Past Events/Reports

“Colors of diversity”

Training Course, Marrakesh, Morocco, March, 2019

Faina:

The training course “Colors of diversity” took place in Marrakesh, Marocco, from 20th to 28th of March 2019. The main aim of the training course was to focus on the topic of the inclusion of refugees with methods of non-formal education. The training course planned to strengthen the competences of youth workers and youth leaders to improve the quality of youth services which are developed for refugees and people with migration background. The activists and motivated youth workers represented different countries including France, Marocco, Italy, Romania, Russian Federation, Tunisia, Germany, United Kingtom, Moldova and Netherlands. The training course was very good structured and organized. At the beginning in order to get to know all the participants we had ice breakers and trust building games. Afterwards, we set up the group rules. We gained deep knowledge and important information about the topic of inclusion of refugees from a global perspective from different the trainer. The following days we spent with energizers and theoretical and practical sessions. In order to enrich the gained knowledge we had some tactical games and have been given opportunity afterwards for reflection. During the course, we spoke about culture sensitivity. We used tactical intensive games to see the challenges of the asylum seekers in Europe. In addition, we put ourselves in the shoes of different target groups (for example: asylum seekers, human right activists, border protection, journalists). In another simulation game, we needed to play the role of one of the minorities which we spoke about what it means to belong to a minority.  Later on, as different minority groups we tried to defend ourselves at the court for our rights. In the one of the sessions in the small groups we discussed about how to do a project in the country we are living in or to do a project together with another country in order to include the refugees. Then we presented the projects to other participants in the training course. There are also possible obstacles which we may face as a NGO working with refugees and asylum seekers. At the end of the session, we leaned strategies and skills on how to convince the donors and stakeholders to support the project.

Aside from the importance of the training course for me personally, the location of the training was also interesting environment. I enjoyed not only the great local food at our accommodation and the wonderful view of the beautiful nature, but also had the opportunity to get to know the locals personally. During the day-off we could explore the sights of Marrakesh and also as the second option we could also drive to the Atlas Mountains. I am very grateful for this great opportunity I got from JuBuk to participate in such intensive und interesting training course.

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Building bridges, breaking walls, managing refugee crisis in Europe“ Part II

Study visit Stockholm, Sweden, February 2019

Sarah:

Following up on our previous training course in Armenia “Building bridges, breaking walls, managing refugee crisis in Europe, our group met again in Stockholm February 19th through 22nd.

There, we visited different organizations, facilities and NGOs that play a key role in the immigration and integration process Sweden.

Sweden is considered to be a leading example of successfully accomplished integration. Therefore, it is interesting to take a first hand look at how things are done, and what has been achieved in Stockholm.

Our first day started out with a short warm up session. In the afternoon we visited the parliament of Sweden and took a guided tour on which we learned about the political system in Sweden, its constitution, political parties, and constituencies.

The following day, participants presented their own project that they had implemented in their home countries using tools and techniques learned in the previous workshop in Armenia. Later that day, we teamed up in groups to make a city rally to get to know the city of Stockholm better.

On the third day,  a founding member of the FARR organization joined us and hold a presentation on this unique organization. Volunteer based FARR organization is the Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups founded as early as 1988. It declares itself an umbrella organization aiming at providing advice, and exchanging experience in supporting asylum seekers. The speaker himself had a migration background and told us about his own experiences and the special need for an exchange platform since there was none before FARR had been established.

Another local organization we visited was the RFSL. The RFSL spreads awareness for the LGBTQ+ community through events, groups and counseling.  The RFSL also plays a key role in the integration of refugees that flee their home countries because they fear prosecution caused by their sexual orientation. RFSL provides legal assistance and helps refugees to apply for asylum.

On our last day, we visited Fryshuset which is a youth activity center founded in 1984. Since then it has grown into a huge center with multiple rooms, sport courts, skate areas, a lunch hall, and a café area. The director of Fryshuset took us on a tour and provided a comprehensive presentation, and  told us about the programs that Fryshuset sets up for youngsters. He pointed out that Fryshuset provides lot of affordable after school activities, so young people can explore different activities to find, develop and strengthen their talents and interests. The Fryshuset provides a safe and structured environment, so young people can take advantage of these opportunities, and adopt positive choices in life.

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„ACT- Active Citizens of Today“

Training Course in Lednice, Czech Republic, March 2019

Vincent:

A great week in Lednice, Czech Republik has passed. 26 young people from all over Europe were coming together to learn, to discuss, to share experiences related to the topic of the Training Course active citizenship and participation.
We started to get to know each other with some games and group building activities. The well-experienced and -organized trainers used a wide variety of non-formal methods – including role plays, simulations, drama methods, silent debates and large group discussions – to jump into the topic. We discovered the origin and etymology of citizenship, the different definition in the countries, the history of citizenship and the meaning on a local, national and European level. The main objective was clearly to point out the connection between citizenship and the responsibility for one’s immediate environment and society. In a so-called „living library“, the participants shared their different experiences of volunteering and working – the diverse input was a benefit for everyone.
After meeting local key actors from Breclav, mainly active in local politics and sustainable development, in the mid of the training, we had the possibility to visit the fairytale castle in Lednice. In the following days, we gained knowledge in a useful presentation about the structure of Erasmus+, we were productive by preparing a TV show and we builded groups for further cooperations. It would have been useful to work earlier on a detailed plan: to have more time for the preparation, finding partners and sharing ideas.
I am very grateful for the opportunity having participated in this gathering of great, open-minded people, while feeling again the underlying idea of the European Union.
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„Adventure Education- From Theory to Practice” 

Training Course in Varna, Bulgaria, March 2019

Anna, Homayoon and Irina

 From 5th until the 11th of March we participated in the training course “Inclusive Adventure Education – From theory to practice” in Varna, Bulgaria. The participants came from 8 European and Asian countries. We were very grateful that we were selected for an Erasmus+ project of the Key Action 2 to not only build our capacity, but also to meet a group of amazing people who came from different countries with different cultures, languages and pile of experiences. The tools which have been used in this training were very effective and applicable for the current situation of our living. During the training, we have learned very productive methods and skills how to overcome with our life’s obstacles.

At the beginning of our training course we tried to learn all the names from the participants of the group. Everybody should present themselves and we played some name games. To get to know each other better and to explore the city, we got some tasks that we solved in small groups. We had to ask locals for information about Varna and look for certain buildings. On the second day our trainer Ilona shared with us information about the Erasmus+ program, non-formal education as a whole and the methods of inclusive Adventure Education. As an example, we would like to mention here the Stretch Zone Experience which implies an advance from a comfort zone towards stretch zone, and a widening of a stretch zone at the expense of a panic zone. We learned how to facilitate this process that could help us not only in our work with young people, but also in our private lives.

Divided in our national teams, we presented to the others how the topics inclusion, integration and adventure education are situated in our countries and on local level. After the theoretical input we went to the practical part of the training course. We got to know the basic methods of adventure education that are quite simple and can be applied almost everywhere without bigger preparation.

We started with a team exercise. Our hands were tight to each other and the task was to build the highest tower out of wooden spits, plastic cups and other materials. We continued with some trust exercises like blindfolded leading or letting us fall in the arms of a partner. An exciting and challenging exercise was the spider web: The organizers spanned a rope between two columns and the whole group had to cross it without touching the ground. At the end we didn’t succeeded, but we had a lot of fun. After all the exercises we had the debriefing sessions when we had time to discuss our thoughts and feeling during the tasks and the skills that we gained. The next day we had again some group challenges. Using the app “Action bound”, we had to solve missions outside. The group members had to proof their teamwork abilities to complete the tasks. Later we again discussed how it went and the group dynamics. At the end of the training course we had time to plan out local activities in our national groups. Every country presented their ideas in front of the whole group, so we could get and give feedback from and to each other.

In general, the training included different type of new games, energizers and useful tools. The training methods seem like really understandable and productive, and might be used for our future projects.

Beside the training content, we met as a group of young people from different countries and exchanged our ideas and experiences together. We also discussed the living conditions in our countries spread across Europe and Asia. Some of the most beautiful and interesting moments happened during the intercultural nights, when different countries introduced their music, dances, food, drinks, customs and costumes, and could eat, dance and play games all together.

After 5 days of training we left Bulgaria with a pile of learning, new ideas and our own plan for a future project. The training ended with a nice closing ceremony and the distribution of the Youth passes to each participant.

At the end we would like to thank JuBuK e.V. and especially Natalia, who selected us for the training course and helped us with different kind of questions.

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‘’Social – E: Social Entrepreneurship’’

Training Course in Athens, Greece, February, 2019

Andre, Margaryta, Yasmin, Lyra, Valeriia:

Erasmus + Mobility Project ‘’Social – E: Social Entrepreneurship’’, financed by EU with the support of INEDIVIM and coordinated by NGO CIVIS PLUS. The mobility took place in a hotel near Athens from 25th of February to 5th of March, 2019. We were a group of 50 people from 10 different countries from 18 – 30 years. For eight days we participated in a series of activities related to entrepreneurship.

The exchange was attended by ten different countries mostly from Europe. These includes: Lithuania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, Turkey and of course Germany. Ten countries with different histories, traditions and cultures. The cultural exchange was particularly strong at this event. During the eight days we had four evenings with the so-called “intercultural night”. Each of the night a few countries were presenting their homeland. The country group of 5 showed the rest of the group their country and people, also what is typical for their region and what they are proud of.  A really humorous moment were the explanations about the behaviour and mentality of the respective countries. Here you could see very well how different the approach to certain topics is to round off the presentations, the countries taught us traditional dances and sweetened the evening with local food and drinks.

Capitalism VS Socialism

One of the activities included an excursion to the city of Athens in groups of five. The given task was to interact with locals and tourists alike and hear their opinions on socialist as well as capitalist principles. Before talking to people we first researched on our own and discussed about our personal understanding of such principles while having typical Greek food for lunch. Afterwards we had the opportunity to explore the city while searching for people to interview. However, the actual challenge was finding the courage to come up to strangers and talk about such a complex and controversial topic. This was especially hard as we had to get permission to film the interview in order to share it with the group. Nevertheless, overcoming our comfort zones led to some interesting and partly funny conversations on capitalism along with the current state of the Greek society. Most of the people were nice and this goes to show that strangers really are just friends you haven’t met before.

Writing a Business Plan

One of the last days was dedicated to understanding and creating a business plan. The first step is to understand the complexity and importance of a business plan, as it consists of multiple parts that describe a business and is necessary to convince investors and other stakeholders such as potential partners. The second part of the activity was the development of a business plan that addresses a need in one of the ten countries that participated. At the end ten different business ideas were developed and put on paper by creating a business plan.

Activity on Pnyx Hill

On the third day of the seminar, we had a very special activity which was called “Mission Impossible: Skills Arena”. For that, we went to a beautiful hill in Athens called Pnyx which is just across Acropolis. Our task was to think about our personal weaknesses and how we could solve them while individually strolling around the hill for more than an hour. Afterwards, we came together to our meeting point and formed groups in whom we could talk about our results. When the second task was over, we were asked to come all together again so some of us could talk in front of the group about their weaknesses and solutions to them. The rest of the group was free to help and we developed interesting and deep discussions about obstacles that could hinder us to become a successful entrepreneur which the task was all about. It was my favourite activity from the whole program, as it helped all of us to go to deeper and look into our personal obstacles in career and life in general. To my opinion, it was a beautifully constructed activity that will truly stay in my mind.

 

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“Mission React”

Training Course in Velden am Wörthersee, Austria, December, 2018

Jana:

The training course “Mission React” was organized by the Austrian high-qualified organization GEMMA and took place in Velden am Wörthersee, Austria, from 10th to 17th of December in 2018.

The training course was focused on giving youth workers and trainers an understanding of the various perceptions of citizenship. The perspective on citizenship was discussed on a local, national and European level. The main aim was to improve the methods on how to motivate youngsters for participation in their community.

The open-minded and motivated youth workers represented the countries Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Slovenia.

It should be emphasized particularly that the training course contents were also conveyed in a very interesting way and with a lot of wit by the coaching team – even in more theory-driven sections. They knew exactly how to lighten the mood. The important basics were conveyed and elaborated in the form of non-formal learning in creative workshops.

The highly qualified and multicultural trainers initiated fun energizers in the open air in the Austrian winter wonderland. We received lots of information and deep insights on the topic Citizenship. I also had the opportunity of being a book in the human library for the first time. During the whole project everyone was extraordinarily friendly and helpful.

One day was completely used for creating a TV-show with the reference to the topic Citizenship in a small international group. It was exciting to see how different and creative all groups fulfilled this task. The experience was exceptionally beautiful and the results showed how much fun all groups had in the process.

The accommodation was located next to the lake and offered a picturesque view. So, you could enjoy your coffee every morning with a breathtaking view on the lake and the mountains. Despite the wonderful location next to the lake, we also had a pool available for extensive use.

During the training course one day was planned for the visit to the Villach Youth Centre in which discussions with the Villach Youth Council and representatives of the European Youth Parliament were included. Afterwards we enjoyed the Christmas market together while the old town was beautiful illuminated. In addition, the free time was used for intercultural exchange (one evening was used for the cultural evening), swimming and walks in the beautiful surroundings of the Austrian winter wonderland.

I am very grateful to have received the opportunity to represent Jubuk and to experience the great work of Gemma. During the short but intensive time we became a small family. Even though it was difficult for all of us to say goodbye, we already have precise plans to see each other again in Portugal.

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Once Upon a Time: Young People for Diversity

Youth Exchange: 14th – 20th of January 2019 Cagliari, Italy

Alexandre:

We are one

The feeling of humanity is a feeling that since long time in our history we are missing it. That feeling of treating another being human in the same way, not mattering which background this person has, religion, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation or social economic levels. There are a lot of labels created in our society to divide people, based in interests of a system that is pro segregation. One way how to face this cycle is the interculturalization. These workshops organized by non-profit organization and financed by European Union, has a important rule in process of interculturalization. The fact that there are groups from different countries working together in a relevant topic for our society is a strong process of exchanging. Most of us didn’t know each other before the beginning of the activities and suddenly we are out of our confortable zone and living intense moments that instantly we lose the sense of time and space, living a parallel experience from our real life. Considering that the European continent has a high number of foreigners, in these groups normally we will find really more than 6 nationalities. Our German team for instance had backgrounds from Brazil, Germany, Peru, Russia and Syria and Turkey. This opportunity of exchanging would be already interesting in an exchange of cultures between hosting and guesting countries, but the diversity is so much bigger.

As it happened in Cagliari, even having just 6 countries, the background of the participants were really diverse, having plus 20 different nationalities. This process of empowerment of youth in a interculturalization would already happen naturally, just seeing a group of curious youth with thirst of knowledge and hunting to get know as much as it was possible in this week each other and possible understanding more about ourselves as well. We all had different levels of interaction and assimilation. In fact being part of this project naturally force you to be integrated, to listen, talk, understand, think and unconscious change your perspective of seeing things, even if we aren’t able to notice it. Cagliari was for us a special and unique experience, as different individuals, we had our different process of interaction, listening, talking, understanding, thinking and in the ending our result process of changing. Our project specifically had the focus in promote the social inclusion of refugees, migrants and every single person that could have a different background than ours. In that case it was including most of ourselves. This was a personal lesson that each of us carried in the last day that we’ve got our airplane back and some of these lesson are going to be part our conscious or unconscious process of thinking.

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“Kickstart Your Business”

Training Course in Blansko, Czech Republic, December, 2018

Thomas:

“The BEST WAY to predict the future is to CREATE IT!” was the motto of the intense and colorful Erasmus+ Training Course “Kickstart Your Business” happened in Blansko near Brno, Czech Republic, at the beginning of December 2018. The topic of the exchange was about entrepreneurship and organized by “Proactive Mind”. An informal group of passion young people, that believe in our own potential to influence our future and they love seeing people learn and grow.

During these 8 days, 31 young prospective entrepreneurs from Armenia (Future in Our Hands), Belarus (League of Youth Voluntary Service), Italy (Greenrope), Spain (GoEurope), Germany (Jugend Bildung und Kultur), Croatia(IDA), Georgia (Diversaway), Lithuania (TBC) and Czech Republic (Proactive Mind) chose to overcome their minds and conquer their entrepreneurial spirit.

The main goals of the training were to eliminate the hesitation of youngsters to take over responsibilities and facilitate them on their future career. In addition, the development of entrepreneurial skill sets as leadership, teamwork, presentation and adaptiveness of unfamiliar circumstances. Other primary aim was to provide the participants a suitable environment ,that they can evolve their business concepts. As well, this project intended to inspire the aspiring entrepreneurs and give them the opportunity to meet successful entrepreneurs. Last, but foremost to promote friendship and build collaborations between all the participants and their countries across the world.

Day 1 – You vs You

 Nobody died this day. Cold and agony,the railway is frozen and the train can´t reach our destination. After a delay, we are finally in Blansko. The host organization team was there to pick us up and to warmly welcome us to our venue.

The accommodation was in the middle of nowhere and the only place we could reach by foot was a hotel. The particular reasons it was chosen are : To make everyone a punch and enhance the bonds between us, simple because together we are stronger.

Furthermore,that we were not going to bother other group(we were alone) or even between us. Someone could party while someone else is sleeping. We had a lot of different available rooms(Hall, Club, Chillzone, Gamezone, Sofazone, Dining). That means greater freedom range and possibilities for parallel workshops or activities.

The last participants arrived, singed up some necessary documents, received notebook/pen, put their luggage in their room and met their mixed nationalized roommates.  A delicious lunch was there to regain their strength after the long day.

Two past midnight everyone gathered in the entrance. A lot of us thought , that the host organizers are going to welcome us one more time, now that all participants are present and they were going to wish us to have a good rest time. But, that didn´t really happened, because we did not have earned the rest with our work. They told us that entrepreneurs have to face & overcome a lot of obstacles and that the path to success is going to be always under construction.

The outdoor activity was about to start. ”It’s freezing cold”, ”It’s slippery and dangerous”, “Will anyone find me if I get lost ? Darkness, all around.“ Although the numbers of contingent barriers could have gone through our minds for this activity, at the end all of us stood brave and participated. Our goal was to collect different color buttons through the tasks, videlicet quality over quantity. It could be a simulation of an entrepreneur choosing his team members. Same specialized fields won´t be helpful for the productivity and the progressive development of the company.

A map, an answer sheet, a pen and our phone torch-clock were our obvious guidance to complete the tasks in thirty minutes. Yes, quite a bit like Dora the Explorer. So we started one by one with a time gap between. My first thoughts were to find the path that I will need to cross the shortest distance and also to avoid the overwhelming routes that most of other participants were going to choose in order not to spend time on waiting. That could be risky if it was done on another time point, because all the tasks presupposed knowledge of other countries/languages and interactive activities with other participants. Thus, communication and teamwork were some of the key factors for the successful completion of this activity.

After we all finished, other with more other with fewer buttons , we had to head to the `Club´ , brainstorm and exchange our viewpoints of this particular activity. Please, before continue reading, take your shoes off! We divided into groups of 4-5 and started to express our opinion and confer about it.

I said “ I enjoy it,it was entertaining and it kept my interest in for all the duration. The biggest obstacle for me it was the fight that took place inside me. On one side was my curious pixie that like the adventures and he was excited to solve all riddles of the game. On the other side was my entrepreneur that he was aiming to find the most efficiency way to reach the end line in the minimum possible time and without using many resources.The second one took over,so instead of doing every task by myself, I did the half and the rest buttons I obtain them with trading my triple/double buttons with the other business people. The mistake I made was that I spent a lot of time to make a refrain in five different languages that will have a slightly good rhythm ”

Then we had to sum up and present our experience as a team to everyone. My team said ” We agree what the previous teams narrated and we want to add that we tried to think outside of the box and find any possible shortcut that could help us achieve our goal. We shared and received information that without them, it would be harder to complete the tasks. Also, we exchanged the buttons that were no use for us”

That’s how we closed the day…official. My team and I stayed in the room after everyone had left and we deepened a little more the conversation that we had already started. Somebody suggested grabbing a drink in the hotel, but unfortunately the cafe was closed at this time.

After 18 hours of traveling and action it was time to sleep. That would be the normal in this case, but the activities/conversations boosted my adrenalin levels. They provided me with flow of energy and food for the brain. The host organizers proactively contemplate the future and even brought us some books to read. I decided to check up all the books , chose some of them and made a reading plan for the week. Ironically,I do not read books (yet) and I do not enjoy this time (yet), but the action of the HO implanted me unconsciously the will power to use this source of knowledge and acquire the benefits of them.

While I was looking the books, someone else had the same intention with me. We end up learning each other, exchange our aspects of our past and declare our current steps for our future goals. After I reached my daily reading goal, I moved to the main entrance of the accommodation. It was around half past three and no one was still around, I used this opportunity to harmonize with the place and develop high acclimatizing levels. I change the position of where I was standing and the angles of where my eyes were focusing and tried to savvy how it effects my brain thoughts. That caused me notable and uncommon feeling of joy. That was my home that I was living already for a long time.

At the end, I ‚climbed to the highest spot of the room and envisaged what happened the last 6 hours, pinpointed what I learned and visioned the way that could be used in the future. By the way, that moment I changed my opinion about having/renting a big house with different kind of rooms or working in a special oriented workplace. Before I was saying that it would be only waste of money and time, but after that day i started to appreciate it and valued it highly, because the benefits can exceed the costs depends on the situation. One other thought of me that time was how significant would be if I could take part or even organize in the future a Project ´Encoex’ , that bring Entrepreneurs from all around the world together for a specific time in an ideal environment to coexist, brake their limits and exceed any of their expectation.

This night was more richly enlighten that my day and i was there Alive to witness it.I am chronicling you only a five percent of what happened and what i obtained from it. In spite of that, the lessons were plentiful with contemplative meanings. Don´t you think ? However, the knowledge that we acquired the first night was literally nothing in comparison with what we learned the upcoming days and nights.

