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All Aboard: the international youth project that wants to be a game changer

9 Julho 2018

All Aboard – Sailing Together for Sustainability

Any similarities with the Eurovision slogan is a mere coincidence, as the project name was chosen before the start of the festival that took place in Lisbon in May. That’s what Inês Cunha, trainer of Unlimited Future, states about this project which was in her bucket list for a long time.

Up until a few months ago, the project was merely an idea as it lacked the funding to become a reality. Now, due to the support of Erasmus+ and Juventude em Acção, Inês together with Afonso and Marta, the All Aboard Team, is putting into action something that can change a lot of lives. “There are those who never been nearby something like the sea or the ocean, or not even travelled outside their own cities or neighborhoods. Being able to give them a new context, a new perspective, makes this project definitely worth it”.

The project involves 4 NGOs coming from 4 different countries: Inspiring Future (Portugal), Egyesek Youth Association (Hungary), A.C. Patria (Lithuania), Solidarity Mission (Greece).

“These organisations are focused on youth work, and our targets are those who are facing fewer opportunities. Our aim is to develop their entrepreneurial competences while increasing their awareness on environmental sustainability, by being in a whole different context: the Vera Cruz Caravel”.

The Vera Cruz Caravela is the common ground for the whole project, which is part of the project through a collaboration with Aporvela, the organisation who manages the ship.

The starting point of the project took place last week, where 4 representatives of these organisations plus 4 young people were present.

In this first, kick-off activity “we designed all the activities which will be implement by each national group during the next phase of the project. We also created promotional materials in order to attract participants for the next activities. We aim this project to be an European co-creation”. This stepping stone of being European is a quite strong feature of the project, since the idea is to highlight “diversity within Europe, and to make out of All Aboard a moment for inclusion and development of young people facing fewer opportunities”

The next activity, which will take place in August, will be a training course for 20 participants. Here the target group will consist of those who are leading young people: youth workers and youth leaders.

Our goal is to develop key competences related with group facilitation and communication. Therefore, “we will firstly provide the participants with tools and inputs throughout several days, and then it will be up them to create a learning community for 3 days aboard the boat. It will be a completely different training context and the challenge proposed to them will be to create a 3 days long educational programme”.

In September the main and final activity of the project will take place: the Youth Exchange. This activity, focusing on entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability, will last 12 days where 20 youngsters will have the opportunity to work and learn from each other while being supported by youth leaders coming from their own countries. 

The combination of all these concepts, the ocean and the Vera Cruz make it the ideal scenario according to Inês, who is passionate about sailing. “This will be a space where we will live as a sustainable community; it is, all in all, an environment that accelerates all sorts of group dynamics. It works as a catalyzer, and it will be an unique opportunity for getting out of the comfort zone and develop life skills”.

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