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Erasmus+ matters to ALL citizens! Our 10 stories reflect the true reality of Erasmus+ and the impact it can have on people from all backgrounds, nationalities & stages of life.

We’re excited to share these stories with you and show how much 10x more funding would make a real difference to both individuals and communities.

Get ready to meet the 10! #Erasmusx10

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Dominik is a volunteer in an small volunteer-led organisation that works for the rights of blind and partially sighted in the Czech Republic. Dominik was leading on a project that aims to link the work of his organisation to broader European discussions on improving the access to rights for young people with disabilities.

BUT: Dominik found the application procedure for funding extremely difficult and from time to time impossible to navigate. Although he was in touch with the Erasmus+ National Agency, he received conflicting advice and information from different sources that made the process very confusing. As he comes from a small volunteer-led organisation, the time and resources needed to follow the funding process had a very negative impact on their work.

Boris is a young, unemployed man who will not get to experience the Erasmus+ programme. He left school for personal reasons, and was not able to finish. Since Boris had never heard about Erasmus+ he will miss out on opportunities that would have made him more employable, adaptable and open to other cultures. We cant let people continue to fall through the cracks. With more coordination between different programmes aimed at youth and youth organisations, Erasmus+ has a far greater chance of reaching out to even more people.

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Penelope is an early school leaver. Although she wasn’t originally aware of the Structured Dialogue process, she was invited to a youth consultation through an outreach activity of the national youth council. After this experience where she felt empowered to express her opinion and meet other young activists, she gained the confidence to begin establishing a social inclusion project. Penelope was able to connect with others and use her skills and experience to benefit her community. Even small projects funded by Erasmus+ can have a huge impact.

BUT: It was only by chance that Penelope was selected to take part in the consultation. Otherwise she would have no knowledge of the wide reach of the Erasmus+ programme. Erasmus+ is viewed by young people and the wider public primarily as a programme for higher education. Many are still not aware of the different opportunities that may be available to them. For this we need more funding to be able to provide support and guidance to inform people about the different ways to benefit from Erasmus.

Luticia is an apprentice in fashion. Luticia was able to use this training opportunity abroad to grow in confidence, gain transferable skills and knowledge that helped her to  design and launch her own clothing brand when she returned to Slovenia.

BUT: Only 1% of young people in work-related training schemes, including apprentices, are involved in mobility schemes during their training. Apprentices still don’t have the same opportunities as higher education students. It is essential to create conditions for greater apprentice mobility within the EU in order to give apprentices the same opportunities to fight youth unemployment.

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Rasmus is a high school student who has always had a passion for music. Rasmus wanted to spend some time studying in another school to discover more about his passion. He tried to organise an exchange with his school but there were too many barriers for the school to overcome in order to access funding.Luckily a local non-profit exchange organisation was able to help. Spending a period of immersion – in a host family, host school, local community – in another country has proven to be a transformative learning experience.

BUT: The possibility is extremely limited and there has been a significant decrease in mobility for school pupils through Erasmus+. Particularly affected are students whose schools do not have the resources and support necessary to apply for and manage EU grants. More funding and stronger involvement of non-profit exchange organisations in Erasmus+ pupil mobility would therefore bring huge benefits. This would make quality mobility programmes more inclusive and accessible to a bigger number of school students from a variety of schools.

João is a grass-roots activist passionate about human rights. They are involved in youth organisations and often volunteer with groups of young people giving workshops. João knew that through experience of working in the youth sector and in partnership with a local NGO they could make a big difference to the lives of young LGBT students in the community. João applied for funding to implement a project on inclusive education.

BUT: Unfortunately funding was not granted. There are very few projects that receive funding. Even after overcoming all of the obstacles there is only a ¼ chance of an application being successful. The process for organisations applying for the 1st time is especially tough as a lot of support is needed. Moreover, there is very little grant flexibility. It is a general issue, that there is only scarce funding available, and it is a complex financial procedures to apply. These issues make the programme not welcoming to new organisations.

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Angela is a teacher from Spain who wanted to organise student exchanges through the eTwinning community for schools in Europe. She works in a school for children with hearing disabilities and she hopes to help expand the demographic of the Erasmus+ programme to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. Angela learned that the eTwinning programme is the largest teachers’ network in the world. She was able to set up a connection with a school for young deaf students in Belgium, which allowed her young students to build an international community with other students

BUT: Due to programme funding issues, there is not much support for the inclusion and mobility of people with disabilities. Furthermore, around HALF of European schools are still outside of the eTwinning network, meaning that students and educators are missing out on connecting across borders.

Sana is a young refugee from Syria with a passion for photography. She wants to work on a project to empower women to reappropriate their body after a breast cancer surgery. Sana was able to help women through her awareness raising project

BUT: Sana needed financial assistance to develop her project. She only discovered she could receive funding with Erasmus+ when she became involved in a local women’s organisation. They were able to offer support and guidance through the complex application process. There is still a disproportionately low number of funding applications from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

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James is a university student participating in an Erasmus+ exchange. The chance to learn another language and the experience working in an international environment made him much more employable. Five years after graduation, the unemployment rate of young people who studied or trained abroad is 23% lower than that of their non-mobile peers.

BUT: He was able to accept the offer to study abroad only due to the financial support from his parents. The Erasmus grant only covered a few months of the exchange, so many of his friends could not take part. Additionally there are so many other ways that James could have integrated into his host community. With more funding and coordination, participants could also join solidarity projects

Bartek is an adult education professional working in a community organisation in Poland. He participated in a training for adult education staff to learn more about adult education policies, practice and structures across Europe. Bartek shared professional experiences with colleagues from 11 European countries, identified common struggles and explored new approaches to adult learning.

BUT: Only 4% of the Erasmus+ budget in 2014-2020 goes to adult education, and adult learners cannot participate in mobility.

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