Day 2 – Building Bridges and Eating Success

Day 3 – Speak with the Journey to your Soul and Culture Widening

Day 4 – Your Impact Wheel and Brno Hunters

Day 5 – The Path to Vision and Fucking Night,upps

 Day 6 – 21metres Up in the Sky and Prague Sushi Adventurous 

Day 7 – Target the Riders and Dimensions of Wellness

 Day 8 – Marathon or Sprint ? Both!

 Day 9 – Shark Raids and Eternal Hugs

  Day 10 – Back to the Future

 If you reached at this point, you are formidable!

I would like to express my gratitude to European Commission for funding Erasmus + Mobility and open for us many different doors that can provide assistance for our personal and professional growth. I am cheerful that, the budget is going to be doubled for the next years and the people with the opportunity to participate are going to be tripled.

I appreciate JuBuk and the other sending organizations, that plan the projects, preparing the participants with all the necessary roots, build collaborations, monitor the performance, evaluate the results and use them to for improvements. All that to provide high quality non formal education to everyone and change the future of our world from the inside.

In addition, i awesomely thank the host organization – Proactive Mind, that brought and developed this magnificent exchange into reality. We learned a lot from you and we enjoyed every moment. Your hark work-effort has paid off with high success and unlocked parts of our potential. Our best give back to you would be to utilize the transmitted knowledge in real situations

Thanks a bunch as well to all the participants that were active and motivated to work for all the duration. Your open mindedness, your willingness to cooperate / share with the others and your individual intercultural brush was a vital factor to achieve the expected results.

Besides, I am grateful to all the other people / companies / organizations that were a pillar of support and enhanced the project.

Plus myself.

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„Express participation“

Youth Exchange, December 2018 in Thessaloniki, Greece

Julia, Paulina, Christophe, Olena, Nicolas:

The aim of “Express Participation“ was to inform youth participants about the role of EU and enable them to implement European values in their home countries. During the first days, the group played some games for getting to know each other better and also developed a questionnaire about EU’s impact on people’s everyday life.

On the third day of the exchange, this questionnaire was handed out to citizens during a field research in the city center of Thessaloniki. The next days, we dealt with both current issues of the EU and the institutions (European parliament, Commission, Council of Europe, European Council). Facing the task of a “Cityland”-game, groups of participants imagined an own state and presented its structure to the audience – some even created the national anthem of their state! Another action was to simulate a conference of the committees of the European Parliament and to work out resolutions on current topics of the European policy such as migration. By learning about digital initiatives of the EU and the Erasmus+-program, we were provided some tools to share methods of non-formal education in the society of our home countries. As we talked to participants from other countries about their impression of the exchange, many of them assured they got to know more about the structure of the European Union than before and will try to make use of their knowledge in the future. Personally, we especially liked the simulation activities although we could have thought of a more specific outcome of the exchange in the end.

The project has been fruitful in many aspects. Not only did it foster a network of European citizens from all over the European Union plus Turkey (especially mentioning the rather peripheral EU countries with the exception of maybe Poland, Italy and Germany) that facilitates the continuous exchange between youngsters of various political and cultural backgrounds, thereby strengthening the European ideals. Furthermore, Civis Plus’ project did much at increasing each and every participants knowledge about European institutions, the importance of voting and the democracy deficit that is still inherit in the election system and passed on from the early times of the union.

Through time-intensive and open discussions in which everyone had the possibility of sharing their individual views on certain European topics (be it on ecology, free trade, mobility, finance, etc.) many information were shared about the country’s attitudes towards certain directives. This helped us understand the individual character of each participating country better, thus also ease the understanding of the people’s mindset. This mindset was further explored through intercultural evenings, in which each participating country was asked to present their homes. Many aspects of the countries’ culture were explored, always in respect to music, particularities, food and language (in the picture: Germans don’t laugh…).

Despite the fact that the project was organized and held in Greece, the main language of communication was English. Thanks to the liberal and non-formal character of the exchange, everyone had the possibility of expressing their opinions and thus fostering their language and communication skills in a foreign language. However, many participants sought to learn some about other languages as well.

There were many leisure activities available to us during our time spent in Thessaloniki. During normal session days there was enough time during coffee breaks to take a quick stroll down to the beautiful beach shore that was a 3 minute walk away. The little town that surrounded the Sun Beach hotel was nice to walk around as well. On Saturday, we were given an entire free day to spend as we please. Many of us chose to go into the city center by bus and go sight seeing. There were many nice cafes to sit down in, stores to shop and places to eat. Us participants were able to see sights such as the famous White Tower of Thessaloniki, Aristotelous Square and the city market. On top of being able to visit the city, every evening on the cultural and free nights we enjoyed learning from many cultures through fun dancing, quizzes, and karaoke style singing. The group spirit was always very warm and people were truly willing to share their beautiful cultures with others. The intercultural nights provided an opportunity to learn and have a lot fun in an informal setting with sweet, newly made friends.

We would like to express our gratitude towards Civis Plus for putting so much effort into the organization and for making this exchange very memorable. Also, we would like to thank our German sending organization Jubuk for the great chance to participate!

Paulina, Christophe, Olena, Nicolas & Julia

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“Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in Youth Work”

Training Course in Skælskør, Denmark, December, 2019

Josepha:

From the 12th – 21st of December 2018, I participated as a part of the German team in an Erasmus+ training course entitled: “Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in Youth Work”. My colleague on the German team and I were participating through the German youth organization JuBuK.

The course was conducted by the Copenhagen Youth Network in Egeruphytten, Skælskør in Denmark. Together with the German partcipants, colleagues from 13 countries were included in the nine-day activity: Denmark, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania.

To me, this kind of training course was a very new experience, because I had only taken part in a youth exchange by Erasmus+ before. Therefore I also had some expectations towards the content and professionalism of this type of project.

The aim of the course was to train youth workers and those aiming to work with young people in a critical approach to media, the topic of media bias and stereotypes and prejudice in order to make them able to apply this knowledge in their work. Thus we conducted various workshops covering the interest of youths in current political issues, biased newspaper articles and logical fallacies during the daily training sessions, using the methodology of formal and non-formal education. For example we dealt with our personal impression and meaning of memes in social media by choosing and presenting prints of the same, worked on texts and quizzes to get familiar with logical fallacies, discussed present-day, partly philosophical questions (“Does the internet help to spread more different opinions?”) in a so-called “World Café” workshop, and also prepared a role-play in small groups implementing our new knowledge about it.

After these content-related activities, another major part of the course were the cultural evenings during which every country presented their respective culture and traditional foods through interactive activities, e.g. PowerPoint presentations and quizzes.

In total, I am satisfied with the training course and I think I was able to develop in both professional and personal terms. However, in regard to personal and group development, I want to add that I think a little more concern with the group dynamics (e.g. ice breakers/ name games, especially on the first night) might have given all of the participants more chances to fully unfold in the group. Furthermore, I think that the personal motivation of some of the participants did not meet up with the expectations of the course’s programme, which at times made constructive achievements somewhat difficult.

Nevertheless I am very grateful for the opportunity to take part in this training course because I enjoyed it very much to receive all the new information and inspiration for my further professional and personal development. I am still feeding on the knowledge attained during the training sessions, and I appreciate all the new contacts and intercultural exchange I gained in Denmark very much. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude towards the organizers a last time: Mange tak for everything! 🙂

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„Stream the Peace“

Training Course in Didimi, Turkey, December, 2018

Anna: 

Am 16. Dezember 2018 wurden wir in Izmir abgeholt, wo wir am Abend zuvor ankamen, um mit dem Bus nach Didim an die Westküste der Türkei zu fahren. Der kleine Touristenort ist im Winter eher verlassen, und das Hotel hatte nur für unsere Gruppe geöffnet. Der Strand befand sich direkt dahinter, wodurch eine schöne Arbeitsatmosphäre geschaffen wurde. Gleich am ersten Abend versammelte sich fast die ganze Gruppe und es entstand eine großartige Gruppendynamik, es wurden Lieder gesungen, begleitet von der Ukulele, und sich unterhalten.

Am ersten Tag versuchten wir in Kleingruppen in mehreren Schritten die großen Themenkomplexe „Peace“ und „Conflict“ für uns selbst zu definieren. Uns wurden viele Denkanstöße geliefert, um uns vertieft mit den Themen auseinandersetzen zu können. Wir erfuhren auch Methoden, um Konflikte auseinanderzunehmen und Beispiele von guten Praktiken der Friedensbildung. Zu acht erarbeiteten wir einen Ansatz zur Peacebuilding Education mit jungen Leuten. Jede Gruppe stellte eine spannende Einheit auf die Beine, die wir dann gemeinsam ausprobierten. Zusammenfassend können wir mitnehmen, dass jeder Mensch täglich ein Peacebuilder sein kann. Es bedarf nicht viel dazu und durch den Training Course in Didim wurde es uns deutlich vor Augen geführt.

Die Abende waren stets sehr lustig, mit vielen Spielen, Tanz, Gesang und türkischer Sauna. An zwei Abenden gab es die Intercultural Night, bei der jedes Land typische Speisen und Getränke vorstellte und traditionelle Musik oder Tänze zeigte.

An einem Tag machten wir sogar einen Tagesausflug in die antike Ruinenstadt Ephesos, die zum UNESCO Weltkulturerbe zählt. Im Anschluss besuchten wir noch das Bergdorf Sirice, das für seinen Wein bekannt ist und aßen dort in einem Restaurant zu Mittag.

Insgesamt war es eine sehr schöne Woche, in der wir viel Neues dazulernen konnten, interessante neue Leute getroffen haben, sehr leckeres türkisches Essen probieren konnten und einfach unglaublich viel Spaß hatten.

 

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„Big City Life“

Seminar in Riga, Latvia in November, 2018

Jana:

The seminar “Big City Life” took place in Riga, Latvia, from 16th to 21st of November in 2018. The participants represented Latvia, Lithuania, UK, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Germany.
The project was organized by the Latvian NGO JASMA with the aim to bring youth workers together so every participant could share their experience and learn from the other participants how to overcome challenges that we have to face in our daily work with youngsters.

The seminar started by defining youth work in general and by comparing the different youth work environment in different countries. In the next phase the main activities were to discuss the difficulties of youth work and the opportunities that are offered in big cities and in different countries for young people.

Another goal was to exchange the ideas how to create contexts for personal and professional development, the cooperation between the NGOs and with local and national institutions and methods of non-formal education.

We learned how to make youngsters more interested in youth projects and how to measure results of youth work. Other topics that we discussed were the variety of fundraising methods and coordination structures.

One day was organized to meet four of the local Latvian organizations: Young Folks, Public Youth Center Kanieris, Jauniesu Studija BaMbuss organization and the TREPES Association. We had enjoyed the day very much as we got a direct insight into their daily work.

The accommodation was very close to the city center. We received the opportunity to discover Riga during lunch time and in the evenings. Luckily the 100th anniversary of Latvia and the festival of lights Staro Riga took place during the project time.

This unforgettable week was full of discussions, networking, learning and sharing useful information and ideas.  In the short time we got to know each other intensively. Since then the contact is still intense and we even have a solid plan to meet again in the beautiful Romania. “Paldies Jubuk and Jasma” –for making this experience possible!

Karolina:

What does it mean to be a youth worker? Which challenges do we have to face while working in urban areas? Do our NGO realities differ much from other European countries? Those are only a few questions we tried to answer during the seminar “Big City Life” in Riga, Latvia.

As the name of the seminar might suggest, we focused on opportunities and challenges of the youth work in urban areas. We got the chance to share our experiences with other participants from from Latvia, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Estonia, Poland and Romania. Thanks to different workshops and activities we were able to reflect on what it’s like to work as a youth worker in big cities in different parts of Europe. It wasn’t a typical training course – we were all responsible for the programme, so that we can learn as much as possible from each other and match the agenda to our needs.

Apart from many fruitfull discussions we also had an amazing opportunity to visit 3 local NGOs in Riga and be a part of they everyday working routine for one day. We got the chance to speak not only with Latvian youth workers, but also EVS volunteers and local youth. For most of the participants this part of the seminar was the most interesting and inspiring. We got to experience different NGO reality and we all came back motivated and full of new ideas for our further work.

For the last 2 days in Riga we focused on creating a handbook with all of our useful tips for other NGO workers.

Last but not least, we were also very lucky with the dates of the seminar – as it was Latvia’s “100th Birthday” (Independence Day) on the 18th of November, there were many surprises waiting for us in Riga. Staro Riga Light festival with many light installations and night fireworks show were a perfect chance to discover Latvian culture and learn more about its history, as well as to celebrate this important time with locals and other participants.Thank you JuBuK and Jasma for this opportunity and an amazing time in Latvia, I hope to see you all again very soon!

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„Agro Entrepreneurship Accelerator“

Training course in Larnaca, Cyprus in November, 2018

Ruth:

When you take part in a training about entrepreneurship, there is no way to stay passive.  Our trainer Angelos Parmatzias from the hosting organisation „Citizens In Power“ did a great job in supporting us to be confident in our actions. We managed to combine having focused work on exploring good practices as a future model with cheerful teambuilding games and enjoying to create new ideas together.
This course made it really easy to come up with initiatives. We were able to have a trip to the modern farm „Riverland“ where we could experience how one family offers educative farming and hosting an adventurous restaurant at once. It offered us a direct way of learning at the site and we were able to get a lot of questions regarding the agricultural sector answered. We got in touch with the production of fresh bread and halloumi which has been a delicious part of learning about the farm.
The last days of the training had been the most challenging for me: inventing unique and innovative ideas and put them out in the world of crowdfunding. Soon our concerns got in our way to do the final step of realising our newborn projects. So for some ideas it felt more reasonable not to put it into action right away: we felt a sense of responsibility that comes with offering an idea to an unknown crowd of potential investors. Of course nothing starts out as perfect, but we all were particularly impressed by the profound preparation and execution of the app „FarmYum“ which one of our groups presented to us. In my eyes it is an example that should encourage us all to be creative and to dare thinking as an entrepreneur. I felt very welcomed by our hosting venue which offered a great space for our activities. We could even take our workplace outside and let the sun and the cypriotic spirit empower us. The diversity within the group made it an exceptional and fruitful experience. In fact, the roots of our ancestors are spread all over the world, but new seeds will bring us together. Thank you so much!“

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“Building bridges, breaking walls, managing refugee crisis in Europe“ Part I

Training course in Yerevan, Armenia, November 2018

Sarah:

From the 20 to the 28 of November students, youth workers and activists from 15 different countries met in the Armenian capital Yerevan. The topic of the training course “Building bridges, breaking walls, managing refugee crisis in Europe” was emigration, the current situation of refugees in Europe and different methods of integration.  The training course is two stage project, with  a training course as the first part in Yerevan and the study visit in February in Stockholm.

Before the training course we prepared a research about the status quo and the bureaucratic application process of refugees and migrants in our home countries which we had to present to the other participants. Since every participating country held a presentation, we learned that the situation of each country can differ. While some countries have difficulties hosting a lot of refugees and are more popular to immigrate in others face the problematic that a part of their population emigrating to other countries to look for better living opportunities.

To get a deeper understanding we also learned about the definition and examples of the key vocabulary related to migrants and refugees such as emigration, immigration, multiculturalism, integration etc., so we were able to use it in the right way.

In addition to that we used role plays for a better understanding of the background of refugees and migrants. One of them was called “Where do migrants stand”. In this role play we were given “hidden” roles of migrants and refugees. The role play started out with all participants of the group standing next to each other in a line. Within the role play we were being asked questions which were related to our physical, mental and financial situations and could be answered with yes or no. If our given roles could answer the question with yes, we had to take a step forward. After finishing the questions we could all notice that some of us were ahead of others. This indicated that certain roles had better living circumstances, which made sense when we shared our given roles with one another. While some of us were ambassador children who lived privileged lives in foreign countries others were minors who came as refugees to a foreign country. This exercise showed that the realities of migrants and refugee can differ a lot.

One of the most interesting exercises connected to this was the drawing of our own lifeline. The assignment was to draw our own lifeline and highlight certain years or periods. Specifically, we had to point out the years in which we first notice migration. Moreover, we also had to mark the year or time period in which we ourselves thought about eventually immigrating to a foreign country and what circumstances caused this thinking. Lastly, we also had to point the year in which we first notice refugees or thought about this topic. This exercise showed us that the presence of the topics in our own life is quite relevant and can easily effect us.

An other highlight of the Training course was the public event “Living Libraries” where people act as Human Books sharing their story with others. With in this event we had the chance to hear different life stories of refugees and migrants of different age groups and backgrounds who are currently living in Armenia. In the event there were multiple desk and on each one a “Human Book” was sitting. We could choose for multiple rounds where to sit and which story to listen to. Also, this event allowed us to ask individual questions to the “Human Book”. This event gave us the chance to listen first hand to people, their backgrounds and thoughts on an individual level. We were able to see real faces and real emoticons which made their stories in comparison to read about it in the newspaper more realistic and understandable.

In addition to that we also visited the UN embassy in Yerevan and talked with the chairwomen of the UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She talked to us about the situation of refugees in Armenia and showed us which helping role the UNHCR has in this process. Afterwards we also visited Aleppo-NGO, which was established in 2013 and is a charitable and non-governmental organization which helps Syrian refugees with integrating in Armenia while assisting with bureaucratic processes, housing, schooling and employment opportunities.

All in all the Training course was really helpful to understand and learn more about the topic of migration and refugees. With our mixed backgrounds we were able to learn from one another and share experiences. Also exploring Armenia, visiting the city of Yerevan, the Blue Mosque, the historic Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery, tasting traditional dishes as well as the Armenian pomegranate wine made this week unforgettable.

Also I am very thankful to be able to take part in this training experience and would like to thank the organization , JuBuk, all participants and especially the workshop coordinators, who have made this training a big success and most memorable.

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„Inclusion of Refugees in Non-Formal Education Context in Youth Work“

Training Course in Eskisehir, November 2018

Dave:

As it was my very first Erasmus+ project, I was really excited about the project and the people I was going to meet and spent an amazing week with. We landed in Istanbul, the city that connects Europe and Asia. From there we took the train to Eskisehir. As many other participants we arrived overtired at the project venue and were welcomed with a warm dinner.

At the following day, we started with the project “Inclusion of refugees in non-formal education context in youth work”. During the first day, we used some icebreaker games to get to know our new friends. The activities and ideas of the facilitator team made it easier for us to grow together as a group. 28 participants from 10 different countries got to know each other and were highly motivated to start with the actual topic of the project. We exchanged our views and opinions on the refugee situation all around Europe. We had discussions and worked on our creativity. With the help of role games, we were able to tackle the topic of integration of refugees in our communities. It was a huge gain for me to be able to work with and learn from so many different cultures and personalities. The small group sizes made it possible to become acquainted with every participant of the project. A very interesting part of our project was the visit to the local safe space house for women and children where they can get any kind of medical and psychological support learn languages and learn a new profession. The last part of the project was to develop a new 2-day follow-up training course. Therefore, we were able to show during our 1-hour sessions the techniques and knowledge we have acquired and present our own ideas for a new training course for the topic of inclusion.

In general, this project was a huge gain for me and everyone else, as every single one of us contributed in his own way to make this project a unique experience I will never forget. I was able to make new friends from all across Europe and hope to meet them again J

Thank you for this amazing opportunity!

 

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„Rural Youth for Rural Tourism“

Youth Exchange in Tsaghkadzor, Armenia, November 2018

Anna-Lena:

In this article we are going to introduce our experiences, objectives, gained results, learning outcomes, participants and place from the Youth Exchange Project organized by Erasmus +. Students from six countries took part in the project – Armenia, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Ukraine. Our team represented Germany and consisted of five participants: Anna-Lena, Armine, Gerrit, Jana and Varduhi. Each of us comes from different parts of Germany – Armine and Varduhi are originally from Armenia, but they have been living and studying in Germany for the last five years. 

After the arrival at Zvartnots international Airport in Yerevan we were picked up and driven from the organizers to one of the most beautiful places in Armenia – Tsaghkadzor, which is a great place for winter and summer holidays not only for natives, but also for tourists from all over the world. The whole project took place here – a perfect practical example of rural tourism. 

The agenda of the project was pretty busy, but also full of interesting and energizing indoor and outdoor activities, so that there was a great balance between non-formal education and communication with the other participants. Each national team had some tasks to finish for a propriate period of time. Some interesting topics that have been prepared by our team included: Creative thinking and innovative idea development, Digital Tools Buzzsumo and Hotjar, there was also a creative project to develop a business idea with three random subjects. After each session every evening one of the teams introduced its culture – geography, history, food, music, dancing, etc.. 

We also had the chance to be in the wonderful capital city of Armenia – Yerevan, to visit the legendary Lake Sevan, to jump with zipline over the autumnal fields of Tsaghkadzor. 

Each participant of our team was amazed by the high-quality organization of this awesome exchange project – we gained not only useful information about rural tourism, how to get started and develop it as a business, but also got acquainted with Armenian and international cultures, with different people from all over the world, most of who became good friends of us and we cannot wait to welcome them in our country soon. We are very grateful to the Armenian host organization for the one of the best experiences in our student lives. Hope to continue our participance in other countries during other projects. 

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„The Art Within“

Training Course in Larnaca, Cyprus, November 2018

Farah, Elisabeth:

This training course was something completely different – compared to other experiences with Erasmus+. The project ‘The Art Within’ concentrated on the enhancement of the basic pillars of self-empowerment and self-esteem through alternative methods, primarily related to performing arts.

