On the 13th -27th of August 2016 near a small Austrian city called Klaffer took place a youth exchange under the name of “Points of YOUth-under the construction”. The exchange brought together youngsters interested by the topic from seven countries- Estonia, Italy, Austria, Lithuania, Macedonia and Spain. All together 57 great and interesting people.
The nature was just breath taking. Often you could find yourself admiring the beautiful mountains and on top of this, you could do that from the big gorgeous lake shore. For the Estonian group the nature was amazing and outstanding- considering the landscape in Estonia. Just great, it’s hard to find a more beautiful place for a youth exchange!
There were a lot of activities and games. Every new day started with an energizer, where we played a lot of games to stop being sleepy. Different theme groups took place on many days in a row- Gender roles and Stereotypes, Balanced Lifestyle, Human Rights and Ethics. In all of the theme groups we learned many new and interesting things. There were also a lot of evening programs- Movie nights, campfire nights, where you could make your own bread, or just games that brought us more together. Also there was enough free time so everyone could find their own activity- some tanned, some went swimming, some went and discovered the beautiful nature and some just went to sleep.
A whole day was devoted for a trip to Linz. In the morning we got on the bus and when we arrived at Linz everyone went to the place they had picked- TV Station, Radio Station or the Newspaper . In every place they showed us how what works and how everything took place in the building before it arrives to the viewer, listener or reader. After that we had some free time to look around the city and go sightseeing, small and beautiful city.
Also the youngsters were listed into three groups that dealt with preparing of the presentation night that was before the leaving day and where we had visitors from out of the exchange. the first group made a newspaper, the second group made a film and the third group made a theatre show. The presentation night was awesome and well organized.
On the last day before going home was basically free and we could go canoeing on the lake J. In the evening we got our youthpasses and also they revealed our “secret friends” who were raffled at the beginning of the youth exchange. After that we had our last party.
This was the best project I had ever had and I know everyone enjoyed it a lot. Every single person there was awesome including the best organizers ever- Chrisi and Sonja.
Summary was made by Steven Martin Suits and Rauno Tisler.
‘’Criticize-Suggest-Act’’ youth exchange brought together 40 participants from Spain, Lithuania, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Malta, Croatia, Estonia and Hungary. The youth exchange with the topic of working in the local community and project management took place in Slovenia. It consisted of three parts and the first part was held in Izola, a beautiful coastal town. Everything was amazing from the beginning of the first night. Participants started mixing really fast and it was easy to find a common language with everyone. The first day was full of games, mostly easy tasks and we also had the food exchange in the evening. However, the second day was full of different workshops and demanded more concentration. After the busy day we could relax at a beach party.
For the second part we were divided into four groups and went to different cities: Ljubljana, Izola, Celje or Novo Gorica. Each group did a local project there, some just had a photo hunt and some gave away free bottles to promote healthy lifestyle.
As for the third part, we all got together in Ljubljana. We had some more workshops about project management and learned a lot. People liked the S.W.O.T. analysis the most but the other methods were also interesting. There was also an awesome national dance party.
Overall I think that everyone was pleased with the exchange and got motivation to do something themselves. The organizers were competent and the program was really good.
Summary was made by Meeri Jürgenson
Something more in Sheffield
On the 18th of July 2016 a youth exchange called Something More Events brought 25 young people from Estonia, Poland, Romania, Greece and the United Kingdom together to Sheffield, UK. In seven days the group learned to understand the process of organizing events and, in addition, volunteered at the local Tramlines music festival. The objective of the youth exchange was to discover event planning skills and to raise awareness about the different requirements for organizing different events.
The youth exchange consisted of two parts. The first included workshops, social games, group projects, debates and roleplays. The second part took place at Tramlines festival, where the participants were divided into groups to take care of various tasks in order to help manage the festival. The participants were also left some free time to enjoy the concerts and discover the lovely city of Sheffield.
The project was funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme.
Check out the project video HERE
Summary was made by Laura Hääl
Problem prevention in Czech
From the little talked about country of Czech Republic in its third biggest city Ostrava a wonderful group of organisers hosted a project Youth Prevention on 17th-24th of July! Three Estonians curious about the topic made their way to this industrial town to learn about ways of preventing problems among and with youngsters. There we met about 20 more people from 8 countries who are in one way or another involved in young people’s lives and have the chance to help.
The project was full of activities, presentations, games and talks. The topic was divided into bullying, sex and affection, cyber-bullying, social inclusion-exclusion, drugs and alcohol. Each of these were discussed and addressed during this week of many intercultural activities.
From an evening if intercultural food, dancing and games to a hike on top of Pustevny mountain, the week offered both learning and fun. It was clear that the organisers (org Educator) had put a lot of effort and time in to making this experience useful and interesting for all of the participants. This was not a simple task as the participants varied from possible volunteers to youth workers to municipalities’ representatives.
