Youth Exchange: Empathic Step #2: Running in Northern Ireland

Location: Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Dates: 25 April – 4 May 2022

Number of participants: 35

Participating countries: United Kingdom, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey


Apply here: application form

Deadline to apply: 28 February 2022

Date of Selection: immediately, if you are right candidate

Inquiries about this training course: Justinas at


  • 100% accommodation, food and program materials are covered by the grant from Erasmus+
  • 80% traveling costs (only the most economical and agreed before hand at are covered. Maximum traveling expenses are up to:
    • €180/participant for UK
    • €275/participant for Lithuania, Italy, Spain
    • €360/participant for Greece
    • €530/participant for Turkey
  • For traveling reimbursement, it is mandatory to keep and bring all your tickets and invoices, boarding passes and receipts (originals). Without these documents, traveling costs cannot be reimbursed.
  • There is no fee for the youth exchange.
  • Optional participation in official Belfast marathon costs from £120 for 5 people = £24 for each (1/5th of official marathon, ~8km) to £55 (full race, 42km).
  • For traveling reimbursement, it is mandatory:
    • online tickets: forward emails with e-tickets, boarding passes and invoices, it has to contain price and date
    • offline tickets: bring original receipts (originals), copies will not be accepted.
  • Reimbursements for traveling will be sent by 31 December 2022, once (and if) participants take part in full duration of the programme fill the evaluation forms present all the traveling documents

COVID regulations: you must be fully vaccinated (for at least 14 days) to take part in this project. More up-to-date regulations are here. For fully vaccinated persons entering Northern Ireland you must:

  1. Complete a UK Passenger Locator Form  in the 48 hours before arrival in Northern Ireland
  2. ( will book for you) Before travelling, book and pay for a Day 2 – a rapid lateral flow test LFD or PCR test to be taken on or before day two following your arrival in Northern Ireland. Costs of the test (approximately £17-20) will be added to your traveling budget and reimbursed the same way as all traveling expenses, up to the limits.
  3. Be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state level public health body that includes, as a minimum:
    • your forename and surname(s)
    • your date of birth
    • vaccine brand and manufacturer
    • date of vaccination for each dose
    • country or territory of vaccination and/ or certificate issuer
  4. If your day two LFD test is positive you must book a free confirmatory PCR test and self-isolate until 10 days after the day you took your initial test.

In case of a positive LFD test, you will have to stay in the Bushmills hostel for extra 5 nights from 25h April to 5th, that is 10 full days after the testing day (25th April) and will not be able to participate in outdoors activities and will not go to Belfast hostel and will have to fly out 1 day later – on 5th of May. The costs of extra testing and extra 4 nights in Bushmills will be added to the traveling amount and will be reimbursed the same as all traveling expenses, up to the limits. The traveling changes will be also added to your traveling allowance. We advice to book your taveling back on 5th of May and explore 1 day more Northern Ireland, as traveling changes usually are expensive – however, in this case, you have to book from your own expense the extra night at any place (perhaps best to wait for the test results, as it might happen you will have to book at Bushmills hostel) and cover the expenses for extra day yourself, as this is not part of the programme. We also ask to insure yourself from the traveling changes due to COVID regulations, in case you choose to depart on time. 80% traveling and COVID related costs (only the most economical and agreed before hand at are covered. Maximum traveling expenses are up to:

  • €180/participant for UK
  • €275/participant for Lithuania, Italy, Spain
  • €360/participant for Greece
  • €530/participant for Turkey

Empathic Step #2: Running in Northern Ireland

Download here: Empathic Step 2: Running in Northern Ireland – Erasmus plus – Bushmills – Belfast – United Kingdom – Youth exchange –

Download the PDF file .

Context of Empathic Step #2: Running in Northern Ireland

We invite you to literally step in the shoes of other people and “SWIM” (indirectly) in Isle of Wight, RUN in Northern Ireland and HIKE in Iceland, imagining nowadays realities, whereas a lot of refugees had to swim, walk or run over mountains, cross the sea and borders to reach peace in Europe.

During swim, run and hike (outdoor element) and other types of physical activities (sports element) through non-formal education methods you will explore sensitive topics and particularly EMPATHY.

Empathic Step is a 3-phased empathy developing project to step in variety of different shoes through our KING methodology: Knowledge, Involvement, Nature, Growth.

Overall Focus

  • To develop personally, which helps to understand ourselves and reflect on own behavior and behavior of others
  • Challenge the perception of the structures within our society that undermine social inclusion or foster discrimination
  • Overcoming the stereotypes of different religions
  • To raise awareness on the topic of discrimination
  • To build a broader understanding of what an inclusive attitude means and to start inter cultural and inter- religious dialogue
  • To understand the connections between culture and sport and to understand the inter cultural aspects of sport
  • To raise the sense of empathy towards other people

Who Should Attend

The background of participants is youth (18-30 years) that are willing to develop empathy in order to be more inclusive and tolerant. Youth that are ready to address or perhaps face(d) themselves racial and religious discrimination. Youth that are open minded, care about nearby neighbourhood, local, regional, national and international communities and are sensitive to human right issues.