We started off the first day by getting to know each other and the objectives of the program, and ended the day with the famous intercultural evening where each country presented itself, a wonderful experience to get to know more about the countries and their specialties. After an evening with a lot of traditional food and drinks we started the second day with the performing part. With the guidance of Elisavet, our dance teacher, we practiced different exercises in order to explore our emotions through dance and movement therapy. We ended the day with a really interesting presentation about
“How dance can influence or even solve problems in the society”, using the conflict in Cyprus as one of the examples. The next two days in the morning (day 3 and 4) we started with contact improvisation. It was very interesting, and at the same time challenging experience to hug, lift and touch other people during different exercises based on trust, resistance and connection. The following
two afternoons we continued with theatrical improvisation. We learned how to breathe, this technique can be used for example for presentations. Another focus was the nonverbal theatrical improvisation. We needed to express situations, emotions and conversations without speaking. After some intense days with a lot of movement and theatre our reward was a trip to Limassol. We enjoyed our last day, reflecting on all the new impressions we gained during the last days and sitting in the sun with a strong coffee.

All in all, it was a unforgettable experience with a lots of new aspects, that we can implement in the youth work routine. Thank you for this great opportunity!

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“Art of Good Life“

Youth Exchange in Chania, Crete, Greece, October 2018

Anna:

From 20.10. – 28.10.2018 in Chania Crete, Greece took place an Erasmus+ youth exchange. To the topic, “Art of Good Life” attended 44 young people from Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Turkey.

We spent 10 days on the camping side in Chania just 5 minutes from the sea. The program was all about to promote and discover healthy lifestyle with non-formal educational methods. We exchanged the current situations in our home countries and how the youth and the society promote and try to live the healthy lifestyle and what they are doing for it.

Every day we had sport exercises in the morning and in the evening. In the morning, it was a mix out of workout, running and sport games and in the afternoons, we practiced yoga. Therefor we used the space around the pool, the park and  the beach. Additional every country prepared typical national sport games, which we played at the beach. The spread reached from running, ball games, to partner and group activities.  In Addition to the main sport program, a bunch of people comes together in the early mornings before the breakfast and did some workout on their own. We also used the great opportunity with the sea next to us, to practice daily swimming in the calm salty water.

The food was also adapted to the healthy topic. The typical Greek dishes contained a lot of vegetables, feta, meat and beans. The tasty and variated meals gave us the needed energy for exercises and workshops. We also learned to have coffee breaks with the frappé which is loved by Greek people.

Over the whole exchange, we prepared in groups a “Guide to Goodwill”, which is now available in PDF form. We worked out all the important contains of the seminar: Cooking – traditional Greek recipes, Mediterranean Diet, Fitness, Outdoor activities and National Sports and the Good Practice of healthy lifestyle.

Nonetheless, we had two really cold and rainy days, we spent the whole time outside – at the camping side, in the park or the beach. We just went inside for sleeping.

Beside the learning and working out, we had also different fun activities like karaoke or Dancing with the stars, a dance contest where we’ve been divided in couples and needed to prepare a dance to individual topics. The exchange was a great opportunity to meet new people, learn interesting thing about other cultures and other ways of life and to exercise.

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“Refugee++”

Trainining Course in Agrigento, Italy, October 2018

Emmanuel:

The training course “Refugee++” took place in Agrigento, Sicily – Italy from 2nd to 9th October 2018. The training course used Non-Formal Education (NFE) method to expose participants to various ways to plan, implement and evaluate communication strategies using Refugee and Migrant topic as a focus area. 26 Participant from 14 countries worked on the topic. Some of the main activities were:  in class lectures, Press conference, visit to refugee camp in Agrigento, educational activity with refugee, Game-like activities, Seminar and meeting with stakeholders of Refugee and Migrant projects in Sicily Italy.

Participants were distributed into 5 different groups referred to as districts. Each of the districts had individual daily task to create unique campaign about the activities of the day and broadcast to external audience of their choice. In order to reach a large number of audiences and create impact, most of the districts used various Social Media platforms to publish the campaign and receive feedbacks. Apart from the daily campaign, each district also had a one day special reporting and publication task of creating a holistic and comprehensive portfolio of an entire day. The daily task engaged participant and created an atmosphere of active participation. Lastly, each district had the chance to work on one major refugee/migrant issue and present the result in a press conference.

The training course uses creative approach to explore various ideas of the participants. It was one of the kinds that create cultural awareness, help Youth worker to network/collaborate, develop competencies on the refugee and migrant topic. Nonetheless, memories of the cultural events, dinners, Italian-pastas and visit to the Regional Archaeological Museum were some of the unforgettable moments that made participants wanting to remain in the Agrigento.

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„Connecting Roots“

Partnership Building Seminar, September 2018 ,Prencov, Slovakia

Hassan:

Connecting roots seminar was held in the 3rd week of September with the aim to strengthen the partnerships between different NGOs from all over Europe as well as provide an incubation platform for the development of different new projects with a strong focus on sustainability and developement of rural areas,

The seminar began with the introduction of a well known project management technique by the name of Dragon dreaming which focused on the different steps which a  team has to go through for the successful completion of a project aka ‘translating dreams into reality’. It also focused on overcoming the fears or ‘to befriend your dragon’ rather than avoid it. Later on, another technique was introduced by the name of NAOMIE which broke down the development of an idea into a workable project in well managed and do-able steps. The dragon dreaming technique was also used to explore individual fears and hopes of participants and discuss them further in a very nurturing environment.

Using these techniques and fruitful discussions, several projects were developed. Since, the representatives of NGOs were there also, each project already had many willing partners to contribute. Hence the goal of the project was achieved.

Last days also had an evaluation part where the participants were asked about the pros and cons regarding the approach about the whole idea of dragon dreaming and NAOMIE. There was a lot of positive feedback and hopes that many of the developed projects will actually take place and all of us will get to see each other again.

Philipp:

,,Connecting roots” was a Partnership Building activity that gathered thirty NGO representatives from ten different countries. The activity took place in Prencov, a remote village, close to Banska Stiavnica, a UNESCO World Heritage City in the heart of Slovakia. The main purpose for this one week lasting experience was to develop and strengthen partnerships in order to develop projects with the main focus on rural areas. In order to achieve that, the group was split in five smaller groups that developed their one project, each with a strong focus on sustainability and the development of rural areas. For developing the idea different methods were used that has been presented at the start of the project. By the end of the week, the process of developing projects has been accomplished with five ideas that have been all in the same framework but at the same time very individual in their outcome. Next to the main activity of the seminar, there have been different activities where the participants could involve in the rural life by helping in the garden or preparing the food. Ahead of that there was an introduction on how gardening and vegetation is done in the particular premises in Prencov. One of the highlights of the week has been the afternoon trip to Banska Stiavnica, a quaint little town that consists of old houses, two churches as well as two impressive castles. After a long week of discussions and debates we finished with a barbecue in the beautiful nature of Slovakia.

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„Cre-Active“

Training Course, October 2018, Velden am Wörther See, Austria

Ruth:

In the following three minutes you will read about my first training course with Erasmus+. When I have been to Riga a few month earlier, I was acting as a group leader for a youth exchange. SInce I have learned that the participants received more trainings than me, I thought it was a good idea to get some practice and theory first hand.

„Cre-Active“ has been the perfect opportunity! Our dear organisators from Austria and Estonia (and Brasil) were guiding us with great enthusiasm through the week.

We got started with getting to know each other and discovering the beautiful venue, located directly at lake Wörthersee. Due to icebreakers and team-building games we easily found a way of communicating within the group. It has been the first time for many participants to be part of a training course. Even this was soon to be irrelevant because everybody was able to commit quickly to low-threshhold tasks that made us connect. But also scientific texts and innovative techniques wouldn´t hold us back in exploring what entrepreneurial spirit means within all of Europe. By getting to know founders centre BUILD! in Klagenfurt Europahaus we had the chance to test our ideas by sharing them with experts. In the end of the week there were definite plans to realise projects together within small groups, even exceeding the time frame of the training. I am really looking forward to hear from the one or other businessplan in near future. Therefore – all the best of luck and success to you all!

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„Democracy Seeds for Youth to Raise“

Training Course, 20-28 September, 2018, Nea Makri, Athens, Greece

Indira: 

I’m going to start with a huge JUHUHUHU, a thanks for the opportunity JuBuK! With this being the second project I’m taking part in, I can only say, I’m looking forward to another one. Meeting people from 9 different countries, challenging yourself, enjoying amazing Greek food, opening new windows and creating new opportunities and friendships, as well as learning to accept different opinions and differencies in people, that’s what made the project unforgettable. It’s amazing how much a person gets to know about itself, as soon as he dares to go out of his comfort zone, and what amazing people he gets to meet, as soon as he opens his heart.

Charlotte and I came to Athens two days earlier, on the 18th September, and wanted to explore the city. It had some amazing sightseeings, as you would expect it from a country whose origin dates back in the 9th century BC, amazing food, but sadly, not so welcoming people. Thankfully, we had some amazing Greek organisors and participants, so they showed us that we got to meet the wrong people. We arrived on the 20th in Nea Makri, stayed at a scouts camp for the next few days, really close to the beach, with amazing weather the first few days. Which we of course used. The accomodation wasn’t the best, but we survived thanks to the positive energy of almost all participants, and the just amazing food of Mama Dimitra, the mother of one of our organisators.
 We were doing different workshops about tolerance, values, dialogue, democracy, in realy interesting ways, and with the help of two amazing trainers, Blandine from France, and Tobias from Denmark. We have also had some free time, that we got to spend with other participants, a day in Athens, and also a visit from scoutsmen, with whom we planted a tree, made leather bags, and necklaces as a keepsake. As most of you already heard about the fire in July, in Athens, we got to see the remains, since Nea Makri is one of the affected areas.
As the project came to an end, there were lots of tears, hugs and promises of seeing each other soon, maybe at another amazing project. With a really small group, we stayed one more day in Athens, and came back home with lots of memories that we will treasure, new friendships and contacts we will keep, richer for an experience, and stronger thanks to everything that has happend.
Charlotte:
The Training Course about democracy in Nea Makri was my first Erasmus + project. First to say it was a great experience! We stayed in a scouts camp 5 minutes from the beach. Fortunately, the weather was very good, so we could spend our freetime swimming or relaxing in the sun. The accommodation was not the very best but as we spent most of the time outside in the sun it was not a big problem. In total we were  people of 9 different nations (Greece, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Denmark, Cyprus, Poland and Hungary) spending a week all together. We had different workshops about dialogue, active participation, tolerance, values, team work and of course democracy. It was interesting to get to know the different opinions and ideas but also sharing commonalities. During the workshops but also in the freetime I learned a lot about myself and how to express myself in a foreign language. I also learned a lot about different cultures and how difficult it can be to agree on some topics. Beside the workshops we also learned from the scoutsmen of the camp how to make a small leather bag. We also had one free day that we spent as a group in Athens, the dawn of democracy. It was great to stand on the top of the hill where the acropolis stands and see how big Athens is. Another highlight was the delicious traditional Greek food, cooked by the mother of one of our trainers. I really enjoyed the 8 days and I can only recommend to everyone to participate in such a project. For myself I learned a lot and found new friends from all over Europe. The training course also gave me motivation to take part in other Erasmus projects.

 

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„Don’t Esc from Game“

Seminar, September 2018 in San Sebastian, Spain 

Casey:

„Don’t ESC from game“ – sounds terrifying, does it? That’s how I knew immediately this project was for me and I had to go there.

The venue was near the beautiful city of San Sebastian in the North of Spain, a place known as Basque Country and one of the most picturesque spots I’ve ever been to. People there speak Spanish, but their hearts speak Basque: a truly unique language that cannot be referred to any of existing linguistic families. Luckily, we got a chance to hear it and learn it, together with a fantastic tasty basque culture while making a tour around local pintxos bars.
The main purpose of the seminar was to learn how to create educational escape rooms and to come up with one. For that, we divided into 4 working groups, 8 people per each, everyone coming from different country. Our task was to compose a room where participants would not only enjoy the process of a game, but also learn about cultural heritage of Europe.
This was indeed a challenging excercise. Only 2 days for developing an idea and bringing it into reality. Can we do it? Turned out…. We actually could!
After 2 days of intense work and tough debates, we finally presented our project. My team came up with a „Night in the Museum“ theme. Participants of our Escape Room had to find an exit from a private gallery, learning various facts about european art while solving ingenious riddles. 2 teams that completed our room in just under an hour said it was a success, so, there’s no reason not to believe them.
Our project was also marked with Amour’s vibes: during one of the last days, when we had a day out in San Sebastian, one guy from Romania proposed to his girlfriend that’s been dating him for 4 years. We were all invited to their wedding and, apparently, our project reunion is going to be very soon 😉

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“Building bridges for the future’’

Training Course, August 2018 in Kolin, Czech Republic

Anna

‘’Every person is a new door to a different world.’’ – Six Degrees of Seperation

Today I am sitting here, writing the article and the first thing which comes into my head is the above written quote. Every person which I met brought a lot of joy, as well as a huge portion of different experiences and such an indescribable energy into the project. And even new opportunities like creating an own project, new and special friendships, as well as new travel destinations came up. I learned a lot about peacebuilding, conflicts and myself thanks to the whole learning environment, the group as well as the whole intercultural experience.

Kolín, Czech Republic – the place where the change started and a wonderful bond between several nations were born.

From the 28/08-04/09/2018 Viktoriia and Ondra (our wonderful organizers) invited 28 youngsters to participate in a training course regarding conflict and peacebuilding. With Marco as an additional trainer, they created an outstanding program including lots of action as well as a huge portion of tearful laughing moments.

The trip to Kolín was my first experience with Erasmus + and as I can already tell, it won’t be the last one – for sure! Before I arrived at the Hotel, I already met Homayoon. He was another member of my sending organisation and from the first second, we got along very well. When we arrived in Kolín we decided to walk to the hotel, to get the first impression of our little home during the following week. Very quick, we both agreed that the little town had something magical and peaceful. After our arrival, we met some other fellas, who were as excited as us to get to know each other. From the beginning, I felt that the group had something special and that an amazing time was waiting for us. The positive first impression continued when the group met Viktoriia, Ondra and Marco. With the first task they already won every heart from the team members  – everyone had to write down a profile with an inbox, which gave us the opportunity to write letters to everyone in the team. But for sure that wasn’t all … Every one of the team got a secret angel, who had to take care of a special person during the week. But even when everyone got a secret angel, by the end everyone took care of every individual in the group.

Marco and Viktoriia were our trainers full of experience and knowledge. Both of them knew very well how to transfer the topics via a non-formal learning environment. My favourite highlights were the teambuilding events, as well as the simulation game where we had the chance to practise our theory via a simulated local conflict. I also really appreciated the guidance from Victoriia, Ondra and Marco regarding our own project development. Thank you, guys!

The team got big tasks, which weren’t always the easiest but as we were a very energetic team, we managed every task very well and always in a peaceful and fun way. But besides of our daily workshops, we also had a very fun and productive time during our private sessions, where we danced and laughed a lot (thanks to our enthusiastic dance teacher Paulo, who literally knows all dance steps from almost every country native dance :p)!

I am very grateful that JuBuK did choose me to become a part of the training course. During the week I learned a lot about myself, I also expanded my professional knowledge and I met tons of wonderful and warm-hearting individuals!

Thank you for the exchange, it has been a stunning time!

Homayoon:

I am really grateful that I was selected as participants of this effective training. There were 28 participants from different countries of Europa that everyone brought with herself/himself a pile of experiences and ideas. We have really exchanged our thoughts, idea, culture and stories. It was really amazing that I found a big family in other countries.  The training methods and topics were really understandable und productive. All the topics were effective but I would like to mention non-formal learning/education that was incredibility useful. After 7 days of training we left this country with a pile of learning, new ideas und our project plan for the future. I am really wondering to see the result of my project in future and looking for to apply for Erasmus projects at the beginning of 2019. At the end of training we have received a Youthpass. It was my first time that I have received Youthpass from Erasmus program. Youthpass is the tool, process, and strategy for recognition of non-formal learning with the youth in Action program. It means, looking at each project as a learning opportunity and paying attention to this aspect throughout the project. It is based on reflection and dialogue about learning. At the end I would like to thanks the organizers team who provided such a wonderful training and accommodations in Kolin. I would like to thanks JubuK team in Germany as well that provide all communication very well.

 

Irina:

During the last days of August and first days of September, which combined bright sunny moments and charming rainy hours, we, three members of Jubuk team, participated in the training „Building briges for the Future“ in Czech Kolin, nice cozy town not far from Prague.
There were a lot of discussions, self-reflection, games, energizers, and learning through the art-therapy. And there were a lot of workshops and simulations, when we also went deep into the difference between formal, non-formal and informal education, the characteristics of a conflict, various types of conflict resolution and to what type of conflict solution maker we belong to. We were sharing our knowledge about peacebuilding and non-violent resistance in our countries, and we were learning how it happens in different parts of the world.
After all, we had great intercultural and social nights, explored Kolin and its neighborhood and enjoyed tasty Czech cuisine, which is rather hearty and nutritious, so, we were always full of power and energy.

 

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„Youth are the Voice“

Training Course, August 2018 in Lapua, Finland

Emili:

The day began early in the morning. First a train to Frankfurt, then a plane to Helsinki and then again a train to Seinäjoki where we got picked up to continue to a small city called Lapua – our place to be for the following seven days. The first impression of Finland was beautiful, while being in the train I saw the beauty of finish nature. We crossed beautiful forests, which edged even more beautiful lakes.

And the good first impressions just continued when we arrived at the Youth Centre of Lapua and met finally the trainers and participants. It was a colourful group from 12 countries (Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Germany, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Greece). From the beginning on I felt that the group was something special. It wasn`t my first Erasmus+ experience but never I felt so comfortable and openly welcomed then this time. And that proved itself more and more – everyone was open and willing to share experiences and opinions with everyone. What I realized further on was the advantage of the big amount of countries and therefor the small national teams. At some point it was just impossible to distinguish people because of their nationality – there were just too many countries. And that was a powerful feeling which made me belief in the idea of a united Europe once again. It doesn`t matter where you are from – it’s about YOU and your values.

Apart from that it was of course amazing to have this big variety of cultures around and therefor learn about other cultures and habits. The intercultural evening was the best example for that – we tried so much food learned about other countries and overall laughed way too much together.

And of course, we had the chance to experience right on spot finish culture. First of all, through food – and I have to say that it’s kind of special 😊 I loved their cookies because they tend to put cinnamon everywhere what reminded me of our Christmas cookies but then there is liquorice. And it´s just everywhere. I tried chewing gums – it tasted like liquorice, the chocolate was full of it and their national drink was like liquid liquorice. I don`t want to judge that at all – just be prepared when you will visit Finland. 😉

But apart from food we learned about finish personal space, their unlearnable language and of course finish sauna. I must admit I never went to a sauna before and I was a little afraid because I never was comfortable with the idea of being voluntarily in an oven. But the day came and we all went to a beautiful place, with wooden sauna and a lake to cool down afterwards.  And the idea became more and more comfortable to me. In the end I must admit I would probably have enjoyed the place itself with the open fire and beautiful view as well without sauna, but I am happy that I had the chance to try it out.

So, but before this will end in an endless letter about beautiful people and fascinating nature, I will say some words about the Training itself and our amazing trainers.

The topic was social media and we focused as well on connected topics like, critical thinking, fake news and how to recognize them,  mass communication, public speaking and prejudices and stereotypes.

Our trainers were Marco from Brazil and Lorenzo from Italy – both full of experience and knowledge. Both knew how to transfer information in terms of nonformal education and even when from time to time a PowerPoint was necessary they managed to make it interesting and easy to follow. My favourite highlights were the sessions about stereotypes and prejudices where I got a lot of knew knowledge about how to fight prejudices and how to address people facing them. And another one about ancient Greece philosophers and their philosophies of public speaking and persuasion.

Apart from gaining precious new knowledge, practicing never came too short. Every new tool was practiced afterwards, especially during media laps. Media laps were about building up social media campaigns about certain topics. The topic of my group was Segregation in the US in the late 1940s. Our task was to build up the pro and against campaign, imagining that social media existed already in that times. Therefore, we built up Facebook pages, Instagram pages, created events, wrote articles, made photo and video reportages and created promotion videos.

It was a big task and I would be lying if I would say it was always a relaxed time, but we and all the other groups managed to finish all the tasks and what is more important gained new knowledge in our digital competences and overall learned how to use our group potential.

Coming slowly to an end I can’t say much more than thank you!

Thank you to everyone who made this possible, the organizers, the trainers and everyone who worked so hard and with all their heart to open this possibility to people like me.

I am so grateful to have experienced such an opportunity and met so many amazing, strong and warm-hearted people. The goodbye was hard but as I like to believe it wasn’t a goodbye but a SEE YOU SOON!

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„Engadget“

Youth Exchange, 28.07-04.08.2018 Latvia

Emili:

Engadget – a youth exchange about media and modern technology. In the end of July, 28 people from 5 different countries (Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Germany) gathered together in a small town called Slampe, which is around 60km away from the capital Riga. While we were driving with the bus from Riga to our accommodation for the next 7 days, the Latvian weather welcomed us immediately with a heavy rain storm. The Latvians smiled and told us to better get used to it . On the first evening we started to get to know each other and the accommodation and rested from the exhausting travel. On the next morning and with new energy we started with get to know each other activities to build up a group dynamic based on trust and understanding. Even some of the participants were quite young it got fast clear that we all were eager to share and listen to experiences and opinions. Further Sania (organizer and leader) introduced us to the topic of this youth exchange: media and modern technology and related topics like web security, critical thinking, social media, social responsibility and project development. Further the group leaders introduced to us the government session, which allowed us as participants to propose our own rules and then vote for them, representing a small democratic system.
The first program day ended with the first part of our intercultural evening where we cooked in international teams different traditional dishes for each country. It took longer than expected but in the end everyone enjoyed the cultural exchange and the delicious meals. The next day was delegated to social networks and online privacy where we had a look at our personal information and how to secure them. In the afternoon we had a look at critical thinking while preparing collages and videos about the topic. In the evening we enjoyed the second part of the International evening, while every country presented information (not found on the Internet) about their home country. The next day started early and full of excitement. We went to Riga to attend workshops in the technical university of Riga (RTU). We could choose between 3D modelling for 3D printing, Laser cutting and robot building. Everyone loved the workshops and the following tour through the institute, which showed us the modern possibilities of modern technology. After that we could explore Riga and discover the beautiful old town or relax at the beach.
The next day was all about national innovations and how to make the world a better place using modern technologies. In groups we prepared theatre plays which represented our ideas for a new project/ innovation that could make the world a better place to live in.
Apart from having a lot of fun it also helped to share ideas among the group and see where similar interests occurred.
The next day’s program was a welcome change to the regular program. We left all our technical advices at home and went on an offline hike through a calm forest to the sea side. Exhausted but happy we arrived back to the accommodation to get some rest before the last day of the program started. The last day was delegated to evaluation and reflection. We reflected the past six days and defined, while preparing our youth pass, what we had learned and what to do with it in the future.
The week was an intensive experience full of knew knowledge, cultural exchange and new social contacts. It was sad to leave everything behind, but we left with new energy and inspiration. Thank you for this opportunity.

