Young people from seven countries met in Telšiai to promote intercultural dialogue; tolerance and respect for human rights
Today we talk a lot about the integration of people with disabilities into society, but how about our community - is it ready to accept people with disabilities, will they be able to communicate with them? According to statistics, nearly 10 percent of the world population has a disability. Many adults have grown up in a time when the image of a society without disabilities was created. Today the situation is changing, but not enough. This intolerance to disable people creates barriers and stereotypes, makes discrimination, when people suffer bullying because of skin color, gender identity, disability, and religion.
The idea of the project came from the project organizers, the Telšiai Deaf and Hard of Hearing Society, working with young people with hearing disabilities. In schools, students mock a child with a disability, and this integration only causes stress, fear, and psychological stress. It is very hard to find a job for people with disabilities and integrate into society. The first attempt to develop communication skills among healthy and disabled youth was in 2018 during youth exchange ”Photo Talking”. Participants surprised everyone by staying separate from one another in the beginning of the project, but at the end of the week they became good friends and also created new, unusual ways of communication. This led to the idea of organizing youth exchanges not only for the deaf but also for young people with other disabilities.
The aim of the project is to develop communication skills between young and healthy young people with disabilities, to break down barriers and stereotypes, and promote intercultural dialogue, tolerance and respect for human rights.
During the project, young people from 7 different countries will monitor and evaluate how healthy and disabled young people can improve their personal human competencies and whether they have any difficulties in the process. At the end of the project, it is planned to collect the conclusions of the exchange and to make recommendations on the specifics of the development of key competences for young people with disabilities. The recommendations will be produced in pdf format and distributed on social networks, partners’ websites and will be hosted on the Erasmus+ project results platform.
The project will seek to develop a sense of solidarity and promote tolerance towards different cultures, religions and genders. The majority of participants in the project face a variety of challenges and will promote mutual understanding, in particular with a view to reinforcing the social cohesion of the European Union.