The Study Visit “SEED: Strategic Experience for European Dimension” intends to offer an experience to youth and social organizations and their workers inspired in our strategic plan for internationalization, sharing visions about methodologies to bring European Dimension to our daily work involving local partners and improving realities by discovering and networking good practices. This Study Visit is one of the projects that resulted as a follow-up activity of GO GREEN II organized by SALTO – Eastern Europe and Caucasus Resource Centre and APD (Academy for Peace and Development) in Georgia (November 2013).

Knowing how important it is to find/apply a strategy that sustains our work as NGO (not jeopardizing our core mission and values) we were challenged to share our work and impact since we started to run the local youth centre/hostel in order to inspire new born organizations, mainly from the Eastern Europe and Caucasus. This project intends to involve participants 12 countries from Europe, Mediterranean and Caucasus partners (Portugal, Germany, Italy, France, Romania, Hungary, Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Egypt, Palestine and Tunisia) and will take place in Amarante (Portugal) during 7 days, from 6th till 12th April 2015, gathering in a balanced way (gender and countries) 24 participants, 2 experts and 2 staff.

Main objectives:

– To share our vision on how to involve local youth/social partners into our strategy for internationalization, bringing European Dimension to the daily work of an NGO;

– To experience our work with local youth and social partners and how we practice our mission and values, encouraging creativity, leadership skills, innovative attitude and environmental responsibility;

– To provide the participants with knowledge, skills and competences regarding the new existing opportunities under Erasmus+ and their potential role for achieving some of the European objectives/priorities;

Main activities: This Study Visit will be based on experiential activities such as visits and group building: Visits to local partners; Discover of the city (Amarante); NGO market; Presentation of Erasmus+; Visibility of the project (internet and multimedia); Intercultural night; Social entrepreneurship workshop; Project laboratory (project cycle and follow-up opportunities);

Throughout the Activity participant’s will approach the following topics:

– AMC’s strategy 2014-2020 (including approach to new EU programs like Erasmus+)

– Synergy with local youth and social partners (activities, volunteering, projects, etc.);

– Social entrepreneurship and sustainable budget;

– Organic and biodynamic farming and cooking;

– Fair trade and ethical finance.

Methodologies: The experts and facilitators will encourage as much as possible “experiential learning” and peer education using the profile of many participants and partners involved in this Study Visit. Several methods of non-formal education (NFE) will be used to achieve the objectives such as brainstorming, group dynamics, energizers, workshops, creative cooking, role-plays, visits, work in small groups, presentations, etc..

This Study Visit can open new opportunities to youth workers to acquire good practices for their organization’s management and internationalization strategies. Experiencing (through simulations and visits) and peer education (workshops, laboratories) will create learning outputs at long term and inspire/influence in a positive way strategic management, under ethical and sustainable values (and also more independent, creative and self-sufficient).