Report on the Youth Exchange “Come Out & Play!”
(funded by Erasmus+)
Youthnet Hellas, in association with Youth Movement of Edessa and Environmental Education Centre of Edessa-Giannitsa, has successfully implemented the Youth Exchange “Come Out & Play!” in Edessa (Greece) at 29.07.2015 – 05.08.2015, in the frame of the Erasmus+ program for Youth.
38 youngsters from 7 European countries (Italy, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Greece) took part in this project that mainly examined the issues of internet and on-line gaming addiction and explored healthy ways of living.
The project “Come Out & Play!” had an aim to outline the importance of outdoor activities and street games as means of dealing with young people’s addiction to internet and the “videophilia” phenomenon. This was achieved with a very entertaining, participatory and learning way.
The main idea of the project was based on the street games that are or were played in various countries, usually by the older generations. The participant youngsters left their computers and smart phones aside and came out to play with each other and with the locals.
They presented the outdoor games that were played in their countries, they tested and played them with the rest, exercised, cooperated with each other and entertained themselves.
After the games, there were discussions and workshops, whereby the impressions from the experience of outdoor games were described, issues of addiction to internet and computers were examined and the importance of healthy behaviors and ways of living was analyzed. All activities and workshops were realized in the frame of non-formal and informal learning.
Some of the most important achievements were that this project managed:
• To encourage outdoor activities as means of promoting healthy behaviors and ways of living and as a means of reinforcing the mental, psychological and physical health of young people.
• To create intercultural learning and to discover cultural elements and identities of participants and their countries through the street games played today and in the past.
• The inclusion and active participation in the project of young people with fewer opportunities.
• The intergenerational approach of youngsters with older people.
• The development of social, personal, group skills amongst participants and to reinforce their self esteem and self confidence.
• To sensitize and provide knowledge about the side-effects of modern technological means, about the dangers hidden in getting addicted to internet and about the phenomenon of “videophilia”.
Additionally, the participants’ team created a Handbook, which contains all the outdoor games from various countries that were played throughout the project, with description and detailed guidelines on how they are played.
At the same time, a Mini Movie was created, with audiovisual material from the moments that participants were playing the outdoor games of various countries, together with some people from local community.
The whole progress and process of the project can be followed through the website of the project (http://come-out-and-play-2015.blogspot.gr/) and the official website of Youthnet Hellas (www.youthnet.gr).
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