Thirty-eight youngsters from seven European countries — Italy, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Greece — will take part in a youth exchange project in Edessa, Greece, that will examine the issues of the Internet and online gaming addiction and explore healthy ways of living.
The youth exchange project, organized by Youthnet Hellas in association with Youth Movement of Edessa and the Environmental Education Centre of Edessa-Giannitsa, is in the frame of the Erasmus+ program for Youth and will take place from July 29 until August 5.
The project “Come Out & Play!” aims 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 will be achieved with a very entertaining, participatory and learning way.
The main idea of the project will be based on the street games that are or were played in various countries, usually by the older generations. The participant youngsters will leave their computers and smart phones aside and they will get out to play with each other and with the locals.
They will present the outdoor games that are played in their countries, they will test and play them with the rest, exercise, cooperate with each other and entertain themselves.
After the games, there will be discussions and workshops, whereby the impressions from the experience of outdoor games will be described, issues of addiction to internet and computers will be examined and the importance of healthy behaviors and ways of living will be analyzed. All activities and workshops will be realized in the frame of non-formal and informal learning.
Some of the most important goals of the project are the following:
– 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”.
– To create a handbook (with a catalogue of all games and detailed instructions) and a DVD/electronic material with all outdoor games that were presented from the various countries of participants.
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