Kaatje:

„Lettisches Wetter, Facebook, Schwimmen und Kartoffeln bis zum Geht nicht mehr“; das waren die Keywords, die bei mir und bestimmt auch bei dem ein oder anderen hängen geblieben sind. Wir lernten das durchwachsene lettische Wetter kennen mit plötzlichen Regenschauern und knallender Sonne und benutzen Facebook als Abstimmungsgerät, um über neue Regeln abzustimmen. Während dieser heißen Tage hatten wir alle das Bedürfnis uns im See um die Ecke abzukühlen, konnten es aber wegen Bakterienbefalls leider nicht und an Kartoffeln fehlte es beim Essen auch nicht.

Bei diesem Youth Exchange in der Nähe des kleinen Ortes Slampe ging es darum, sich eine Woche kritisch mit dem Thema Medien auseinanderzusetzen und gleichzeitig andere Kulturen kennen zu lernen.

Mit insgesamt fünf verschiedenen Ländergruppen aus Polen, Lettland, Litauen, Estland und Deutschland lernten wir größtenteils praktisch mehr über Mediennutzung. Auch neue Möglichkeiten, sowie bereits umgesetzte Projekte aus anderen Ländern lernten wir kennen. Dabei zeigte sich mal wieder, wie fortschrittlich andere europäische Länder hinsichtlich der Mediennutzung sind.

Während des Exchanges haben wir uns insgesamt sehr viel mit dem Thema Mediennutzung beschäftigt, jedoch jeweils nur sehr oberflächlich. Die Methoden dagegen, wie Collagen, Videos, Theaterszenen und eine Oxford Debatte haben mir sehr gut gefallen. Auch der Besuch der „Design Factory“ in der technischen Uni in Riga, wo wir neue Erfahrungen im Bereich 3D, Robotik und Lasertechnik machten, war auf jeden Fall lohnenswert. Einige der Teilnehmer haben dort sogar ihren potenziellen zukünftigen Arbeitsplatz entdeckt.

Der interkulturelle Teil kam natürlich auch nicht zu kurz und wir hatten viel Spaß am Abend der Kulturen. In gemischten Gruppen kredenzten wir ein internationales Dinner, dessen Vorbereitung natürlich länger dauerte als geplant. Um 22:00 Uhr konnten wir uns dann aber endlich den Bauch mit polnischen Pierogi, deutschem Kartoffelsalat, lettischer und estnischer Suppe und litauischem Dessert vollschlagen. Zwar konnten wir den Kartoffeln, die wir sonst jeden Tag mindestens zwei Mal zu uns nahmen, mal wieder nicht entgehen, aber es war trotzdem lecker 😀 .

Das Highlight der Woche war dann aber das wohlverdiente Schwimmen im Meer nach einem „Offlinehike“ durch die schönen lettischen Wälder.

Svetlana:

The fifth project I have taken part in with JuBuK. I was looking forward to do something different, “Engadget” sounded like a great topic and I wanted to engage with social media technologies and social issues. Jasma, the organisers were well prepared, nice and send us fun tasks to do beforehand – stalking another member of the Youth Exchange (to show each other what is public and what not).

Nobody could find information about me though, which as a person working in public was concerning for me.

The project was very well planned, with equal amounts of sessions and activities inside the hostel and workspaces as well as outside in the nature. We had a day in Riga and generally, a good mix of tasks and adventures, I liked the way Jasma organised this and took care of us.

Every session, like for example the Oxford Discussion, did involve not only a group in the front but all of us. This approach was great; it gave everybody an individual task and made everybody an active participant in any session.

My favourite day was the offline hike – we were asked to not take any battery-operated devices with us and went for a hike through forests, fields and villages finishing at the beach! I loved this day, so much to see and do and I did not miss my phone at all. Actually, only one person from the group took a phone, everybody else decided not to even though it optional.

Overall, I very much enjoyed being in Latvia for the first time and learning a lot about the urban culture and nature there.

Jasma was great to work with, very helpful, professional, organised; you can clearly see they have experience and were perfect in time management. I believe we never had issues with getting bored or being overworked.

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„Facilitating intercultural learning in work with youth groups“

Training Course, Daugirdiškes Lithuania, July 2018

Yuliya

It was a first time I took part in a training course from the Erasmus plus. My expectations were simple: learn more about a topic I have chosen, build new connections and have some fun. They were fulfilled for 100% and we had a chance to face challenges, fight with unusual situations and discover Lithuania and its culture.

We started with an informal meeting at one of the Vilnius’s cafes on Sunday evening, where the organizers hospitably invited us. The night was long and after dinner, we even visited some local bars, in parallel enjoying the beauty of the city at night.

On Monday, all of us were transferred with a bus to the Daugardiskes, “Youth Epicenter” – the place, where the training course took place. It is a small neat village with friendly people, lake, pond, forest and wolves. joking, no wolves were involved in the training. We were living four people in a room, which, I think, helped to get in contact more closely to each other, learn to tolerate other’s needs and habits. Every day we had workshops, activities, tutorials, lectures about the topic of the course. I have learned a lot about reflection, motivation, intercultural learning, non-formal education and Erasmus programs.

Every activity we had was finished with a reflection session, which, for sure, helped to put together what was done and get valuable insights. What I liked the most is – that training course was built in a form of a dialogue between the trainers and trainees. The participants always had a possibility to share their experience, knowledge or opinion on a discussed topic. This successful strategy brought even more value to the course, as I could learn from the stories of the other participants.

Of course, the training course was not only about learning. We also had free time and every evening was different. Once we had an intercultural evening, where everybody was presenting their country and culture, once we went to the nearby city Trakai – to visit one of the oldest castles of Lithuania, another day we had sauna evening. There was even a trip to Vilnius in the middle of the training course, where some of us went kayaking.

In particularly I want to put an emphasis on a good structure and organizations – we were all picked up in Vilnius and put back there, so that everybody does not have problems with flying back home, there was a facebook group created, where different updates, videos, learning materials, photos were posed on time. Also there was a library available on site, where everybody can pick and read a book about non-formal education and intercultural learning.

I can for sure only recommend coming to the Daugirdiskes for training, for education there has a good balance between theory and practice. Many thanks to Jubuk for this opportunity and unforgettable experience, I will for sure go to some training course again.

Emmanuel

The training course “Facilitating intercultural learning in work with youth groups” took place at Daugirdiškes Lithuania from 22nd to 30th July 2018 . The training course was focused on the need and ways to make learning easier among youths of different cultures with emphasis on the principles of Non-Formal Education (NFE).

The facilitators used various methods to engage trainees in active participation throughout the training course. In class lectures, Game-like activities, Seminar, reflection were at the core of the training. Each day was started with reflections on the previous day activities with the aim of helping participants to build self-awareness and relate previous day challenges to personal life and experiences.  It was indeed a training with all round practical approach to youth intercultural learning and development. The facilitators puts a lot of thought into how the training was delivered. The order of events, tasks, food and group formation was just as perfect as every other component of the program.

At the end of the program, participants were grouped into smaller teams of 4-5 members. Using knowledge gained from the beginning of the training, each team had the responsibility of writing training manuals and activities for the facilitation of intercultural learning in youth groups which was then administered in form of workshop. Some of the workshop topics were Intercultural communication, Cultural Adaptation, stereotyping.

Lastly, memories of the cultural event, dinners, excursion, Sauna and Kayaking were some of the unforgettable moments that made participants wanting to remain in the training center.

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„Let’s save the Earth together“

Youth Exchange , Bakuriani, Georgia, May 2018

Simon, Angelika, Alex, Clara, Eva

First day:
Our first day started in Tbilisi where all the participants arrived. There we had a bus which took us to our project venue in Bakuriani. When we finally arrived there after some exhausting  hours we had some free time which many of us used for having interesting conversations.

Second Day:
The following day we firstly focused on some name games and ice breakers for getting to know each other better. For our first game we were divided into different groups and all the group members were tied with our hands and had some task to accomplish together and had   therefore the chance to see the beautiful and amazing nature in Bakuriani which is located next to the mountains.

Third day:
We were starting our third day with presentations about the environmental situation in our home countries or regions which were already prepared in advance. Getting to know and learn about  the different current situations has been very interesting for us. In addition to this, we had to prepare other presentations about global warming in different groups which were presented afterwards. As a result some of us were having some heated discussions about the topic and were even continued during the dinner. After that we were having another awesome evening and night which we used for dancing, drinking and discussions.

– Excursion Day
The fourth day of our exchange was excursion day. After breakfast we left in two minibuses for our first destination: the Vardzia Cave Monastery. Our exhausting ascent was rewarded by a beautiful  view of the monastery and its various small caves, some of which went deep into the mountain.  Having climbed down the steep steps on the other side of the monastery, we sat down in the shade  and had lunch together. Our next stop was Khertvisi fortress, one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia.  Afterwards we continued to Rabati Fortress, the “Southern Outpost of Georgia”, where we visited a  mosque from the 18th century and two churches surrounded by a beautiful garden and with a great  view of the city below the castle.  Our last stop of the day was a traditional Georgian restaurant not far from Rabati Fortress where our  Georgian group leaders introduced us to the customs of a traditional Georgian feast. Throughout the evening they proposed toast after toast while we ate some amazing Georgian dishes like Kchachapuri, Khinkali, Lobiani and drank Georgian Lemonade and Wine. On the way back to the hotel, some fell asleep while the rest sang along with music videos played on a screen in the front of the bus.

The next two days we were discussing some possibilities to change and especially improve the environmental situation in our home countries. Therefore we informed ourselves  these different possibilities and prepared different presentations for the whole group. Furthermore we had one special outdoor acticity which included the cleaning of the area around our hotel for example the streets, small river, pavements etc. Which showed us how important it is to have people who are taking the garbadge and also civilians who are feeling responsible for the rubbish which they’ve used. During another outdoor activity we made some pictures which should show the beauty of the local environment .

Even though the project has not been that long it was really hard to say goodbye to the other participants with whom we also spent a lot of our free time in the evening. Before we the majority of the group had their flights we had some time in Tbilisi. But so far quite a lot of the participants have already seen each other again which is not always the case concerning projects. I would absolutely recommend this project, to visit Georgia to anyone who is at least interested in having a new, amazing and outgoing experience.

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Sustainable Young Entrepreneurs

Training Course in  Eskisehir, Turkey, June 2018

Yasser:

So, you are asking how I ended up having one of the best weeks of my life? Let me tell you the whole story. I was sitting in my room, having one of the worst days that you could have, a friend sends me a screenshot about an Erasmus Plus project in Turkey because he knows I’m interested in Entrepreneurship. No links connected, no forms to fill and no emails to apply with it. Searching using the program title I have ended up on JuBuK Blog: https://jubuk.wordpress.com/, I applied the received a reply from Natalia who helped me to complete my application “Thank you Natalia” if you are reading this”. I got accepted and got ready for this adventure in one of the most beautiful hidden gems cities in Turkey which is “Eskisehir”. We arrived in the city the bus was waiting for us to take us to the place where we are going to stay for the next week. It was like a big park in the countryside, where we had bungalows to sleep in, a venue for the internal session and the whole park for the outdoor activities and decisions.

There were about 25 person from different countries and different backgrounds. Denmark, Slovenia, Romania, United Kingdom, France, Italy and more. The training was mainly focusing on the group discussion and workshops. So, every day we had a topic like how to fund your idea, plan a marketing strategy, teamwork or leadership.

After we discuss the topic we training we had in our group which is not fixed but it changed every day and every activity so that you can meet and speak with everyone. And then we start discussing our topic, come with ideas and prepare a presentation for it to present it to the other groups and exchange feedback. The whole experience was so different from any training I have attended before because the people were so nice, the place was different and isolated from the normal life that we have, as an example we almost didn’t have internet and were staying in a green area without the normal city noise, which was really helpful for us to have time to know each other and work together. In short, the whole experience was awesome for me and, I can definitely recommend to anyone to never miss such an opportunity. The personal experience, the people you will know and the change that you will feel is way more than what you can ever expect.

Mohamed:

Sustainable Young Entrepreneurs was the name a training course which took place in ( Seyitgazi ) a small town near Eskişehir ,Turkey, from 26th June to 2th July 2018. It was my first time to visit Turkey, the country which was one of my travelling goals since childhood. I was so lucky to be able to discover some interesting parts of Istanbul in two days before the Project. In this project I had the possibility to get in touch with 32 participants who mainly had a multicultural background. The participants represented Germany , Turkey , Lithuania , Romania,France, UK , Denmark and Solvinia. but actually the whole world was represented, because the participants had different origins such as Egyptian, Senegalese , Italian , Tunisian , Polish , indian, etc. All of us were interested in the project topic ,which aimed at discussing how to start a new business . During the project we learnt alot the idea of business plan, product marketing , Planning the financial budget and sharing our experience and future goals. ,we also had a lot of fun during the workshops, games, energizers and our free time. Also during the project after finishing our session and workshops we had a good time to share our experiance , culture, food and music. In the whole it was very useful exciting time. this project did not only help us to gain knowledge it also helped us to connect with others and make new friends. Finally i want to thank you for giving me this chance to participate!

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Acting together for the socio-professional inclusion of migrants and refugees

Seminar in Strasbourg, France, 13-22 July 2018

Anna and Eleonora

The seminar “Acting together for the socio-professional inclusion of migrants and refugees” was implemented by the AMSED organization within the frame of Erasmus+ Program and with the support of the city of Strasbourg. This seminar took place in Strasbourg between the 13th and 22nd of July 2018, with its 48 participants including youth workers and facilitators, project coordinators, association leaders and active volunteers from 14 different countries: France, Spain, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Tunisia and Morocco.

The objectives of the seminar are to provide participants with skills, attitudes and aptitudes needed to understand and act in favour of the socio-educational and professional inclusion of refugees and migrants, to gain an understanding of the situation and problems related to the socio-professional inclusion of young refugees, to increase the employability of migrants and refugee in the EU while fighting against discrimination in the field of work and creating better job opportunities.

The participants worked together and shared their own experiences, strategies and good practices, which led the way to the creation of a toolkit that includes specific activities related to the topic. Partners and external stakeholders will have the opportunity to discover an overview of different activities that can be implemented to improve the socio-professional inclusion of migrants and refugees by going through the toolkits.

Using non-formal education and interactive methods, the participants have transversally developed their skills and competences on the topic. The exchange was held both in English and French, which broadened the intercultural competences and foster the exchange of the participants.

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Change Places, Change Lives

Training Course in Lisbon, Portugal, 23-30 July 2018

Anna

Oh, happy days)))

Unforgettable summer moments! And they will live in my soul for ages.

In 7 days we learned a lot about Migration, Europe, Trends and Factors, Refugees and Asylum, Integration and Inclusion with participants from 12 different countries.

And no doubt, I made the right decision to be a part of this project.

We spent days in interesting discussions and nights on the beach.

We participated in the conference with Macron and Prime- Minister of Portugal (Antonio Costa).  We were observing a blood moon. And that’s just a small part of what we did.

For sure, I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing event, to meet wonderful people and work with them.

Catch the moment! Be brave!

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No for radicalism!

Training course in Rio Major, Portugal, June 2018

Irina and Marina

In the end of June 2018, our small JuBuK troop landed in Portugal to participate in the training “No for Radicalism”. The training was focused on development of understanding about aspects of human rights and educational approaches in connection with cultural diversity in local, regional and international level and improving of knowledge and skills for preparation, running and evaluation the cultural diversity workshops within non-formal education of youth with main purpose as preventing radicalisation of young people.

The training activities were designed as an open educational process based on our exchange of experience and a mutual learning through diverse methods. So, throughout the training each participant had to act as an ordinary student during the analysis of official documents of the European Union, aimed at preventing xenophobia and racism; as an actor during the drill of the method of shadow theater; as an interviewer during the survey of local residents on the theme of radicalism; as a painter when painting an automobile tire that was turned into a flower bed; and as a trainer and facilitator during the designing and implementation of our own workshops.

Despite the fact that the work was very intense, we had time to fully enjoy the country. The training was planned in such a way that we were constantly moving to different locations, changing both educational spaces and towns and villages. Library, high school, park, salt mines, volunteers‘ house of our host organization… And all this in places, which are not very well known and are rarely reached by tourists, but just in such places you can feel and taste the real Portugal. Although the offer to get a surf lesson on the beach near Lisbon, what is a common Portuguese amusement, was very popular too.

We really enjoyed the awesome days and atmosphere, created there by a symbiosis of perfect organizers, amazing participants and unique location. Obrigado!

 

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Cultural Heritage- United in Diversity

Youth Exchange through whole Slovakia, June 2018

Sveta

This project was the fourth I have taken part in and by far the most ambitious, longest considering time and travel distance and the one I learned a lot regarding social skills. The latter is inevitable, spending two weeks travelling without much space with 40 people, you have to be considerate and you will eventually learn how to handle situations that would not arise in your everyday life.

As outlined in the project concept, we travelled the whole country for two weeks, not having researched much in advance, halfway throughout the travel I realised that we are visiting each UNESCO cultural heritage sight in the country – which was so impressive (apart from a couple of wooden churches which are spread out really far from each other). I would never been able to do anything likewise in Slovakia on my own. This already made the project worth it!

One of my favourites were the wooden churches, since they remind me of my childhood in Siberia but are something I do not see any more living in central Europe. However, the best part of the whole journey was our travel to the east and the industrial heritage of Slovakia. Even though for the majority this was not as interesting, I was looking forward to this form day 1. Others did not enjoy this as much because it is something they know anyway as well as something too close to your ancestors’ life, broken and reminding one of recent history. Whereas an impressive castle has a direct, bespoke and universal romance and history to it – romanticized over time.

This is personal taste and every opinion has its place there. Nevertheless, I would have liked to spend more time there, exploring Zeleznik, walking around the old iron factory, seeing the villages and their inhabitants, hiking in the forest around shut-down iron mines.

Apart from all the travelling, moving and meeting people we did a workshop every second day. Those were similar each time and tend to give you back as much as you put into them. Thinking about how to improve the place we have seen the day before, what was good and bad and what would we like to implement in order for it to meet our expectations (if needed). The organisation gathered all those ideas to formulate a brochure, which then will be sent to all places we have visited.

Genuinely a great idea, my opinion is that our workshops were a bit too superficial. We could have gone more into the material, finance, social factors of touristic heritage sights and could have spoken to representatives and employers. Our connection to the locals and residents was not very good throughout the whole exchange, unfortunately.

Thinking that the outcome of the exchange will not have an impact on how the country appreciates and handles their cultural heritage, even we do not – it was an amazing experience and more of a culture and social clash. Even though I would have loved to engage more in workshop work, it became too interesting to find out how others in the group perceive and evaluate different types of heritage, form castles to churches, iron mines, whole cities, spas…. so much we have seen!

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Healthy Living in Healthy Inclusive Society 

Youth Exchange in Agros, Cyprus, July 2018

Simira, Dave, Daniel, Felix and Anna

Vom 13.-21.Juli 2018 reisten wir in die Berge Zyperns, in das Dorf Agros, um uns bei einem Youth Exchange mit dem Thema „Gesundes Leben“ zu beschäftigen.

Wir spielten am ersten Tag viele Namensspiele, um uns die Namen der 54 anderen Teilnehmer zu merken. Es war nicht so einfach, doch nach ca. zwei Tagen konnte man die meisten Gesichter zuordnen. Von Anfang an entwickelte sich eine sehr angenehme Gruppendynamik zwischen den Leuten, es wurde in den Kaffeepausen viel gespielt und die Ländergruppen mischten sich schnell durch.

An Tagen, an denen keine Tagesausflüge geplant waren, wurden von den einzelnen Ländergruppen Workshops vorbereitet. Themen wie gesunde Ernährung, Stressreduzierung, Bewegungsfreiheit oder soziale Medien wurden auf kreative Weise an die anderen Teilnehmer vermittelt. Die Workshops waren stets interaktiv und spielerisch aufgebaut, sodass alle viel Spaß hatten. Wir selbst gestalteten eine kleine Übung zur sozialen Ausgrenzung und erhielten spannende Einblicke in die Problematiken der Gesellschaften der teilnehmenden Länder.

Das Projekt Healthy Living in an inclusive Society auf Zypern stach besonders aufgrund seiner Vielfalt hervor. So bekamen wir die Möglichkeit, neben Agros, dem Veranstaltungsort, auch die Hauptstadt Nikosia und die Küstenstadt Limassol zu sehen. Bemerkenswert waren in erster Linie die wunderschönen Strände, die Altstädte mit ihren Straßenverkäufern und die mehr oder weniger zerfallenen Ruinen von Burgen, über Tempel, bis hin zu Amphitheatern.

Unsere Unterkunft lag im Zentrum von Agros und war ein einfaches Hotel mit Drei-Personen-Zimmern, die sich immer Teilnehmer aus unterschiedlichen Ländern teilten. Obwohl das Hotel mal eine Renovierung benötigen würde, stand alles Notwendige zur Verfügung und es gab sogar Handtücher.

