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ORIENT – Young explorers re-discover local communities through orienteering

An Erasmus+ project that aims to encourage the use of sports as a tool to foster social inclusion.

Grant Agreement Number: 622532-EPP-1-2020-1-IT-SPO-SCP

Funded by: Erasmus+        Duration: 1/1/2021 – 30/6/2023


Social exclusion is one of the most urgent issues affecting European societies. According to recent EUROSTAT data, 22.4 % of the population across the EU is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. In Italy over one in four people belong in this category (28.9%). Bulgaria scored the highest percentage of all EU member states with 38.9% of the entire population. Comparatively, countries such as Greece (34.8%), Croatia (26.4%), and Cyprus (25.2%) share the same risks, although to a different extent. Social inclusion challenges are likely to become more severe and urgent than ever due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 which is expected to heavily jeopardise economic growth. Action is needed to support young people who are at risk of social exclusion to a higher extent. Sports could be a means of achieving this goal, as it could give young people from vulnerable social groups a chance to find the space to emerge from their difficult situations and disadvantaged context. However, for this it is important to find new innovative approaches of sport, while increasing curiosity, motivation and participation. Orienteering could be one kind of these, as it proved to be an effective tool to foster capacity and community building.


ORIENT aims to promote the social inclusion of young people from vulnerable social groups by enhancing trainers’ and CSO workers’ skills in using Orienteering as a tool for strengthening social ties.   


The ORIENT Anthology will be the first step of the project, with the purpose of collecting inspiring good practices, already existing tools and methodologies linked to Orienteering and its deployment for Social Inclusion to inspire relevant stakeholders. The Anthology will be divided into three main parts: i) Collection of good practices on orienteering for social inclusion (country analysis) ii) Methodological Focus iii) Lessons learned. 

The ORIENT Curriculum will be the backbone of the ORIENT approach as the main training material of the project. It will build on the results of the ORIENT Anthology, addressing the learning needs of sports trainers and CSOs’ workers, and equipping them with skills, knowledge, methodologies and tools to enable them to meet the needs of young people from vulnerable social groups.

The ORIENT Curriculum will be structured in three Modules: 1) Orienteering, basics and opportunities: how to use Orienteering for social inclusion in urban or natural environments.  2) Building inclusive environments: how to set up inclusive environments by using specific tools and methodologies to encourage teamwork. 3) Mapping for inclusion, from location to action: how to arrange mapping activities as a tool to foster social inclusion, intercultural exchange and a sense of belonging to the local context.

This action consists of a toolbox for Orienteering routes, designed as the bridging point between the ORIENT Curriculum and the ORIENT compendium “Routes to Inclusion”. It will be addressed to the young people who shall be involved in the local orienteering activities, providing them with step-by-step guidelines and relevant tools to effectively participate in orienteering activities. The toolbox is divided into two parts: i) Ideas box, the conceptual part, providing users with step-by-step guidance and tools to move from theory to practice. ii) Orienteering kit, the physical part. The kit will include a compass, control point signals, sports bag, flashlight, waterproof map case, ORIENT t-shirt, small backpack, reusable stainless-steel bottle, sharpie, ORIENT hat, designed in line with the project visual identity.

The compendium will be a collection of routes created locally by all the participants of the orienteering activities and will be the rewarding and tangible result of the hard work of the facilitators and the young people from vulnerable social groups, during a series of local participatory mapping workshops and culminating with the orienteering contest, where all participating teams will gather and explore the routes each team has previously developed. The compendium will thus put together five routes, one per country, followed by a description of the design process each team has gone through.

The ORIENT Manifesto aims to show the potential of orienteering and sport in general to foster positive values and dynamics at the community level, hence encouraging policymakers to enhance their policies to support such initiatives that create stronger and more inclusive societies. The ultimate goal is to extend and amplify the impact of ORIENT. The Manifesto will be divided into three parts: i) Social inclusion and sport for vulnerable youth: strengths and weaknesses of existing policies in the field ii) Review of the ORIENT’s results: a review of the whole ORIENT experience iii) Policy recommendations drawn from the ORIENT experience. 

European Commission’s support for the production of this content does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
CESIE logo
CESIE (Italy)
BSDA (Bulgary)
SMOC – Sarajevo Meeting Of Culture (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
CSI – Centre for Social Innovation (Cyprus)

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