All in all, it was a very diverse and yet a unison week!
Summary was made by Hiie-Helen Raju
When Peace Follows War
The study visit "When Peace follows War" Peace-building between state building and private initiative was organized for youth workers and youth leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 01.07.2016-17.07.2016. This was organized by Dinara Forum and included 33 participants from 27 organizations out of 26 countries.
Throughout the project, participants were introduced through active participation and non-formal study methods to the details and backgrounds of the collapse of the former Yugoslavia and the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina to investigate the international and local efforts to bring the war to an end through peace treaties and military intervention. Focus was also on the investigation of the international effort to support the building of a functioning Bosnian state. During the study visit, the participants visited 15 municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also in the Federation BiH and in the Srpska Republika and met with a large number of national and international organization directly involved in the peace- and state building effort. The participants had a chance to visit international organizations such as UNHCR, World Bank, OSCE as well as BiH Armed Forces and the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The participants also had a chance to attend the annual commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide and see the consequences of the war in-depth while talking to people from all sides of the war.
Without a doubt, this was the most informative and emotional project for all the participants, which left a very strong and good impression of the country, its people and of course the organizer who made it happen – Dinara Forum. On behalf of all the participants, everyone is very grateful to have had the chance to participate in this study visit and travel in this gorgeous country.
Summary was mede by Alice Lõhmus
Brussels, the capital of Europe, the heart of the EU hosted 5 Estonians and loads of more people from several countries during 11th-15th of July to think and talk about internships and international internship possibilities.
Organised by Italians who live in Brussels, it was a project full of surprises. Even though it lasted only a few days, each day turned out to be completely different from what we expected. The participants contributed through discussions and sharing of good and bad practices.
Meeting for Education, Employmment and Training (MEET) project offered a chance to visit the EU Parliament and have a discussion with several MEPs about internship possibilities and their ideas as policy makers. The Parliament, however, sees their role as minimal in terms of improving or providing internships.
The spontaneous schedule and surprises offered different culinary experiences from different cultures and showed distinctly how different people refer to time. It was lovely to taste the famous Belgian beer and of course waffles.
Summary was made by Hiie-Helen Raju
‘’ProSana’’ youth exchange brought together amazing people from 5 different countries - Estonia, Romania, Spain, Croatia and Lithuania. The project took place in a village called Poiana Negrii which was located close to the mountain resort of Vatra Dornei, Romania. The exchange lasted for 9 days 21.03 - 31.03.
The project was designed to raise awareness about healthy and unhealthy lifestyles among the 40 participants at the project.
ProSana offered space for young people to share their knowledge, ideas and points of view related to what a healthy lifestyle is and how they can recognize healthy and unhealthy habits in their daily routine. All activities carried out during the youth exchange were non-formal and done by participants themselves.
During the project we had all sort of cool activities starting with intercultural nights where participants introduced their traditions and local foods. We also went hiking and conquered the Giumalau peak (1857m). Although there was a major snow storm on top of the mountain, we were still really optimistic and positive about the trip. We also made short films about healthy and unhealthy lifestyles and later on we had an Oscar’s gala.
These 9 days were really fun and also were educational. It was really nice that we had a close group and everyone took part of the events and shared their point of view. ProSana youth exchange was really on of a kind and I couldn’t be happier that I took part of this youth exchange.
Summary was made by Helena Mäeorg.
Read more about the project HERE.
The international youth exchange “Keep It Green! Vol. 2” took place in Poronin, Poland from the 12th to the 20th of March. During the week the participants exchanged ideas on ecology using different methods like group Powerpoint presentations, drawing and presenting posters, but also casually talking during free time, ice-breaking activities or shared meals. They presented the problems and solutions of their countries, giving each other a new perspective on their situations and the steps we should take to help nature back home.
The participants were very active and the organizing was very skillful. Everybody respected the set times for group activities and fulfilled the tasks they were given. Besides being very eye opening from the ecological aspects of different countries, the exchange helped create a free and joyful dialogue between different cultures, to understand each other better and dispel negative stereotypes. In the end everybody had no doubt that youth around the world is the same in their core principles – we all want to learn, have fun, make new friends, see the world and help protect nature.
The youth exchange wasn’t all work and no play – the program was diverse and gave the participants enough interesting and fun activities as well. For instance we got to visit the bigger village of Zakopane, meet locals, hike in the Tatra mountains to Morskie Oko and go swimming. The cultural evenings were also a big hit, as everybody enjoyed learning about the places their new friends came from. A big part of the cultural nights was introducing local food, drinks, language, songs and dances, which united the participants more than anything else. On our free time there were different games to play, beautiful places to take a walk in or just cosy rooms to rest in. The food was also magnificent and every small complaint was resolved immediately.
In the end we can say that the project was a great success and the participants were very pleased with everything.
Here are summaries of projects in 2016 with Seiklejate Vennnaskond's partnership