Das Essen in Agros wurde immer frisch zubereitet und war sehr schmackhaft. In den Kaffeepausen wurden uns immer frische Früchte und Kuchen serviert.

Wir hatten insgesamt drei interkulturelle Abende, an denen jeweils die Teilnehmer aus den Ländergruppen den anderen Projektteilnehmern durch Videos, Quizze, Erzählungen oder das Vorführen traditioneller Lieder und Tänze einen Einblick in ihre Kultur ermöglicht haben.

Nach den etwa 15-minütigen Präsentationen aller Gruppen an einem Abend konnten wir deren landestypische Speisen und Getränke probieren, welche sie vorbereitet hatten, und uns dabei vertiefend über kulturelle Besonderheiten, aber auch Gemeinsamkeiten unterhalten und zusammen tanzen.

Insgesamt war es ein sehr schönes Erlebnis, das niemand von uns missen wollte. Wir haben in dieser Woche viel gelernt, Freunde aus ganz Europa gewonnen und Erinnerungen für das ganze Leben gesammelt. Vielen Dank an JuBuK für diese Möglichkeit!

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„Build your Dream- Social Entrepreneurship for Starters“

Youth Exchange in Kvareli, Georgia, June 2018

Dimitra, Sarah, Stephanie, Aaron and Christophe:

The youth exchange „Build Your Dream-Social Entrepreneurship for Starters“ from May 31 to June 7, 2018 in Kvareli, Georgia, was aimed to bring together people from different countries through their common interest in social entrepreneurship or working in a social enterprise.

Participants from Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Portugal, and Ukraine had the opportunity to learn from one another by sharing knowledge, exchanging, and developing ideas.The city of Kvareli was the venue of the exchange. The city is located in the wine region of Georgia, and surrounded by mountains, forests, and lakes. This setting, and the warm weather gave us as the chance to explore surrounding nature and refresh ourselves after working sessions. The first day of the exchange started with name games and a “mission impossible“, where we had to complete many difficult task within a limited time frame. This team building exercise helped to get to know each other better as well as working together as a team.

To gain a better understanding of what social entrepreneurship entails, we split into different groups  and discussed definitions and differences of the concepts of business man, entrepreneur, social entrepreneur and social activist. The definition of a social entrepreneur we finally accepted served as a guideline throughout.The purpose of a social enterprise is to generate social value. This is the prime orientation for any social business model and, consequently, for its business strategy. The success of a social enterprise is not measured by their profit rates. Rather it is measured by the positive return to society and the ability to maintain itself. A social enterprise has to take into consideration all social, cultural and environmental needs of a region and country where a project is planned, and implemented.

On a practical side, each team held a presentation on how laws and governmental programs support young entrepreneurs and start ups in their respective countries. This was illustrated by specific examples of implemented social entrepreneurship.Within the next days, we learned about different business methods and systems which are useful in the process of designing and developing a business. For example, the “Canvas Business Model”, a useful tool which helps to keep track on all aspects of the business, define goals, and identify all stakeholders. Basically, it is a chart, divided into columns such as key partners, key activities and cost structure for example. Although it is a bit complicated at first sight, it is very helpful by providing an overall interrelated view of the key drivers of a business model.

Other key factors we learned about are funding opportunities. Here, it is elementary to consider how different funding mechanism work. This information is, of course, very critical for the design of the business model.

When it comes to convincing investors, it is important to mention the societal benefits that are associated with the business, especially statistical information can highlight the relevance of the problem and explains the selected impact.

The last two days we split into new groups, and developed our own social enterprise idea, which we presented to the group. By developing an idea, we had to work in teams with members from several countries, which helped to get different points of views on solving problems efficiently.

To structure our idea we applied those tools and systems, we just had learned before.On our last day, we drove to the capital Tbilisi and visited a government financed startup hub that provides office space, legal advisory, machines and technology to young entrepreneurs and start ups. The hub management held presentation on how the hub is organized and afterward gave us a tour for a closer look inside the offices and activities of the entrepreneurs.

After this visit we had the chance to explore Tbilisi by ourselves and ended the night with a big “Georgian style” farewell dinner, which marked the perfect ending of this youth exchange.

This youth exchange provided the perfect opportunity for learning, knowledge-sharing and an inside look into the culture and society of Georgia. On top of that, workshops, invited speakers and the visit of the startup hub gave us the unique opportunity to not only learn more about the topic, but also gave an understand on how social entrepreneurship works in different countries.

Overall we enjoyed this youth exchange a lot. With lots of laughs, karaoke, a wine testing and not to forget plenty of Khachapuri, a traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread, this youth exchange did not only helped us to gain knowledge it also helped us to connect with others and make new friends.

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 Hello, I’m Multikulti

Youth Exchane in Chiari, Italy, June 2018

Simira:

Today’s society is certainly multicultural. Many young people have moved with their families or alone to countries totally different from their origins. The reasons why they moved are different from case to case: who for study, who for work or who to have a better future than what their country of origin offered. In this project I had the unique possibility to get in touch with 25 participants who mainly had a multicultural background. The participants represented Italy, Spain, Norway, Poland and Germany. In reality, the whole world was represented, because the participants had different origins such as Brasilian, Senegalese, Armenian, Egyptian and many more. All of us were interested in integration topics, active citizenship, racism and discrimination. During the project, we had the possibility do discuss about diversity, intercultural issues and stereotypes. We also had a lot of fun during the workshops, games, energizers and our free time.

Moreover, we had the chance to build up an international network and make new friends, we could taste the delicious Italian food and practice our English (Spanish, Italian..) skills as well. It was an enriching and unforgettable week and every young person should be encouraged to take part in a youth exchange or a training course. Erasmus + delivers great opportunities to travel abroad, meet new people and learn more about different cultures. It was my first adventure with Erasmus + and I fell in love immediately. I can recommend it to everyone! If you have the chance to do it, don´t think twice! 😊

 

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„Engadget“

Advanced Planning Visit in Riga, Latvia, June, 2018

Ruth:

Since it has been my first time in a country where I couldn´t understand a single word, the APV has been a remarkable experience for me I was so lucky to be able to discover some interesting parts of Riga two days in beforehand and get familiar with the unknown yet fascinating language.

The actual APV startet on Friday when we´ve had our dinner while getting started with what our aim was: creating a plan in order to make the youth exchange as exciting and fruitful as possible. While eating we had the chance to get to know each other before going over to the hard bites. Our dear organizator Sania has already come up with some straight information and so we were briefly introduced into the main scheme of the exchange ahead of us.

The next day we´ve had the chance to learn about the other countries´participants. Due to the fact that some of us would be minors, the part of discussing rules and ways to respect our host-contry´s law and considering everyones needs, took quite a while. It became clear that all of us five groupleaders have brought some sense of responsibility with us. One or the other even had a lot to tell about experiences with adolescents´ debatable behavior on youth exchange trips so far. To be honest this was the point where I got a little nervous. But I´ve regained faith while learning that we as a team would be willing to solve any issues together and supporting each other in the best manner. Also – our organizators´humorous way of leading us through all important and good-to-know facts was very helpful. Everyone of the group was asked to commit to certain objects or parts of the programme of the one-week-schedule. So we all were enabled to think and design every prospect of the anticipated week in the end of July/ beginning of August.

This saturday at the head quarter of Red Cross Riga has really been packed with input. Nevertheless we didn´t spare any ressources and headed over to the place where the exchange would finally take place. An hour by car from Riga lies the estate that would give us a home during the exchange. In this beautifully green surroundings with a widespread garden, a lake to swim in, appletrees to rob, we will have one week full of fresh encounters, tricky questions, desperate discussions and hopefully – loads of fun!

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„Your Culture“

Partnership building seminar  in Recoaro Terme, Italien, May 2018

Anna:

Vom 21.05.18 bis zum 28.05.18 nahm ich an dem Partnership building seminar (PBS) „Your Culture“ in Italien teil.

Das PBS thematisierte kulturelle und religiöse Unterschiede zwischen Flüchtlingen, Migranten und Repräsentanten regionaler Organisationen und hatte zum Ziel, Mittel und Methoden zur Bekämpfung von Fremdenfeindlichkeit und Rassismus zu entwickeln und umzusetzen. An dem Projekt nahmen insgesamt 22 Teilnehmer aus neun europäischen Ländern teil, darunter Spanien, Portugal, Italien, Polen, Ungarn, Rumänien, Kroatien und Deutschland.

Das Projekt fand statt in der norditalienischen Gemeinde Recoaro Terme in der Provinz Vicenza in Venetien. Nach dem herzlichen Empfang unserer zwei Betreuerinnen Tania und Magda und der Unterbringungen in dem wunderschönen Hotel Trettenero, konnten wir die anderen Teilnehmer kennenlernen und wurden herzlich willkommen geheißen.

In den ersten Tagen ging es darum, die Situationen um das Thema Flüchtlinge und Migration in den einzelnen Ländern zu beleuchten und zu diskutieren. Dabei präsentierten die Gruppen (moistens zwei Teilnehmer pro Land) die aktuelle Lage in ihren Ländern, die historischen Hintergründe zum Thema Migrationskultur, Einstellung gegenüber Flüchtlingen und Migranten in der Gesellschaft und teilten persönliche Erfahrungen. Es wurden wichtige Einflussfaktoren auf die Einstellungsbildung, wie die Rolle der Medien und der Sprache, beleuchtet und ein Bewusstsein für die Wichtigkeit und den Umgang mit diesen, geschaffen.

Am darauf folgenden Tag, trafen wir uns mit Flüchtlingen aus Nigeria, die ihre Erfahrungen und Geschichten mit uns teilten, was uns allen vermutlich noch lange in Erinnerung bleiben wird.

Ein weiterer sehr interessanter Programmpunkt bestand darin, in einem vier- bis fünfköpfigen Team ein Programm/ Projekt, welches die aktuellen gesellschaftlichen Probleme wie zunehmende Fremdenfeindlichkeit und Diskriminierung behandelt, zu entwickeln und anschließend mit den anderen Projektteilnehmern durchzuführen.

Nach dem Tagesprogramm blieb abends noch Zeit um die anderen Teilnehmer und ihre Kultur näher kennenzulernen. So gestalteten wir einen interkulturellen Abend, zu dem alle Teams nationale Spezialitäten aus ihren Heimatländer mitbrachten und über ihr Kultur und Traditionen aufklärten.

Mein persönliches Highlight war der Ausflug zu einem wunderschönen kleinen Häuschen in den Bergen, zu dem wir wanderten. Der Ausblick von dort oben war atemberaubend!

Zum Schluss möchte ich mich bei allen, die zum Erfolg dieses Projekts beigetragen haben, herzlichst bedanken! Ein großes Dankeschön gilt an JuBuK und der Organisatorin Natalia Seriakova, sowie den Gruppenleitern Alessandra Dal Pozzolo, Andrea Rilievo, Endre Kiss und Mara Arvei und natürlich all den motivierten Teammitgliedern, die diese Woche zu etwas ganz Besonderem gemacht haben!

Durch die Arbeit in einem internationalem Team habe viel über die kulturelle Diversität in den verschieden Ländern Europas lernen können und mich mit Vertretern der verschiedenen Organisationen über aktuelle Themen austauschen und vernetzen können. Diese Erfahrung wird bei

zukünftigen Projekten nützlich sein, um die unterschiedlichen kulturellen Hintergründe besser verstehen zu können und andere Perspektiven einzunehmen.

Irina:

In May 2018 I was glad to represent JuBuK at the seminar „YOur Culture“ aimed to fight against xenophobia and racism, which was held in the Italian part of the Small Dolomites, in tiny and cozy town Recoaro Terme.

It was such a great event, where all participants were encouraged to be diligent, creative and sociable. We were challenged by our trainers in the best way possible and came out with new knowledge about migration, refugees, xenophobia and the current situation in different European countries. We were challenged by ourselves in all our out-of-studying process activities and became the first group ever to conquer by feet the nearest mountain to get to the place of our grill party. In the end of seminar, we were almost as a family of freely gathered people from the whole continent.

Actually, it was not full of fun all the time, because of serious and heavy topic and our rather rigid schedule, when we had to work from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm, with several breaks for coffee and lunch, and we had a strict timing for each training day. But during this week we have learned so many useful tools and techniques, and learned a lot of new information generally, thus, all our efforts were worth it.

So, I could say that I keep in my memory amazing impressions about this seminar, our host organization, our trainers, their assistants and all my new friends, whom I met at this event. We had to catch everything, that is why we had little time for sleeping, but refreshing mountain air and support each other helped to manage it. It was incredible experience!

 

 

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„Your right to happiness“

Youth Exchange, 21.5.18 – 29.5.18 in Komotini, Greece

Ronja:

“Your Right to Happiness” was the name of a Youth Exchange that took place in Greece, in a small town called Komotini, from the 21th until the 29th of May 2018 with 35 participants from Greece, Germany, Italy, Poland, Rumania, Latvia and Cyprus.
The project was aimed at discussing about Human Rights and how they are obeyed in different countries. Therefore, every day, the workshops were according to one Human Right, for instance, the right to play, the right to work, etc. We used very diverse methods like theater role play, interviews with the local population, creative writing (Loesje), agree/disagree discussion, creating our own perfect country,… and teambuilding activities, different icebreakers and a lot of energizers were also an integrated part of the program. The activities took place in the library, in the office of Europe direct or in the breakfast room of the hotel where we were staying. In the evening, we had two intercultural nights to get to know the food and traditions of the participating countries. By the end of the week, all the participants knew the “Fliegerlied” by heart and we even danced it all together at the bus station when one part of our group was leaving 😉 As there was a Youth Festival taking place in Komotini during the exchange, we also had the chance to go to some local events like a live concert of a student group in the park, open-air cinema, etc. It was a great opportunity to get in touch with the local Greek population. Moreover, we had the possibility to meet several EVS volunteers in Komotini and participate in their activities during our free time, so the cultural exchange was even bigger.
After the first two days, we already had a great group dynamic. Most of the participants were highly engaged in the workshop as well as very active during our free time (playing volleyball and other ball games, Wizard, doing Yoga in the park, dancing Zumba, organizing a guided visit in the old mosque, etc.). We had a lot of fun all together during the whole week.
As a participant of this Youth Exchange, I had the opportunity to get to know new cultures, learn some words in several different languages, practice my English and other language skills, make new friends all over Europe and learn about Human Rights. It was a very enriching and unforgettable week and I would like to encourage every young person to take part in a project as well and live their own Erasmus+ experience.

Eleonora:

Living and discussing Happiness in Komotini, Greece

It would be hot. We would sit outside and drink some cold water or lemonade. We would watch teens and young adults drink their drinks, playing ball games and stroke some street dogs. The dogs would come after us. We would stroke them and wonder for how long the people will stay outside… here at the big square at 1 o’clock in the morning… Every day, from dusk till dawn, the evening and night life is openly lived at big squares, in restaurants or cafes with Greek live music. It’s one way of celebrating life and feeling happy at the moment.

 The Youth Exchange “Your Right to Happiness” took place in Komotini, Greece, from 21st till 29th May, 2018. 35 participants from 7 partner organizations from Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Romania, Poland and Germany came together for a journey through human rights. “Because we deserve to be happy. Always!”

 “… without any discrimination on the basis of race, colour, language, belief, sex, religion, political affiliation, social status or other considerations” should human rights be equally and universally applicable executed for all humans. Indivisibility of all human rights should also be guaranteed to realize them in their entirety. Every day a different human right was the topic: “the right to life”, “the right to privacy”, “culture and copyright”, “the right to play”, “worker’s rights” and “freedom to move”. We started our day with energizers to go on with discussions, agree-disagree-debates, planning games to our topic.

 In Europe almost all needs according the Maslow pyramid like physiological needs, safety and security, love and belonging, self-esteem and self-actualization can be well lived. Even if not all human rights are well implemented in the European countries, every country has a really well executed human right like Germany the “right to education” with the “Federal Training Assistance Act” or the removal of tuition fees or in Latvia the “right to move” with getting easy a visas to other countries.

Europeans have more or less all human rights assured, but everyone has the responsibility towards oneself and other people to fit in a society while staying happy with her or his issues. This process is well presented in our Lip Dub Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTSKUmjglAU .

Christin:
Am ersten Tag fokussierten wir uns auf das Kennenlernen. Den Vormittag verbrachten wir dabei in der strahlenden griechischen Sonne, den Nachmittag lösten wir als Team eine „Mission Impossible“ erfolgreich.

Am zweiten Tag tauschten wir uns intensiv über die Situation der Menschenrechte in unserem Land aus. Außerdem diskutieren wir angeregt, wie wir unsere persönlichen Daten schützen können.

Besonders gefallen haben mir die beiden interkulturellen Abende, bei denen jeweils drei Länder etwas über ihre Kultur erzählt haben und landestypische Produkte mitgebracht haben.

Der Lieblingstag der Meisten ist Tag drei, denn an diesem fuhren wir an den Strand. Bei perfektem Wetter, blauem Meer und zwischenzeitlichem Tanzworkout hat wohl jeder den Tag genossen.

Am Freitag diskutieren wir wieder ganz ernsthaft über die Human Rights und nahmen an einem Workshop Teil zum kreativen Slogan-writing.

Einen Tag später mussten wir feststellen, wie schlecht auch noch heute die Arbeitsbedingungen zum Beispiel auf dem wöchentlichen Markt sind. Dennoch war es ein sehr schönes Erlebnis den Trubel und die Gerüche des Marktes zu erleben.

Sonntags galt es einen Lip-Dub zum Lied “ I got a feeling“ aufzunehmen. Jede Gruppe musste sich eine Choreographie ausdenken,  mit der sie ihren Teil des Liedes Lippen synchronisieren möchte. Das Ergebnis schauten wir uns am Abend bei der Kostümparty an und es war einfach fantastisch solch ein großes Gruppenprojekt erfolgreich durchgeführt zu haben.

Am letzten Tag beschäftigen wir uns mit dem Aufbau von Erasmus+ und entwarfen neue Human Rights, die unserer Meinung nach dazugehören sollen.

Nach einem für einige sehr emotionalen Abschied, wir hatten eine tolle Gruppendynamik, machten sich alle in Richtung Flughafen auf.

Die hohe Motivation und Aufgeschlossenheit der Teilnehmer hat einen gelungen Austausch ermöglicht und ich freue mich sehr Teil des Austauschs gewesen zu sein.

 

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“2 Youth and one problem”

Training course, Torremolis, Spain, 17-24.05.2018

Davit:

17-24 May, 2018 I attended the training course “2 Youth and one problem” organized by Asociación EuropeYou. This is a Spanish youth NGO which aims to promote education, training, culture and sport as a means of social inclusion and equal opportunities.

The main aim of the course was to equip youth workers working directly with disadvantaged youth such as young Europeans unemployed people and young refugees or young migrants with methods and skills to enable them to tackle the common and shared problem of unemployment among youth through quality youth work that promotes self-employment and entrepreneurial culture.

During the whole program I learned non-formal learning methodology, particularly energizers which kept me always active. In order to understand better the topic of project, organizers divided us into intercultural subgroups. Creative presentations, simulation, case study, debates and some outdoor campaigns fulfilled perfectly the trainings.

Together with other participants, we had a lot of fun during and out of the official part. Of course, it was a perfect opportunity for networking.

I should notice that the accommodation was really good because of location. Living on 10th floor every day I could enjoy unbelievable view on Torremolinos and the sea. All in all, the whole program was organized perfectly.

 

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„Youth step green for sustainable cities“

Youth Exchange ​, Izmir, 23.04.18 – 02.05.18

Alice, Carmen, Elias, Ivonne, Julia, Lloyd, Muhammad, Pascal, Svenja:

Global warming, rising sea levels and the mass extinction of a vast variety of animals are just some consequences humanity will face within the next few years if we just continue our current lifestyle and don’t take any action. And even though some people and politicians appear to not believe in climate change, the 26 participants of the youth exchange “Youth step green for sustainable cities” were well aware of the issues of our planet. They gathered in Izmir to discuss the future of our environment, especially regarding the life in cities, as well as the impact we can have on it.
Workshops, speeches and discussions gave us a profound knowledge of the topic. We also had the opportunity to share our perspectives and experiences, e.g. presenting green
companies in our country, and finally, we were given time and inspiration to come up with our own ideas on how to build a sustainable project for our city.
There was also a lot of interaction and exchange going on in the group beyond the “formal” workshop. We used our free time very wisely and got to know the people we were spending time with and the area we were staying in. We received a privately organized tour through Izmir, saw the ancient Greek city of Ephesus and went shopping on lively bazars (one of those was the organic market of Sıgacık Village which we visited together and which offered a big variety of sustainable products). International nights gave us the opportunity to get to know food, music, traditions and identity of the other participating countries, Greece and Turkey, and we gave the others some insights of our German culture during the German night as well.
Those ten days let us develop international friendships and we are all convinced that we will have a place to stay at when we will visit Greece or Turkey some day in the future.
Best wishes and thank you for giving us this chance to participate!

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„Cultural Heritage – United in Diversity“

Advanced Planning Visit in Bratislava, Slovakia, April, 2018

Shakir and Boris:

People come near to each other by peaceful engagement, seeing each other, discussing topics, having meals together and spending time with each other. there is always Taboo or are too many questions in mind about other People, Nations, Cultures, and Places.

One of the best and recent projects which will take place in Slovakia is ” Cultural Heritage-United in Diversity ” Youth Exchange project. 6 participants from Germany, Lithuania, France, Greece, Hungary, Slovenia, and Slovakia will be attending the 2 weeks long project which mainly focuses on traveling from one to the other corner of Slovakia in order to visit the cultural heritage, tradition, Castles, Museums and other Landmarks. Through the project, the youths (Participants) will not only enjoy visiting the heritage sites but would also get acquainted with the new methods of on sightseeing and tourism and would employ these methods in their local communities and the youths will have an idea how to present heritage sites in an interesting and captivating way.

