig Donnelly and I’m from Ireland, back in February I was contacted by a youth organisation called F.D.Y.S. and they told me about a youth exchange happening in Lithuania. The trip was arranged by a small but up and coming company called Eurobug and funded by Erasmus +.
The trip took us to a small country area in Lithuania called Daugirdiškės which is about 34 KM away from the capital Vilnius. When we arrived (The Irish) we met all the other groups by Morning as some arrived even later than we did, so now we had 6 in each group. The groups where Ireland (With one Polish and Romanian) a group full of Lithuanians and the same with the Latvians and Portuguese, but the Spanish had four Spaniards but one Italian and one Argentinian, and the English had one Chinese Canadian women living in London.
So as you can tell we where all pretty much mixed and learned each others cultures and I’m pretty sure a lot of us fell in love with the idea of travelling to these other countries to see our new friends and to see there beautiful cities and homes.
The exchange was about Social Entrepreneurship which we learned what the basics of and what the difference is between Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship and we also touched on topics very related to now like global warming, lack of jobs and of course youth immigration, but we had a main task to have or to think of an idea related to S.E. (Social Entrepreneurship) so we had open mic sessions and came up with wonderful ideas that are probably been worked on this very day.
We had a lot of late nights having fun as a massive group and early mornings where because of the late nights where not so fun. We also had a intercultural night where we learnt about all the countries lore and culture and had a party, It was a great way to get to know where our new pals are coming from.
When we where in Lithuania we took a trip into Vilnius but I’m going to skip that because it was very tourist stuff we did even though it was a highlight and the same with when I talk about Wicklow and I’m going to skip the Dublin trip.
So we said goodbye to everyone in Lithuania and accepted friend requests on Facebook but many weren’t sad because of the fact that we’ll see them in a short while in Ireland for part two of the trip.
Anyway Wicklow for some reason was more workable because we new what we had to do and we did it. Also I made more friends who actually I am still in contact with quite often and I am going to see them in a couple of months.
But mainly the Youth Exchange system is life changing it gave me a clear set of goals . It may not be S.E related but it gave me an idea on the path I am going to take and one of those paths is E.V.S. (European Voluntary Services). If people are hesitant about doing a Youth Exchange I say don’t be the only thing that can go wrong is you don’t learn anything and let me tell you something that’s impossible so I implore everyone who gets an option or gets asked or even to find it on your own, take part and say YES because you become a better person for it. Thank You Aiste Slajute and Eurobug!
Bruno Eira/ Portugal
My time in Ireland was one of the best experiences I had in my life, at least one of the most complete ones.
I was very lucky to meet such an amazing group of people from different places and all so interesting in their unique way. Having the chance to meet Dublin, the Wicklow mountains, learning a few words in different languages, bonding with new great friends and evolve by learning from other people new methods of work really made me a bit stronger. If I could go back in time, I would’ve done it all again!
Kristiāna Lisecka/ Latvia
This exchange project was the first one I have been to and it gave me more than I had ever expected. A lot of positive emotions, amazing insight in social entrepreneurship and great friends from different countries. Project gave me not only knowledge in social problems and how to solve them but it also gave me a chance to visit Lithuania and Ireland. I had a chance to make my dream about my own social enterprise who could solve a lot of problems and be competitive come true. I received several tips who I for sure will take in a count for making my own enterprise. I can say only the best things about this project and would love to take part in projects like this again!
Laura Kulakowska/ Ireland
The Open MIC – Focus on YOU(th) exchange was a truly unforgettable experience, which allowed many of the participants to initiate and decide on their own social enterprises, some of which are already being implemented. The Open MIC session encouraged me to leave my comfort zone and come up with an idea of a social enterprise aimed at youth inclusiveness, which I am hoping to implement in near future.
In addition, the exchange gave me an opportunity to make new international friends and perhaps future partners for collaborations and projects. Meeting people from all around the world resulted in new learning in the area of culture and cultural diversity. However, most importantly, The Open MIC- Focus on YOU(th) experience has made me aware of my keen interest and desire to engage within the area of facilitating national and international straining.
I believe that this was one of my life changing experiences and I would strongly recommend taking part in one of the youth exchanges or training to those who are willing to learn, explore and make life lasting memories.
Augustė Šerelytė/ Lithuania
It was my first time in youth exchange. Frankly, it was hard to make myself to go because it was something new in my life. Others called it opportunity and I called it challenge, because it was so scary. Now I’m glad that I got the opportunity to participate in these exchanges. For me it was like adventure and as I say ‘the beginning of travel to the future’ and I learned a lot. Firstly, I realised that I’m able to communicate in English language also I improve my English skills as I had to speak in public. Thought, public speaking is still a challenge for me, but during the exchanges I build the foundation. Secondly I met many different people from different countries and I learned more about their cultures. In conclusion I met wonderful, friendly, honest and hearty people and I will always keep them in my heart!
Daniel Ebri/ Spain
For me this exchanges was a really great experience, I mean, it was not my first time in a Erasmus project, I did an Erasmus in Sweden, but this time for me was a realise travel. It was wonderful to see people with the same interests as you, you realise in this moment that you are not alone, people from other countries think very similar as you. That is really heartwarming. What impressed me most was the people. I know that could sound a little bit one topic but it is the true, I can say now that I have made friends. A part of this I can now if I want a world level project!