The Comunidade Intermunicipal do Alto Minho (CIM Alto Minho) was distinguished with the international Atlantic Project Awards 2021, in the category “International Cooperation in the Atlantic Area”, for the work developed within the scope of the European cooperation project Atlantic Youth.
The awards ceremony took place yesterday, October 21, in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the 8th annual Stakeholder Platform conference, which brings together all agents of the blue economy in the Atlantic region to debate issues related to the sea.
The Atlantic Youth project, led by CIM Alto Minho and funded by the Erasmus+ program, aimed to promote inclusive maritime education in schools, involving a range of international partners, namely the Patronato Municipal de Deportes de Ayamonte (Spain), the We Atlantic (France), the Center de Moulin Mer (France), Cornwall Marine Network (UK) and Clare County Council (Ireland).
Its actions were oriented towards the creation of teams composed of teachers, nautical and maritime providers, public entities and specialists, with recognized experience in active transnational cooperation, with the goal of exchanging of good practices, the creation of new educational tools and new products to support inclusive maritime learning and the organization of transnational contact events between different cultures. These actions, aimed essentially at secondary school students (8th and 9th years of schooling), including those with special needs (physical, intellectual, social), were intended to stimulate general learning and integration in the classroom, encouraging them to discover the maritime world that surrounds them.
With the joint effort of all relevant partners and stakeholders in the territory, it was possible to implement, in the three years of the project, which ended in December 2020, the actions foreseen in the six areas of intervention, namely four transnational meetings; two good practice guides and two ocean literacy videos disseminated by partners and the school community; three international school meetings that brought together students and teachers from the various schools involved; 26 local educational sessions; a webinar presenting project results; and also the acquisition of adapted kayaks, which were delivered to Darque Kayak Clube in Viana do Castelo and the Clube Náutico in Ponte de Lima.
The Atlantic Youth project thus leaves its mark in Alto Minho, for its important contribution, not only to the development of the students’ maritime culture, through the promotion of the practice of nautical sports and contact between young people from different countries and maritime traditions, but especially in the context of inclusive boating, reducing physical, cognitive, social and cultural barriers and opening new horizons and opportunities for the future.