For the better implementation of the upcoming project the Team leaders of the participant Organizations met in Slovensky Grob – Slovakia, the small town is some 20 Kms from capital Bratislava.

The Organizer of the project and the team leaders discussed all the possible aspects of the 2 weeks and collective decisions were made to make the program more engaged, interactive, useful and fun for the participants, Agenda, Accommodation, Food, Transportation, Sightseeing, Cultural Nights and other topics were discussed in detail.

Besides our working sessions, we have been hosted very well by the receiving organization. On Saturday, we had a walk around the traditional Slovak village of Slovensky Grob and checked out some venues where activities will take place in June. We spent the next day in Bratislava and saw many interesting sights and prepared some activities for the YE in June.

Majka even invited some of us to a horse race competition! This way we had a unique insight in Slovak culture. We finished the day in a traditional Slovak restaurant and headed back home.

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„Prove Them Wrong“

Youth Exchange in Kaunas, Lithuania

Marina,Tatiana, Sarah and Dave:

The youth exchange workshop “Prove them wrong“ with participants from six countries, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Turkey, UK and Portugal, took place from 8 – 16 April in the city of Kaunas. Our venue was a former monastery close to the Kaunas castle. It was the perfect setting for the exchange.

The workshop covered the issues of juvenile delinquency, juvenile detention centers, social rehabilitation methods for former youth offenders as well as prevention methods applied in different countries.

The first day was spent with games helping participants to get to know each other, and, with the “city-game” also getting to know the city of Kaunas better. The games included an experiment testing how passers would react to a crime committed in their presence. Surprisingly, most passers did not react at all.

The next day, we started a survey and asked people on the street what they knew about juvenile delinquency in Lithuania, and on their opinion in order to get an overview of the topic. Apparently, only few people seemed to be aware of the issue, and most did not know very much about it.

Visiting a juvenile detention center in Kaunas provided a unique opportunity for the group to gain first hand insights since detention centers are not open to the public. Our group was given a tour of the facility, which housed youths from age 16 to 24, providing a chance to take a look at the common areas, as well as the cells for inmates. The facility included a housing complex apart from the detention center. In this complex inmates with good behavior spend their time with less restrictions and more lenient rules. During the tour, we had the opportunity to ask staff personnel about their jobs and the activities in the center. The director of the facility discussed the situation very openly, issues staff and inmates were confronted with, and also his experience as a manager of this facility. He pointed out, that for the inmates, each day was structured according to a very strict schedule. The detention center also provides classes for the inmates giving them a chance to catch up on their education. At the same time, the center provides for recreational activities as an offset. All this is to prepare the youths for a structured life once they leave the detention center. The visit helped to better understand daily life in a detention center, and it also made us to question our own prejudices, and stereotypes with regards to juvenile delinquents.

Furthermore, representative of social enterprise “Mano Guru” (salad bar, which employs people, who served their time in imprisonment) and their work methods of (re-)integrating people from prison into society. Her inspiring presentation led to the participants creating videos about social initiatives, which would raise public awareness about the importance of re-/integration and breaking stereotypes about juvenile criminality.

At the end of the project, we got together in groups and discussed our own ideas. The assignment was to find ways that help to prevent youngsters from committing offenses or to reintegrate youth offenders back into society. These ideas had to be communicated via a poster and a short video. Obviously, the unique challenge for the participants was to have viewers develop and share empathy with the young offenders. Everyone deserves a second chance to improve their lives, and it is the task of society to provide these opportunities.

After the daily working sessions, there was time for relaxation. Intercultural nights certainly were highlights since the participants shared their favorite national dishes. Watching the basketball match between Kaunas and Vilnius was another big highlight. The atmosphere at the game was unique. After all, basketball is by far the most popular sport in Lithuania.

On our last night, the instructors surprised us with a “party trolley bus” which we rode through Kaunas for a convivial evening, and a pleasant goodbye from Kaunas.

The youth exchange in Lithuania has been an instructive experience for all participants, time seemed to fly by so quickly. We were provided with new insight knowledge about the topic of juvenile delinquency as well as differences country-wise.

We were able to learn from our experiences and use that gained knowledge to create our own ideas and programs relating to juvenile delinquency. Since we all got along well, it was easy to work constructively on those ideas.

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„Building peace through inclusion“

Youth Exchange in Pontevedra, Spain, March 2018

Tatiana

Im März 2018 nahm ich an einem internationalen Projekt in Pontevedra (Spanien) teil. Das Projekt „Building peace through inclusion“ hatte zum Ziel, die Fragen der Migrationspolitik, bzw. Integration der Flüchtlinge in Europa zu beleuchten, besprechen und lösen. Eine Woche lang beschäftigten sich aktive Jugendliche aus Spanien, Ungarn, Deutschland, Griechenland und der Türkei mit den aktuellen Problemen. In den ersten Tagen erzählten alle Teilnehmer über die Situation der Migranten in ihren Ländern. Es ging um viel Statistik, Fakten und vor allem um die persönlichen Erfahrungen. Besonders interessant war der vierte Tag des Projektes, an dem wir mit Flüchtlingen aus verschiedenen Ländern sprachen, die ihre Unterkunft und eine Chance für bessere Zukunft in Spanien fanden. Später an diesem Tag diskutierten wir natürlich sehr viel und hatten ein gemeinsames Mittagessen mit Migranten.

Der nächste Schritt unserer Arbeit war die Vorbereitung und Verwirklichung einer Aktion in der Stadt. In drei Gruppen stellten wir danach unsere Ideen dar. Auf dem Hauptplatz Pontevedras sprachen wir mit Leuten über die Toleranz, Weltoffenheit und Empathie. Die gleiche Aktion werden wir in diesem Monat auch in unseren Heimatländern organisieren und durchführen. Durch das Projekt „Buildung peace through inclusion“ lernten wir sehr viel und wollen unsere gemeinsame Ideen weiter realisieren und mit unseren Freunden teilen.

Die Ziele des Austausches wurden sicherlich erreicht, weil alle Teilnehmern/-innen sehr motiviert waren. Außerdem wurde die Teambildung sehr gut organisiert, so dass wir uns  schnell kennenlernten und befreundeten. Wir zeigten auch interaktive Präsentationen über unsere Länder, bereiteten nationales Essen vor und lernten sogar die nationalen Tänze und Lieder.

Im Alltag hat man nicht immer die Möglichkeit, sich mit aktuellen gesellschaftlichen Problemen zu beschäftigen. Die Arbeit in einem internationalen Team in Spanien zeigte mir, wie wichtig und einfach zugleich ist einen Beitrag zu unserer gemeinsamen Zukunft in Europa zu leisten. Wenn jeder Mensch ein bisschen Zeit, Motivation und Hilfsbereitschaft für die anderen Menschen hätte, dann wäre unsere Welt viel besser und soziale Probleme hätten sich leichter lösen lassen. Daher möchte ich danke an meine Sendungsorganisation Jubuk und die Organisatorin Natalia für diese Möglichkeit sagen. Solche Projekte sind sehr wichtig für aktive Jugend und ich möchte mich für weitere Projekte in Deutschland und in anderen europäischen Ländern engagieren.

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„ID: Human“ 

Training Course in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece, March 2018

Ihno:

„The Human Rights are one of the most valuable goods we have in our world.“
Sentences like this are omnipresent in our daily life but in times of war and insecurities those values are even harder to protect.
Therefore I decided to take part in a workshop called „ID:Human“ encouraged by the Erasmus+program on Crete. People of nine different countries came together to learn more about the Human Rights in general and to find out how others cope with topics like the refugee crisis, racism, social disparities, etc.
Everyday was very structured by a nine day schedule. So we had roleplays, groupwork and discussions but also lots of fun and free time. During the day there was always time to talk with each other and to share thoughts or just to hang around and to enjoy the beautiful island.
In the evenings when „work“ was over we often stayed up till midnight and played, laughed and had some drinks together.
All in all I can highly recommend everyone to participate in a program like this and wish everyone a lot of fun!“
Alexandra:
Due the time of the 20.03.18 till 29.03.18 the training course „ID human“ tooked place in Agios Nikolaos, Crete.Young people from whole Europe came together to debate, discuss, face problems, find solutions and of course to have a good time playing and having fun together.I was really surprised by the lovely and kind people i met there and after a short period of time a really good group dynamic was built.

The trainers were also very kind and motivated. The trainig sessions were structured, intensiv and they give enough input for a lot of discussions. We were most of the time in the training room, because of the not so good weather situation somedays. But we also had a few days with tasks, we were supposed to go to the beautiful city centre and to talk with local people.

The only maybe not so positive thing is, that sometimes the debates were really emotional, without any verifiable arguments. But of course it is hard not to become emotional with such a difficult topic like the refugee crisis.

Anyway it was a really nice experience! The place is really beautiful with the turqouise sea and the mountains in the horizon. All people I met, the Youth Workers and the locals, were verry friendly and open-mindet. I gained new opinions, a bigger knowledge about the topic human rights and refugees, new friends and more life experience. I would defenitly joined such a training course including cultural exchange a lot of times more and I recommend those projects to everyone!

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“Worlwide Business and Enterpreneurship“

Youth Exchange in Kvareli, Georgia. February – March, 2018

Ivan:

Vom 28. Februar bis zum 6. März hat in Kvareli, Georgien das Projekt ,,Worldwide Business & Young Entrepreneurs“ stattgefunden. Das Projekt hat junge Menschen aus Deutschland, Estland, Island und Georgien zusammengeführt und deren unternehmerischen Fähigkeiten auf die Probe gestellt. Im Kern haben die Sitzungen folgende Themen behandelt: unternehmerische Eigenschaften, Unternehmenskultur in den Teilnähmerländern, Erstellung einer Website, Rechtsformen und Erfolgsmodelle von internationalen Unternehmern – verbunden mit Spaß und Kreativität. Die Stadt mit knapp 8000 Einwohnern, Kvareli, gehört zur Region Kachetien und ist Produktionsort für Wein und Weinbrand. Die Luft ist hier im Gegensatz zur Hauptstadt sehr rein und das Klima mild. Während des Projektes haben wir einen ganzen Tag in der Hauptstadt Georgiens, Tbilisi, verbracht – im Vordergrund stand der Besuch im Tech Park Georgia, eine Art georgisches “Silicon Valley”, wobei wir herumgeführt wurden und mit der georgischen Technologie & Startup Szene vertraut gemacht wurden. Ebenfalls hat das Projekt, auch abgesehen vom theoretischen Teil, sehr positive Eindrücke hinterlassen, die von der zauberhaften Landschaft, Küche und Kultur begünstigt wurden. Zusammenfassend ist Georgien ein wunderbares, gastfreundliches Land mit reicher Kultur und Landschaft, welches empfohlen wird (insbesondere im Sommer) zu besuchen.

Alina: 

I spent a week in Kvareli, Georgia for participating on the „Worldwide Business and Entrepreneurship“ meeting. I arrived on February 28th in the late evening at the airport in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. I took the bus to the city center and got into another bus who drove me to Kvareli. The drive was around two hours and I met lots of nice Georgians on my way, trying to help me to get to the right hotel where we met each other. Even if most of the people were not speaking english, they still have been very helpful and friendly.
There are participants from Georgia, Estonia, Iceland and Germany. The intercultural exchange was super interesting. Especially cause the georgian, estonian and icelandic guys were still teenagers/youth and the germans were all in the early/mid twenties. All of them were acting and like adults, very impressive. It was an interesting and fun week. It was my first Erasmus + program and I´ll definitively participate on other programs in the future.
Now I´d love to tell you something about the structure of our project. March 1st was our first working day. We did some games and energizers to get to know each other. After that Birgit introduced the Erasmus + Project. In the following days we had a workshop about entrepreneurship and the differences in countries and cultures, a cultural evening, a workshop about creating a website, a dissertation about human resources and an excursion to an organization who supports Startups.
We aslo made a trip to the capital Tbilisi. We visited the startup organization and had some free time. So we were eating in an traditional georgian restaurant and explored the city. We had some free time on our last day too. So we made a trip to a lake. It was so nice relaxing at the lake.
The project was well organized. I can highly recommend visiting Georgia and to participate in a Youth Exchange program.

 

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„#yeshumanity“

Training Course in Puerto de la Cruz, Spain, March 2018

Dave, Josie, Saria, Natalia: 

The training course „#YesHumanity“ took place in Puerto de la Cruz between 04.03 – 17.03.18 and realised by Asociación P.O.D., gave us the possibility to gain knowledge about non-formal-education-methods such as “photovoice”, “human library” and “forum theatre”. The main goal of the project was to raise awareness about human-right-violations as well as to give the participants the tools and the courage to stand up against discrimination.

Puerto de la Cruz is located in north of Tenerife, and it is one of the Canarias islands. The host association Associacion Para la Participacion, Oportunidad y Desarrollo (P.O.D.) saluted the participants from Spain, Greece, Germany, Croatia and Italy.

Forum Theatre is a method that you can use to discuss problems in a community. For that, you do researches for the most common problem and behaviour and put this into a play. The audience has the possibility to interact and change the realistic way. Through that you can increase thinking about problems and civil courage.

Living library

“If you are a human book, how would you be categorized?”This was the vital question, where we started our experience being living books, particularly focusing on the discriminating topics including, for instance, stopping violence and pre judgment books by their covers. We learned how to choose a book in the living library. The living library elements which are mainly readers, librarians provided with permits cards, living books (the main focus), books catalogue, and the feedback board. It is important to read in a friendly atmosphere and avoid the violating actions/reactions. Furthermore, trainers provided us with examples and tips for the preparation for living library event. The ultimate purpose was to pinpoint the living books topics which have been chosen for the final day performance.

Photovoice is a qualitative method used for community-based participatory research to document and reflect reality.  It is an empowering and flexible process that combines photography with grassroots social action and is commonly used in the fields of community development, international development, public health, and education. Participants include community members of all ages and status including those who are discriminated against due to language, gender, race, class, disability, etc. Through their art, they bring new insights and perspectives which raise awareness of hidden or overlooked issues and aspects of the community.

Besides the seminar we had time to explore the diversity of Tenerife. One group went to Anaga, a beautiful forest, another to El Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, and another to Loro-Park, one of the most famous Zoos in Europe.

In the evenings, when the seminar-day ended, most of us went to the beach to chill out, dance or juggle with fire.

In the whole it was very useful exciting time. We got to know the group of amazing humans, everyone of whom was unique. We learnt so much practical information, methods and tools from our creative trainers. Unforgettable!

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„Your Right to Happiness“

Advanced Planning Visit, March 2018

Shakir:

Non formal Education is one of the best way to spread the knowledge and educate diversity target groups of participants. I always had/have the wish to be participant and learn as much different topics as i could do, specially the topics which i am interested in, due to the University and jobs it is somehow impossible to learn non related topics in the curriculum, so trainings and workshops are the best place for it.
As participant, I have been to several such programs but as a Team Leader or representer of the NGO it was my first time.

On 16 of March I arrived to Komotini – Greece, I was the only one from Germany and was representing JaBuk Organization, the rest of the participants came from Poland, Cyprus, Romania, Italy, Latvia and Greece. In the short program we discussed the HR and other related issues plus the agenda of the upcoming Student Exchange program in Komotini, which will take place on 21-29.May 2018.

We discussed the key points of the exchange, the schedule, responsibilities and the tasks of each team. I am sure that the exchange will be great learning fun experience for all participants.

After the discussion we went out to explore the small city center of Komotini, the Hotel where the participants will be staying and we had Lunch in the traditional restaurant where the meals will be served for the participants.

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“Better together”

Study Visit  in Barcelona, Spain, March,2018

Anna: 

From the 11-15th of March 2018, I participated in the Erasmus+ study visit “Better together” in Barcelona. With 18 other participants from Ukraine, Germany and Spain we come together to learn in an informal way about youth work and the social work sector in Barcelona. Therefore, the Spanish organizer give us the opportunity to visit several different organizations, youth centers and schools, so we could be within the working field.

We visited municipal facilities and municipal youth centers and learned in an informal way of doing youth work and about social realities the social networks in Barcelona need to deal with.

We visited the Casal and the neighborhood of Raval, where heard about the circumstances in the neighborhood and what kind of problems the youngsters need to deal with. Two boys, how visited the youth center themselves described their experiences on the street and what kinds of discriminations and racism they needed too deal with. The youth workers explained the problems, but also the positive sides and the success of their work and the opportunities the youngsters get there.

In the Casal de Joves de Sant Just, we learned, how the youth workers need to plan and organize the center to receive the governmental financing and to keep the youth interested in keeping visiting the center and to attend to the activities and workshops. The youngsters have many opportunities, which they can use in the center. The center doesn’t just give them a safe place to meet and where they can use three different music rooms to record and practice, but also offers many interesting workshops like circus, yoga, dance classes or skating.

On our visiting plan were also other Casals and civic centers. We got the chance to gain inside the different community projects done by the Casal, like the community garden or the youth center in Palau Alós.

Also, we attended to a school lesson in the IES Vall d’Hebron, where we saw, how the street workers explained the children the risks of social media and how the class worked out some possibilities to deal with them and how to get help, if needed.
The street workers also had shown us around in the neighborhood and taught us, how they work in the field and how they help the youngsters with their problems and how to create a safe space.

We also got the chance to attend to a graffiti workshop, and to see how the youngsters use their possibilities and how much fun and happiness they had during it. In this way, they are kept away from the street and lean how to use their energy in a creative way.

During the study visit, we compared notes of our working experiences and brainstormed for European projects and the management of International Mobility Service. The project gave us the chance to see how the Spanish organizer work and to learn from them. It gave all participants an inspiration and new perceptions in the opportunities, which they could use in their home cities.

The organizer managed to create a conversant atmosphere among the group and to provide a close experience of interpersonal interaction, sharing of ideas and emotions among the different and enthusiastic participants.
I’m very grateful, to had the opportunity to be part of the project and to learn the different possible ways of youth and street working and to get to know the interesting people I’ve met.

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Put on your Gender Glasses!

Training Course in Pärnu, Estonia, October 2017

Annemarie: 

We created a space, so safe that we wanted to be vulnerable in it.

For me there is barely any other words to describe that week. It was filled with challenges. Religion, gender identity, cultural values, power imbalances, domestic violence. Topics which are sometimes hardly discussed among family or friends, let alone between strangers.

But here we were, 26 people from 13 countries, connected only by two things: Being active in youth work and having a strong will for gender equality.

We learned very fast that, even though we are professionals, and even though we came together to improve our work, it was almost useless to talk on a professional level. The topics were much too personal. We wanted to learn from each other – but for being able to teach and to learn we did not only have to reflect our work, but we had to question our very own selves in first place.

Doing that together with other people was hard, yet easy. Everyone was vulnerable and thus everyone was a safe space. During the sessions we opened topics and wounds, and during meals, while taking walks, at night we gathered with those people we needed that day to question ourselves and to empower each other.

And after only three days we were able to transform the things we had listened to, learned, internalized, and to work on case studies, situations that could – and often have – defied us in our private life and at work. We solved them.

And then we were ready to step out of our circle, to learn how people in different professions are dealing with those topics, and to create projects in which we can provide safe spaces for youngsters so that they can grow and change the world to an equal place.

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AMSED Network Meeting – 17th & 18th November 2017, Strasbourg

Annemarie: 

This meeting was held to answer two main questions: How can we improve AMSED network? And which projects do we want to implement in the upcoming stage?

Answering the question of how to improve the AMSED Network was rather disillusioning. All participants agreed that the cooperation within the network is not going very well – although some very good and useful tools have been created in the past. Thus, the tools and the communication were discussed. As a solution, the participants decided to use Facebook for fast communication among each other, to be able to follow the activities of the other members, and to give AMSED the opportunity to access important information fast and easy.  This shall also tackle the problem that many organizations work with more than one project coordinator and, consequently, also send different participants to the network meetings. Not even the most detailed report can replace a personal participation – hopefully the Facebook group will ease that problem a bit.

The question regarding the future of the AMSED network, however, was answered with imagination and very concrete project ideas. Firstly, the participants developed an idea of how to make the network meetings more productive and rewarding for everyone involved. Secondly, they evolved three projects – one video competition, one youth exchange, and one training course. All of them are devoted both to the topics the European Union will focus on in the upcoming years (European culture heritage, European parliamentary election 2019, media & communication for & by youth) and to problems in the local communities.

All in all, the meeting had very clear outcomes. We are looking forward to welcome you in AMSED network’s projects!

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«Souls without Border »

Training Course in Larnca Cyprus, 24-30 October 2017 

Sarah:

A group of 18 participants gathered in the town of Larnaca, Oct. 24 – 30 this year for a training course to learn and discuss about refugees, borders, religions, social media, related conflicts and how to solve them. The group included participants from 10 countries including Italy, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Greece, France, Germany, Spain and Cyprus.

Team building exercises which included drawing skills and produced a lot of laughter on the first day helped the group to quickly connect. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the issue of crossing borders/migration specifically the situation of refugees, the group had to first learn the definition of the terms “refugees”, “migrants”, and the current European policies dealing with refugees and migrants. In addition, to better understand the background of refugees, we researched specifically Syrian history and culture.

Visiting the Migrant Information Center in Larnaca, we had the chance to have a talk with a consultant working at the center. She shared her experience in working with refugees and migrants with us, and provided us with first hand insights of her work, for example in dealing with underfunded shelters, and also describing cases of specific refugees.

One of the most memorable exercises, at least for me, was when we were required to fill a form requesting asylum in Greek language. For all of us who do not speak Greek, and do not read the language, Greek is not written in Latin letters, the request form, literally, was “greek to us” i.e. incomprehensible, and we were unable to complete the form, and so the request was denied. In essence, bureaucratic requirements irrespective of the objective situation and factual needs barred us from requesting asylum. This simple exercise made us understand very keenly the problems and challenges in the process of seeking asylum, a process which has detrimental consequences on future lives of so many individuals.