Programme of Step In Their Shoes

DAY 0:

ARRIVAL: Unpacking, Getting to know each other

DAY 1-8:

ARRIVAL: Arrival to Bushmills youth hostel. Unpacking, Getting to know each other

COOPERATION: Morning running, Team building, Fight stereotypes, Welcome night

CULTURES: Morning exercise, Team Building and Open Badges, Culture and Refugees, Forum Theater, Intercultural Night

VALUES: Morning running, preparation for the hike, the hike and 100 my dreams,

HEALTH: Morning exercise, Reflection after the hike, Olympic games, Empathy/mental health, Healthy Diet, Evening Yoga

CHALLENGE: Morning exercise, Erasmus+ and NGO Fair, Open space,

RUNNING: Running 10 000 m. Optionally participating in the Belfast Marathon. Rest and Reflection after the run. Meditation

ALL IN: Morning rest, Learning what you want, Achieve your goals, Youthpass, last evaluation, Goodbye evening.

DAY 9:

DEPARTURE: Packing and leaving

* The programme is subject to change

Delivery Style

  • “Learning by experience” – learning from experiencing different activities and putting them into practice;
  • “Learning to play, playing to learn” – connected with learning through games, from actions and playful environment;
  • “Learning through outdoor sports” – learning about sensitive topics while being outdoors, hiking and doing sports
  • “Learning with nature” – being aware of the environment and its stimulus to brains, mental and physical condition

Methods Used

  • Experiential learning with running, hiking and sports
  • Group dynamic processes, simulations and teamwork activities
  • Inputs from experts through non-formal education lectures and facilitated processes
  • Theater sketches
  • Dynamic workshops and presentations
  • Outdoor environmental work and assignments
  • Intercultural sharings, learnings and reflections
  • Learning by doing in a group setting or individual processes.


Empathic step in Northern Ireland. We will spend 6 nights in the Bushmills Youth Hostel and 3 nights in Belfast Youth Hostel, In the first place we will run every day in the wilderness of North Coast of Northern Ireland and last 2 days we will spend in Belfast, where we will participate in the vibrant Belfast life

During your stay you will be asked to support with household duties.

When to Get There

Arrival Day: 25 April 2022

Programme: 26 April – 3 May, in total 8 full days

Departure Day: 4 May 2022

Days allowed to stay in UK: This is a great time to explore Northern Ireland. You will not have free time during the programme, thus if you want to discover country, please arrange extra days. You are allowed to come max 6 days before the Youth Exchange or leave max 6 days after the YE, but the total amount of the days that are not part of the programme is max 6 days. If you decide to stay more than 6 days longer than the official programme, you will have to cover the traveling expenses yourself. During all extra days off the programme, you have to find your own accommodation and no other expenses are covered (we just cover flights on different days).

Practicals – What to Bring!

  • You will run every second day and 3rd May you will run minimum 10 km. Optionally you can participate in either full Belfast Marathon (42.2km) or 1/5 of marathon (9 km), thus it is mandatory to bring suitable shoes, clothes and other things for running. It is mandatory to prepare for the marathon immediately once you are accepted to the YE, not when you come to the N Ireland. It takes on average 6 months to prepare for a marathon, but it is possible to prepare in 2 months with good schedule.
  • In Northern Ireland could rain a lot, thus please bring sturdy comfortable waterproof footwear for hiking (walking boots), waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, hat, clothes to layer, to keep warm (cotton/wool).
  • Read 26 tips what you need:
  • Bring Passport or ID card
  • Read a book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall
  • Health check – it is mandatory to check with your doctor if you are allowed to run marathon or a 1/5 of marathon.
  • Insurance – this is critical! Please bring European Health Card and Insure in other ways, because we do not provide and are not liable for any incidents;
  • Food and traditions to represent for intercultural evenings
  • Bring best photo camera, video recorder you have, and of course lots of memory storage and UK electricity adapter!


In May temperature in N Ireland ranges from 10 to 14 degrees, daylight lasts about 16 hours and of course of course of course (not so) beautiful rain is a constant friend and a mandatory discussion subject in all conversations.

Check the weather forecast here.

Medicine, Allergies and Diet

If you have illness, physical limitations and/or use medicine we need to know about, please inform us. If you are vegetarian or have special diet, let us know, indicating what you can and cannot eat, so that we can arrange the suitable food.

How to Apply?

Fill this application form:

In order to apply for Empathic Step project, you must be over 18-30 years old (except for leaders, who can be of any age 18+) and a citizen of one of the partner countries. Contact the partner organisation from the list below if you need any support. United Kingdom
Iceland Pearl Iceland
SOS Europa Italy
Inovatyvi Karta Lithuania
Solidarity Mission Greece
LaVibria Intercultural Spain
Diyarbakir Cevre ve Kalkinma Dernegi Turkey

Inspiration from Empathic Step #1

Read a story of the Phase #1 in Isle of Wight.

Video created by participants of Empathic Step #1:


For information about practical matters, accommodation or how to get to the place, please contact at