In another exercise, we staged a role play. Six players had to play the role of refugees requesting asylum. Another group of players were lawyers of the refugees, and the other players formed the decision board. Each “refugee” character had to apply for asylum and the board members had the task to grant asylum. However, asylum grants were limited to only two. Four refugees had to be turned down. The challenging task for the board was to decide to whom to grant asylum and whom to deny it.

Another role play involved the conflicts arising from different religious affiliations.  After we had researched on different religions, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Atheism, the task was to find a solution for a family conflict. As family members followed different faiths, the players representing family members in the role play had to find an answer to the question which faith the newborn should follow, an answer that was acceptable to all family member.

The whole week was filled with activities, so it is difficult to pick only a few highlights.

All things considered, the training course helped us to gain a much deeper understanding of the situation of refugees, and cross border migration. Getting to know different viewpoints, and with our different backgrounds, was key in providing a broader outlook on those issues.

Getting to know Cyprus a bit was quite rewarding as well. An island country which has been divided since 1974 and were over 150,000 citizens were relocated and had to cross borders in their own country provided a fitting background to the issues of our training course. Visiting the capital of Cyprus, Nikosia, made us keenly aware of this special situation, as we passed the Green Line from the Greek side to the Turkish checked by border controls. We also had the chance to visit the ancient city state of Kourion and the beautiful harbour city of Larnaca.

Starting each day with an “energizer exercise” brought us lots of laughter  and joy as well as the intercultural night were participants had to represent their respective countries by presenting and sharing their national dishes. One of my cherished memories is our cypriot dinner, which was, as everyone will admit, on of the most delicious dinners.

We are all very thankful to be able to take part in this training experience and would like to thank the organization Citizens in Power, JuBuk, all participants and especially the workshop coordinators, who have made this training a big success and most memorable.

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„Migration 2020 – Towards a sustainable inclusion“

Training Course Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy,  24-30.10.2017

Davit: 

An amazing week with amazing peoples! That was very relaxed but informative Seminar week. Together with participants from 9 countries (Germany, Ireland, UK, Finland, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, Bulgari) we made a lot of short projects. We conducted interviews with local peoples of different ages, with peoples who had a migration background, to understand how looks like real inclusion policy in Sardinia. For us it was quite surprising to find out that either local people as well as migrants could coexist very satisfied together. The whole concept of sustainable inclusion of Sardinia seemed to be one of the most successful in Europe. One of the interesting events was the round table with local authorities and politicians. They explained us how does the cooperation and structured dialogue function at local level on the issues related with migration.
More challenging project for us was the creation and presentation of own concept of successful inclusion. But there is nothing impossible. After some brainstorming, we selected best ideas and combined them in a perspective inclusion project. I should notice that the success of our project can be explained by the well-coordinated teamworking.
The practical highlight of seminars was the NGO FAIR. Local NGOs participated in that activity and they shared different best practices in the field of migration. During the event, we had an opportunity to exchange our experiences and create future partnerships.
Informal parts of seminar supported to better understanding and “integration”. One of such events was the intercultural evening, where we had a chance to share music, traditions, food and drink from our countries. Of course, everybody brought something related to their culture.
From the first day of seminar we all became friends and together started to discover the unbelievable Cagliari. Weather, people, food, architecture, sea impressed me and other participants so much that we promised to make a re-union next year again in Cagliari.
In a conclusion, I want to express my deep gratitude for the opportunity to practice and improve my knowledge on the topic of migration and get a lot of new friends from the different European countries.

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Anna: 

From 24-30 October I took part in the seminar for Youth Workers “Migration 2020 – Towards a sustainable inclusion” in Cagliari, Italy. The seminar was organized by the Italian NGO “Associazione Studenti per la Città” and 30 young active participants from 10 different countries come together to exchange their ideas and experience on the “Migration” topic.
On the plan were different activities and discussions to develop the current migration crisis in Europe and to exchange the many different practices to deal with it.

First there were some theoretical activities to give us a better understanding of the issue.
We brainstormed what we connect with migration and write to the most important terms definitions. In some groupwork, we also thought about the push and pull factors of migration, explained them to the rest and discuss the results and their positive or negative influence on the society.
We prepared the current migration reality in our country and presented the results to the other participants. Therefor many ways of visualization were used: roleplay, videos, posters.
The people were very interested in the different situations within the society and the political course of action with the migration and especially with the current refugee situations in the countries.

The Italian hosts also organized a round table at the Town Hall, where local politicians discussed with us the local Migration Policy.
As another opportunity to exchange the best practices and ideas about migration issues and the active inclusion of migrants a meeting with local NGO’s and other organizations was organized to share the different tools. Therefor some of the seminar participants and some of the invited local organization leaders presented their tools and how they already have worked with them in the past. Also, some ideas for the future were presented.
After the tool sharing, there was the opportunity to meet with the NGO’s leaders and to exchange some contacts and information.

After the tool exchange, we come together in groups and created new tools for the migration work and the inclusion of migrants.

The organizers as well made a great program for us, to learn more about the Italian culture. We’ve been to a football match, had interesting activities during which we explored the city, and by side of the intercultural evening, where each country had the possibility to present their culture, we spend the Sunday forenoon on a hike with local youngsters and migrants. This way we could no just enjoy the amazing view and nature, but also get in contact with the locals.

This seminar gave me the opportunity to meet new interesting people and make new friends and to learn more on the migration topic, the different ways of dealing with it and inspiration for the future. The Italian sun and the nice and talented organizers had given a great change to develop myself on the topic and to learn. I’m looking toward the next seminars and new experience.

Ina:

From the 24th to the 30th of October I participated in a seminar in Cagliari, Sardinia on migration issues organized by the Italian association Studenti per la città along with other youth workers from Bulgaria, Ireland, UK, Hungary, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Finland. The main aim of the seminar was to share best practices, increase competences and find paths for youth workers in EU to propose better options to facilitate inclusion of young migrants, working at the same time on more projects concentrating on anti-discrimination themes.

 

We started the program by a brainstorming on what migration meant for each of us, as all of us were somehow connected to this subject either as having experienced migration ourselves or/and working with young migrants on a daily basis. Push and pull factors leading to migration were also discussed in a non-formal way. Furthermore the participants of each country spoke about the current situation and migration policies in their country in order to compare realities and share good practices but also problems. Each sending organisation also had the chance to present their tools of best practices working with migrants at the NGO-fair where representants of local organisations in Cagliari also shared their work experience. Another highlight was the visit to the town hall of Cagliari where we had the opportunity to talk to the local authorities and learn about their processes in helping migrants. In the end we worked on further possible projects in groups. The results of the seminar (best practices of the tools and newly developed projects) will be presented in a booklet afterwards.

 

Despite having quite long and intensive working days the organisers also had a spectacular program for our free time planned out for us. We visited a football game of the Cagliari club and hat the opportunity to participate in this part of local culture, as well as having a rallye around town having to answer questions about Cagliari while it was forbidden to use internet and the Italian language. It was a lot of fun trying to communicate with locals and immigrants! Another highlight was the international evening for which the participants of each country had to bring a specialty of theirs – we had a lot of fun trying local home-made products! The lovely time in Italy ended with a karaoke night-out that everyone enjoyed and didn’t’ want to leave.

It was a very well prepared and conducted seminar with fantastic participants! Despite our different backgrounds, experiences and sometimes views on certain matters we had very respectful and fruitful discussions. I had loads of fun meeting my new friends from all over Europe, making important contacts and learning from others’ experience in working with young migrants to improve my own professional actions. I am very grateful to JuBuK e.V. for the unique opportunity to participate in such a fantastic project and to learn and share a lot in the field of migration!

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“Together for Healthy Lifestyle“

Youth Exchange in Bakuriani, Georgia 22-29 October

Alexandra:

This week in Georgia has been very intense, exciting, motivating but also full of fun. Participants from over 7 countries (Georgia, Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Ukraine and Moldova) gained knowledge in healthy lifestyle in an informal way and contributed to an intercultural exchange. The introduction on the first day helped the participants to get to know each other in order to start working on the thematic content of the project. The topics covered by this projects were highly diverse starting from health issue triggered by alcohol, nicotine or low quality food up to diets and general solutions saying what can be done about it. Further we have also presented the national realities of each country, discussed mental issue which can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and talked about environmental aspects towards a sustainable way of life.

To enhance the intercultural exchange every group had the chance to host an intercultural evening with information about their country and prepared traditional food for other participants to try. One whole day has been dedicated to a trip to the major attractions of Georgia to Vardzia (cave monastery), Atskuri Fortress, Rabati Castle in Akhaltsikhe which was topped with an evening in an Georgian restaurant. On the last day we have let actions speak and climbed the mountain Kohta that is around 2,200 meters high.

The project was well organised. It was a time with a great and positive atmosphere where participants could learn and get inspired from each other. I can highly recommend everyone to visit Georgia and to participate in a Youth Exchange.

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#RefugeesWelcome

Training Course Torremolinos 16.10-23.10.2017

Inna: 

Refugees Welcome – this slogan should be familiar to all of us, especially since it was created in the last years when millions of migrants and refugees reached European shores seeking safety beyond the immediate region. This crisis is an everyday topic and everybody has an opinion about it..

Torremolinos, a lovely place next to Málaga, was the spot for 20 young people from nine european coutries to talk about this subject and discuss the variaty of aspects behind it. The organisation Projuven, based in Málaga, organised this training course.

Our program started with different games to let the participants get to know each other and also present their countries and the organisations they represent. In the next sessisions we learned about the second main aspect of the project: social media and the role of social media for the people seeking asylum in European countries.  We got to know the steps a refugee has to go through before his journey  to a new coutry and the bureaucracy after arriving there. In the next days we were shown a couple of other conflicts around the world which caused and still causing  a large-scale displacement and refugees seeking safety in another reagion. This was important because the media does not always draw our attention to these tragedies caused by the massive focus on the refugees living amoung us in Europe and those who are trying to come to us.

Our group also had the change to see the beautiful city Málaga and enjoy some great moments at the beach.

I would like to say that this training course gave me an opportunity to hear the opinions and thoughts based on the topic of people leaving in other parts of Europe and some of them already working with refugees. It was great to find similarities and as well differences when it comes to an important topic like this. Balancing challenges is what units us as Europians more than ever in these times.

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 “Youth work 4 life“ 

Training Course in Cracow, Poland, October 2017

Ksenija: 

Am 01.10-09.10.2017 fand das Seminar “Youth work 4 life“ in Krakau statt. Im Gegensatz zu meiner ersten Teilnahme an einem Youth Exchange diesen Jahres in Komotini, waren deutliche Unterschiede zu erkennen. Zwar nahmen auch hier 10 unterschiedliche Länder teil aber gab nach oben keine Altersbegrenzung und die Teilnehmer waren durch Ihre beruflichen Tätigkeit mit der Thematik vertraut. Wie schon dem Namen zu entnehmen ist, war dies ein russischsprachiges und somit etwas besonderes unter den Erasmusprojekten.

“Youth worker” ist eine Berufsbezeichnung die in den meisten Ländern, Deutschland eingeschlossen, nicht existiert. Übersetzt bedeutet das “Jugendarbeiter”, also eine Person, die sich ausschließlich der Arbeit mit Jugendlichen widmet.

Das Seminar hatte eine klare Gliederung. Zu Beginn wurde erklärt was ein Jugendarbeiter ist, welche Eigenschaften er haben sollte und in welchen Bereichen seine Tätigkeit liegt.

Durch Rollenspiele wurde das gelernte angewandt. Und zum Schluss haben wir Gruppen unsere eigenen Ideen in Form von Projekte zum Thema erstellt.

Die Durchführung der Seminare war stets kreativ, spielerisch und interessant gestaltet. Ein großes Lob an Organisatoren! Ich wurde sofort in Ihren Bann gezogen und somit wurden meine anfänglichen Zweifel, wegen möglicher aufkommender Langeweile, beseitigt.

Den freien Tag haben wir genutzt, um uns das schöne Krakau anzuschauen. Am Abend gab es dann traditionelle, polnische Küche in einem sehr schönen Restaurant mitten im Zentrum.

Es war eine tolle Gruppe und sofort haben wir uns wie eine Einheit gefühlt. Die Abende haben wir immer ganz entspannt unter Gitarrenmusik in einer geselligen Runde ausklingen lassen.

Mein Fazit ist, dass auch Projekt Nr. 2, zwar komplett unterschiedlich aber dennoch ein totaler Erfolg war. Ich hatte eine super Zeit und lernte wieder eine Menge beeindruckender Menschen kennen. Ich freue mich schon auf die nächste Erfahrung!

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Youth Exchange ‚Taste Without Frontiers‘, Athens, 01. – 10. Oktober 2017

Claudia:

  1. Oktober:Los ging das Projekt mit diversen Aufgaben, bei denen gleich alle Teilnehmer ihre Kreativität und Talente entfalten konnten: wir erfanden unser lustiges Projektlied, eröffneten ein Instagram Profil für zukünftige und auch gleich gemachte Fotos, malten 50 Socken, berechneten das Durchschnittsalter oder malten eine Weltkarte, in die wir unsere Herkunftsländer einzeichneten. Wir sammelten unsere Erwartungen an das Projekt und planten unsere kommenden Tage. Uns wurden auch die Möglichkeiten und Ziele des Erasmus+ Programmes vorgestellt.3. Oktober:

Am nächsten Tag präsentierten wir die Situation mit dem Essen in unseren Ländern: welche landesüblichen Gerichte es gibt und welche durch Migranteneinfluss dazugekommen sind.

An diesem Tag entdeckten wir beim „Energizing“ auch das tolle Dach von unserem Hotel, von welchem wir einen atemberaubenden 360° Blick über Athen die nächsten Tage genossen und auch viele Aktivitäten dort veranstaltet haben. Nachdem wir uns auch über die kulinarischen Gewohnheiten in Regionen der ganzen Welt kundig machten, erwarteten wir voller Vorfreude das erste Abendessen bei Migranten. Es stellte sich als eine sehr leckere Kürbissuppe und Lahmacun heraus – Fladenbrot mit Fleisch und Gemüse – bei einem von Türken geführten Lokal.

  1. Oktober:

Am dritten Tag nach dem Frühstück gingen wir auf die Dachterrasse um den Namens-Energizer zu praktizieren. Wir wurden aufgeteilt und man hielt ein Tuch zwischen die beiden Gruppen. Immer wenn der Vorhang fällt, soll man den Namen des Gegenübers sagen. Derjenige, der schneller war gewinnt und der Verlierer muss zum Gewinnerteam. Danach war das Thema „Are you what you eat?“, in der wir uns in Zweierteams zusammentaten und uns gegenseitig interviewten zu unserem Lieblingsessen in der Kindheit, das Außergewöhnlichste, was wir jemals aßen, was wir bevorzugen: Frühstück, Mittag – oder Abendessen, unsere Heimatküche und vieles mehr. Dies wurde dann vor der Gruppe präsentiert.

Nach dem Mittagsessen stellten wir Theater of the Oppressed nach. Wir wurden wieder in Gruppen eingeteilt von je sieben Personen, mein Thema war Abgrenzung. Nach langer Diskussion entschieden wir uns eine Mauer zu bilden und eine Person als möglicher Flüchtling, die versucht über die Mauer zu steigen. Die Aufgabe der anderen Gruppen war es jeweils nur eine Sache abzuändern, mit dem Ziel das dargestellte Problem möglichst zu lösen. Am Ende war die Mauer offen und eine Person umarmt den Geflüchteten.

Am Abend hatten wir Intercultural Night. Alle Länder stellten sich mit einem Video zu ihrem Land vor, wir aßen Souvlaki und probierten die Kostbarkeiten an den Länder-Tischen. Wir Deutschen brachten Würstchen, Stollen, Jägermeister, Rittersport und Kinder Schokolade mit.

  1. Oktober:

Am vierten Tag stand migrant gastronomy map activity an. Die am Tag zuvor gebildeten Gruppen steuerten auf den ihr zugeteilten Vierteln zu, um dort Interviews in ausländischen Lokalen zu führen. Wir hatten Exarchia, ein anarchistisch geführter Teil Athens, an dem keine Polizisten erlaubt sind. Wir hatten Probleme jemanden zu finden, der mit uns reden will, da sie feindlich gegenüber Fremden sind. Letztendlich haben wir einen Türken Ahmet kennen gelernt. Sein Vater floh vor 20 Jahren wegen politischer Verfolgung. Die Mittagspause nutzten wir um Athen näher kennen zu lernen. Wir besuchten die Akropolis und hatten eine tolle Aussicht. Am Nachmittag präsentierten alle Gruppen ihre Arbeiten. Am Abend gingen wir Chinesisch essen.

6. Oktober:

Der sechste Tag stand uns zunächst komplett zur freien Verfügung offen, was von uns zur Erkundung Athens und Umgebung genutzt wurde. Am späteren Nachmittag hatten wir eine Einladung zur athenischen Organisation METAdrasi (action for migration & development). Uns wurde die Arbeit und Reichweite der NGO näher gebracht von einer Juristin, die für die Organisation arbeitet. Hauptaufgaben sind die rechtliche Unterstützung geflüchteter Menschen, primär unbegleiteter Minderjähriger. Die Organisation existiert seit 2010 als Reaktion auf die akute Flüchtlingssituation, mit über 600 freiwilligen Helfern, darunter einer große Anzahl an Juristen. Standorte sind in Athen und an 13 weiteren griechischen Orten, vor allem in Insel Orten. Es wurden bereits über 400’000 Fälle bearbeitet. Außerdem wurden vier spezielle Unterkünfte nur für unbegleitete Jugendliche geschaffen. Dem Vortrag folgte eine spannende Fragerunde und Diskussion zum Thema Migration. Abends gingen wir in ein ägyptisches Restaurant.

  1. Oktober:

Der achte Tage begann mit einem Energizer initiiert durch Sergey aus Lettland. Dafür haben wir das Spiel What/ I got it gespielt, sodass jeder von uns genug Energie hatte in den Tag zu starten. Danach haben sich jeweils 5 Gruppen zusammengefunden um die Menschen in Athen zu bestimmten Themen zu interviewen. Da es in dem Projekt um das Thema Einfluss von Migranten auf die Gesellschaft und das Essen ging, hat sich jede Gruppe mit je einer Aufgabe beschäftigt, die genau darauf aufbaut. Nach dem Mittag sollte jede Gruppe seine Resultate präsentieren. Nach Auswertung der Aufgabe sind wir abends zu einem syrischen Restaurant gegangen und haben Falafel gegessen.

8. Oktober:

Am achten Tag erstellten wir ein Lip Dub Video, was als gemeinschaftliche Gruppenaktion zu deuten war. Ziel war einen Erinnerungsfilm zu schaffen. Wir wählten das Lied ‚Let me entertain you‘. Herausfordernd war es einen Konsens darüber zu schaffen, was wir darstellen, wo wir drehen und die Deadline der Präsentation einzuhalten. Letztendlich schafften wir die Aufgabe und hatten immensen Spaß dabei. Wir bauten viele Aspekte, die uns das Seminar über beschäftigt haben in das Video ein, wie das Thema Essen, Tanz, Interkulturalität und gegen Ende einen Ausblick über den grandiosen Seminarort Athen. Das Video ist auf YouTube zu finden.

Link zum Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5snlMHo1N6s

  1. Oktober:

Am neunten und letzten Projekttag sollte jedes Land seine jeweils repräsentierende Organisation vorstellen. Nachdem wir als kleine deutsche Gruppe unsere JuBuk e.V. vorgestellt haben, haben wir uns als Gruppe wieder getrennt und sollten uns mit den gestrig gebildeten Gruppen über eventuelle zukünftige Themen und Projekte unterhalten und uns jeweils auf eine Projekt in einem bestimmten Land einigen. Am Abend gab es dann bei einem mexikanischen Restaurant die Verleihung des Youth Passes.
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Partnership Building Activity (PBA)

« Step by Step: boosting youth employability through learning mobility opportunities »

1-8 October 2017 – Martinique, France

Natalia:

For more than 10 years JuBuK has been involved in the Erasmus programme, hosting and sending educational programmes for youth workers and young people all around Europe. For the first time we got the project approved in the overseas territories of Europe – Martinique. Martinique is a little island in the Lesser Antilles group in the Caribbean sea and Atlantic ocean. Yes, there are parts of Europe also there. Martinique is part of France and thus has the full right to participate in the Erasmus+ programme.

The project was organized by D’Antilles & D’Ailleurs organization from Martinique in consortium with 14 partners from different European countries.

The main aim of the project was to develop networks of organizations and to create new partnerships in order to set up projects at European level and within the framework of the Erasmus + program allowing inclusion and employability of Young People with Fewer Opportunities.

More than 30 leaders of the European NGOs and the NGOs from Martinique had a unique chance to learn from each other, to share good practices, to network, to design future mutual projects. We were amazed by the level of knowledge and experience in the group, it was incredible productive working process which we all enjoyed and benefited from. Several international projects were created during the week, the representatives of the European organizations built working groups with which they will apply for the follow-up projects on the topics of employability, inclusion, gender and healthy life style.

The best was the participation of local youth workers and NGO leaders in the activity. We could learn from the first hand about the situation of Martinique. During the activity we also visited the municipality of St.Luce where we could network with other local youth workers and where the programme Erasmus+ was presented. Another important meeting was made in the Institute of Sport of Martinique where we met with the representatives of the local authorities, young entrepreneurs and other influentialpeople in the youth sector of Martinique.

The most unforgettable moment was the visit of the agricultural association “Lasote” in the North of Martinique where we participated in the old agricultural ritual named “Lasote” –playing music and ploughing the land after which we shared the lunch with the community members. It was unique, authentic and unforgettable experience.

The project gave us a great opportunity to find new partners, to plan new projects and to make partnerships with the NGOs from Martinique. Thank you to our partner D’Antilles & D’Ailleurs for making this great job and organizing such a unique project and for giving us a lot of inspiration and new perspectives.

Natalia and Stanislav

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Learning from the Past for a Better Future

Seminar on Memory Work in Gernika, Spain, September 2017

Natalia:

09-17 September, 2017 I attended the seminar „Learning from the Past for a Better Future“ organized by the network Connect (cooperation network in non-formal education and citizenship training), Gernika Gogaratuz and Haus am Maiberg in Gernika, Basque Country, Spain. The main topic of the project was peace and memory work in youth field. This seminar took place within framework of the commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika in 1937.
The primary goal: to convey to participants the importance of
historical events for shaping our contemporary society, to give them
competences in the area of Peace and Memory work and to support
them in developing their own projects.

Objectives: to get to know the method and the tools as well as the background of peace
and memory work,
-to learn to use memory and art as a pedagogical tool for constructing a peace
culture,
-to appreciate the importance of memory work in explaining the present and in
constructing a peaceful future,
-to be able to analyze different ways in which countries/societies/individuals
deal with history and its remembrance,
-to empower young people to successfully implement projects in the field of
memory and peace work,
-to facilitate future partnerships between participating individuals and
organizations.

What was on the menu: exciting workshops, creative masterclasses, deep discussions and reflections, games, theoretical inputs, excursions, visit to the museum of Peace and Basque historic parliament, meeting with the witnesses of Gernika bombing, participants and trainers from 10 countries.

We from JuBuK Germany want to thank all the organizers from the Connect Network for this very special event which gave us so many inputs, inspiration and food for thought which we will implement in our future work and projects. We hope for future cooperation with the network and Gernika (not only Picasso’s masterpiece but also the town) is in our heart.

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„Everyone has a Story to Tell“

Training Course in Aghveran, Armenien, September 2017

Boris:

Erasmus+ Training Course in Aghveran, Armenia
 
Between September 4th and 12th, I attended a seminar on digital storytelling in a pleasant forest resort in Aghveran, Armenia. 
The main objective of the training course was to show us the popular method of digital storytelling. Digital storytelling is a short form of digital media production (such as a film) that allows everyday people to share aspects of their story. We were participants from nine countries and formed a transdisciplinary team made up from artists, youth workers and community leaders. 
Our program was divided into two parts: experiencing the method and learning to apply it in our work. After a day where we got to know each other, we jumped right into the method. 
The time given to us was limited and this was both a challenge and an advantage. I already know how to work under pressure but I never really learned to “let go” of a task when I felt I could improve it further. This was a very inspiring experience. We had a neat chart where we could track our individual progress and on the third day, everyone’s story was finished. 
The screening was a very emotional event. I was touched by so many different stories. Some were inspiring, others were thoughtful, others very sad. It was a very special moment to get constructive and positive feedback on your own personal story. 
On the fourth day, we visited ICIRLD in Yerewan and talked with the NGO leader about the organisation’s work. We also had the opportunity to explore the beautiful capital of Armenia until we had a traditional Armenian dinner in a private house. 
The last two days were dedicated to learning how the method works and how to apply it – and also how to use it as a tool for Social Inclusion.

To sum up, I can say that the seminar was very useful for me. I have learned a new method I want to implement in Berlin in the next months; I have made important intercultural experience and visited the beautiful country of Armenia!

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Social Advertmakers

Training Course in Kegums, Latvia, August 2017

Karolina:

Ende August war es für mich soweit: Ich machte mich auf den Weg zu meinem ersten Erasmus+-Projekt. Da ich für die Themen Social Media und Marketing brenne, versprach schon alleine der Namen des Trainings „Socia Advertmakers“ eine sehr spannende Zeit. Aufgeregt saß ich in der Regionalbahn, die mich aus Riga nach Kegums bringen sollte. Noch einmal checkte ich den Inhalt meines Rücksacks: Kamera, Laptop, Federmäppchen und mein Notizblock reihten sich aneinander. Ich war beruhigt. Als ich den Blick hebte, stand vor mir ein blondes Mädchen, welches verkündete anscheinend das gleiche Reiseziel zu haben wie ich. Sie setzte sich zu mir während die Bahn sich im Schneckentempo an kleinen lettischen Dörfern bewegte. Und wir, Sandra und ich tauschten Erwartungen, Hoffnungen und Ängste bezüglich des anstehenden Projekts.Am Bahnhof in Empfang genommen, führen wir mit dem Auto unserer Betreuer zu unserer Location: Puduri – eine mitten im Wald und gleichzeitig direkt am Ufer des Flusses Düna gelegene Anlage, die den urigen Charme Lettlands perfekt zum Ausdruck brachte.Das war also der Ort wo Magie entstehen sollte. Und eins war schon nach einigen Minuten klar: sie wird entstehen.

Die ersten magischen Momente waren die Momente der Freundschaft. Die ersten beiden Tage wurden immer mal wieder durch verschiedene Kennen-Lernspiele aufgelockert und baten genügend Raum alle Teilnehmer kennenzulernen und schnell Freundschaften zu knüpfen. Magisch wie schnell man Vertrauen zueinander fasste.

Dazwischen lernten wir fleißig die Social Media kennen, analysierten erfolgreiche sozialen Werbekampagnen und diskutierten über die Notwendigkeit und den Nützen solcher Projekten.

Und dann kam Olga. Olga war einer der Trainer, eine professionelle Fotografin und Filmemacherin und eine der herzlichsten aber zugleich kompetentesten Personen, die ich je kennengelernt habe. Ihre Energie zu spüren und ihr Wissen ihr von den Lippen abzulesen war mein zweiter magischer Moment. Sie faszinierte mich. Die intensiven drei Tage mit Olga, welche sie gekonnt mit kurzen Übungseinheiten aufgelockert hat, haben einen nachhaltigen Eindruck bei mir hinterlassen. Beim Einschlafen flogen mir noch Begriffe wie Belichtungszeit, Blende und Kamerawinkel durch den Kopf bis ich schließlich eingeschlafen bin.

Da die Tage mit Olga so unglaublich intensiv waren, war ich sehr dankbar für die Skripte, die uns zur Verfügung gestellt wurden. So konnte Olga ruhigen Gewissens abreisen und uns mit Köpfen voller Ideen einfach machen lassen. Denn es sollte spannend werden.

In den folgenden Tagen waren wir, die Teilnehmer, dafür zuständig die Magie entstehen zu lassen. Es galt das gelernte in die Praxis umzusetzen. Die Aufgabe, mit der das Training Seminar gekrönt werden sollte, war Erstellung von kurzen  Social Advertisement Clips. Dabei wurden uns alle Freiheiten der Welt eingeräumt. Sowohl thematisch als auch bezüglich der Ideation und der technischen Umsetzung. Wichtig war, dass Kreativität, gute Arbeitsmoral und Teamgeist in Vordergrund stehen.

.Nach einer intensiven, kreativen Brainstorming-Session haben wir Arbeitsgruppen gebildet, in denen wir in den folgenden Tagen an unseren Projekten arbeiten würden. Meine Gruppe und ich, haben uns einer künstlerisch sehr hochwertigen Mission verschrieben. Um das Thema der sozialen Gleichgültigkeit zu beleuchten, arbeiteten wir an einer gemeinsamen Vision.  Wir fertigten ein Skript und mehrere Storyboards, suchten eine geregnete Location und Schauspielern aus. Nach all der Vorbereitung konnten wir unser Filmmaterial aufnehmen. Durch das, von Olga vermittelte Wissen fühlte sich unser Drehtag bereits da schon unglaublich professionell an. Nicht überraschend war, dass wir aber viel länger für die Postproduction gebraucht haben als für das aktive Drehen. So saß unser Kernteam Tag und Nacht am Rechner, um die besten künstlerischen Entscheidungen zu treffen. Die geeignete, rechtenfreie Musik zu der jeweiligen Bildsprache zu finden stellte sich als besonders herausfordernd aus. So vergingen Stunden und wir saßen noch um 4 Uhr morgens gemeinsam an der Bearbeitung des Films, welcher grade noch rechtzeitig für die große Präsentation in einem NGO in Riga fertig wurde.

Den letzten gemeinsamen Tag verbrachten wir also in Riga. Um unsere Freundschaft zu feiern, haben wir einen Flashmob entwickelt, welchen wir am Rathausplatz umsetzen konnten. Es hat unglaublich viel Spaß gemacht Fremde in unsere Gemeinschaft einzuladen und zum Mitmachen zu animieren. Eine Aktion ganz im Einklang mit der Erasmusidee.

Possitiv gestimmt steuerten wir dann gemeinsam das „Speak Easy Café“ in dem die Präsentation der Filme stattfand. Ein letzter magischer Moment sollte stattfinden. Eins nach dem anderem wurden die Filme vorgestellt. Und nun waren wir dran. Nach einigen Einleitungswörtern startete der Kurzfilm. In absoluter Stille ließen wir die Bilder auf uns wirken. Und wir: Jonas, Vladislav und ich, fühlten uns besonders stolz. Stolz auf die Arbeit, die wir verrichtet haben. Stolz auf unser Team, welches innerhalb von wenigen Tagen so eng zusammengewachsen ist. Stolz auf das Endergebnis. So Stolz, dass wir uns gemeinsam entschieden haben mit dem entstandenen Kurzfilm an Wettbewerben teilzunehmen.

So gewann ich durch das Erasmus + Projekt nicht nur neues Wissen dazu. Ich gewann ein neues Projekt, in dem eine neue wunderbare Freundschaft weiterleben kann. Es geht nicht mehr darum, ob wir mit unserem Vorhaben Erfolg haben werden oder nicht. Es geht vielmehr um die Stärke, die wir in dem Projekt und in uns selbst gefunden haben, an der diese wunderbare Freundschaft wachsen kann.

 

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„Celebrate Erasmus“

Youth Exchange Agros, Cyprus 25.08 – 2.09.2017

Karolina: 

First days of Autumn might be depressing – but before we get too melancholic and decide not to leave the house for the next 3 months, let’s think about how great this summer was. It automatically gets warmer when I think about the „Celebrate Erasmus“ Youth Exchange in Agros, Cyprus. But from the beginning…
On 25.08 we arrived to Agros, little Cypriot village located in the middle of the island, surrounded by nature and mountains. Even though our first reaction was „There’s no sea around here?!“ soon we discovered the real charm of this place and fell in love while discovering it’s every little corner. During this week we were able to experience the hospitality of the local community and hear their stories – from the very beginning we were treated like we have always been a part of their Agros family.
Hoverer, the main point of our trip was to „celebrate Erasmus“. Together with participants from 9 different countries we reflected on how the Erasmus programme influenced our lives. It’s been already 30 years since it first started and thanks to that we are now able to travel, meet each other, learn languages, discover new cultures and get more and more integrated.
Each group had to organise a workshop connected with the topic. We were responsible for presenting European Voluntary Service, one of the most important Erasmus+ programmes. We shared our experiences, explained the rules of the projects, discussed opportunities and tried to convince others that EVS is a life-changing experience. During other days we learned about Youthpass, Key Actions of Erasmus+ and discussed the „Pluses of Erasmus+“ (for example… 1 million Erasmus babies). Most of the teams decided to organise games – thanks to them we got the opportunity to work and have fun in international teams, learning the cultural differences and how to compromise.
Of course celebrating Erasmus can’t be only the theory… Almost every night we gathered all together to present our cultures, let others try our specialities, sing and dance to intercultural music.
Our lovely organisers of the project planned two trips for us – to Limassol and Nicosia. During these two days we did not only explore the region but also had an amazing time together, simply talking and enjoying sun on the beach or walking through the little streets of Nicosia.
During such moments the only thing we wanted to say was: „thank you, Erasmus“. Thank you for connecting us, thank you for letting us have home and family everywhere. I believe that these 30 years is just the beginning.
P.S. I hope that my children are going to celebrate 50 years of Erasmus in 2037 having an amazing time in Agros, where I left a little piece of my already international heart 🙂

 

Eleonora:

Zypern: Meer, Strand, tolle Landschaften und mediterranes Klima; die Gluthitze lässt sich gut mit einem Frappé in der Hand überbrücken. Einig kann man sich darüber sein, dass Zypern ein gutes Urlaubsziel ist. Aber unterhält man sich über Identität, Kultur und Politik auf Zypern, entwickelt sich schnell ein Zwiespalt und es entstehen divergente Diskussionen über Zugehörigkeit.

Im Herzen von Zypern erinnert eine im Zentrum geteilte Stadt an den griechisch-türkischen Konflikt von 1974. Türkische und griechische Soldaten und Zivilisten verteidigten damals „ihr“ Gebiet. Der Süden wurde griechisch, der Norden von Zypern türkisch und Nicosia wurde in einen Südteil (Levkosia) und einen Nordteil (Levkosa) gespalten.

Vom Aussichtspunkt des Shacolas Museums ist auf den Bergen der türkischen Seite die türkische Flagge neben der die Inschrift „ich bin stolz,  ein Türke zu sein“ über Kilometer hinweg zu erkennen. Die meisten der Griechen aus Nicosia, mit denen wir geredet haben, waren noch nie im türkischen Teil der Stadt. Aber wir schon.

Die Passkontrolle haben wir schnell in 10 Minuten hinter uns gebracht. Kaum bin ich ein paar Schritte gegangen, kommt die SMS an, dass ich auf türkischem Staatsgebiet bin – obwohl ich gerade eigentlich in ein und derselben Stadt bin.

Kleine, unscheinbare Läden mit Kleidung und Essen, Markennamen sind nirgends anzutreffen,  mal mehr mal weniger anspruchsvoll eingerichtete Kaffees und streunende Katzen. Die türkische Seite ist im Gegensatz zur griechischen Seite der Stadt ziemlich bescheiden gestaltet. Aber die Fassaden der Häuser von Lefkosa (türkische Bezeichnung für die Stadt) ähneln denen der griechischen Seite der Stadt. Täglich erinnern die eingenommen Wohnhäuser und zu Moscheen umgestaltete einst griechisch-orthodoxe Kathedralen und Kirchen an die Geschichte und den Konflikt von 1974. Griechen würden die Grenze zum türkischen Teil nicht überqueren, da sie sich gegenseitig auf nationaler Ebene nicht ausstehen könnten. Visen zwischen den beiden Teilen zu beantragen ist ein komplizierter bürokratischer Weg mit unnötigen Flugwegen nach Athen. Es gibt keine Flüge über die Grenze zwischen den beiden Landteilen. Die Kränkung sitzt nach 43 Jahren immer noch tief.

Es ist schwierig zu sagen, inwieweit das, was wir von den griechischen Zyprioten über das schwierige griechisch-türkische Verhältnis der zivilen Bevölkerung erfahren haben, nicht zu einseitig berichtet ist. Türkische Zyprioten haben wir nicht kennengelernt.

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„Thanks but no Tanks“ 

Training Course Viljandi, Estonia 12.09.-19.09.2017

Lena: 

Training course on how non-violent communication to integrate political dimension into Youth Work under Erasmus

 Vom 12.09.2017 bis zum 19.09.2017 habe ich an dem Seminar „Thanks but no Tanks: Training course on how non-violent communication to integrate political dimension into Youth Work under Erasmus“ in Viljandi in Estland teilgenommen. Eine Woche lang Neues  kennen lernen, ausprobieren, analysieren und selbst reflektieren.

Nach einer etwas anstrengenden und komplizierten Anreise mit dem Zug, dem Flieger und 3 verschiedenen Bussen bin ich endlich am Dienstag in dem märchenhaften Vance Paket angekommen. Ein rustikales großes Holzhaus, einsam gelegen, überall von saftig grünen Tannen umgeben und ein Bach der in den Ohren rauscht, lädt tatsächlich erst einmal zum Träumen ein. Doch wenn man diese Umgebung von einer anderen Seite betrachtet, stellt man schnell fest: hier wird nicht nur geträumt, hier wird produktiv gearbeitet. 25 wissbegierige junge Menschen, aus 12 verschieden Ländern, im Alter von 18-33 Jahren haben sich zusammen gefunden, um sich und ihre NGO’s durch „non-formal education“ individuell und aber auch gemeinsam weiterzubilden.

Tag 1:

Der erste Tag unseres Estlandaufenthaltes startete mit dem großen Kennenlernen. Namen, Herkunft usw. wurden durch diverse Spiele in Erfahrung gebracht und natürlich auch sofort gelernt. Vor allem die Gruppendynamik sollte an diesem Tag gestärkt werden. Wir haben gelernt auf einander zu vertrauen, verschiedene Perspektiven einzunehmen und uns auf bestimmte Rollen in einer Gruppe einzulassen, da die „3P’s of groupwork: product, process & people“ die Balance eines funktionierenden Teams darstellen.

Der zweite Teil dieses Tages stand dann ganz unter dem Motto „Europa“: In Kleingruppen wurden (wunderschöne und natürlich detailgetreue) Europakarten gezeichnet die dann auf Anweisung wieder zerstört werden sollten. Dieser Aktion und der darauf folgende Input unseres Trainers Lorenzo dienten als Einstieg in das Seminarthema.

Am Abend wurde Europa dann auf eine ganz andere Weise neu entdeckt: Eine kulinarische und musikalische Reise durch 12 europäische Länder ließ eine unbeschreibliche Stimmung entstehen. Bis zum Morgengrauen wurde getrunken, getanzt und gelacht.

Tag 2:

Tag 2 startete, durch das nächtliche Treiben beeinflusst, dann nicht mehr ganz so aktiv wie am vorherigen Morgen. Dem wurde allerdings schnell Abhilfe geschaffen: Die täglichen Energizer, die die Teilnehmer zur Höchstform motivieren und pushen sollten, nahmen ihren Lauf.

Höchst motiviert und konzentriert haben wir  die „Evolution of Value System“ durch verschiedene Fragen unseres Trainers an uns selbst, an die ganze Gruppe oder an Kleingruppen beantwortet und Ergebnisse erstellt. Anschließend hatten wir die Möglichkeit, uns, unser Land und unsere Trainingsgruppe in die verschiedenen Systeme einzuordnen.

Der Nachmittag war dann wieder etwas spielerischer angelegt: Es wurden Spielstrategien entwickelt und non-verbal mit den anderen Spielgruppen kommuniziert.

Außerdem haben wir festgestellt, dass es vier verschiedene Dimensionen gibt, die man bei der Organisation lokaler Events beachten muss und dass man alle Dimensionen braucht, um sich einer Gruppe zugehörig zu fühlen.

Der Abend wurde dann ganz und gar den NGO’s gewidmet und jeder hatte die Möglichkeit, seine Organisation und oder auch sich selbst den anderen in einer Kurzpräsentation vorzustellen.

Tag 3:

Ein aktives Rollenspiel startete am Tag 3. Aufgabe war es, durch eine Ratssitzung über den Bau eines Flüchtlingscenters zu diskutieren. Die Schwierigkeit bestand darin, dass wir unsere Rollen zugeteilt bekommen haben und man dadurch nicht immer im Einklang mit sich selbst war und sich in eine verschiede Perspektive hineinversetzen musste.

Am Nachmittag wurde dann über Moral und Gesetz debattiert. Durch das Model Kohlbergs, das sogenannte „Heinz Dilemma“, haben wir die Schwierigkeiten in manchen Situationen erkannt und dass, es nicht immer ein Richtig und ein Falsch gibt.

Am Abend wurde dann im Hot-Top und in der Sauna ordentlich geschwitzt, aber auch relaxt.

Tag 4:

Erholt und gut gelaunt begann der vierte Tag unserer Trainingswoche, denn heute sollte es endlich mal wieder in die Zivilisation gehen. Doch zuvor haben wir uns über die aktuellen Probleme in Europa und in unseren Städten unterhalten. Zu vier dieser Themen haben Gruppen Standbilder erstellt, die diese Situationen darstellen sollten. Aufgaben der anderen Teilnehmer war es dann, die Statuen in einen friedliche (non-violence) Lösung umzustellen.

Den Nachmittag haben wir dann in Viljandi verbracht. Unser erstes Ziel war die Universität dieser estnischen Stadt, in der wir einen Vortrag über eine lokale Campagne zu Suicide gehört haben. Danach hatten wir Zeit, die Stadt zu erkunden und uns beim gemeinsamen Abendessen beim Italiener mit estnischer Pizza zu stärken.

Tag 5:

Der vorletzte Tag unseres Aufenthaltes war dann ganz unserem eigenen Anliegen in Sachen lokaler Events gewidmet. Doch zuvor haben wir durch 6 verschiedene Filme, die die Manipulation der Gesellschaft und den Widerstand einiger Bürger zeigten, über verschiedene Methoden unterhalten, die dazu beitragen, strukturiert eine lokale Aktion zu organisieren. Danach hatten wir Zeit, unsere Idee auf dem Papier umzusetzen und die erworben Kompetenz anzuwenden.

Tag 6:

Ja, am letzten Tag hieß es dann Abschied nehmen: Uns wurde durch diverse Video-Clips noch einmal gezeigt, wie man mit kleinen Aktionen Großes erreichen kann.

Außerdem wurde uns einiges über das Erasmus+ Programm erklärt und noch ein Youthpass erstellt.

Am Abend fand dann die große Farewell-Party statt, die den meisten den eh nur spärlichen Schlaf raubte.Wie wir in einer großen Feedback-Runde schon festgestellt haben, hat jedem das Training viel Spaß bereitet und bestimmt auch einige neue fachliche Kompetenzen gebracht.

Mir persönlich haben vor allem die vielen neuen Einblicke in andere Kulturen und der Kontakt mit gleich Denkenden Spaß gemacht.

Für mich war es mein erstes englischsprachiges Seminar und auch meine erste Erfahrung mit dem Erasmus+ Programm, aber bestimmt auch nicht meine Letzte.

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„Together for Healthy Lifestyle“ 

APV Meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, October 2017

Anna:

Vom 22-29 Oktober 2017 findet in Bakuriani, Georgien ein Youth Exchange zum Thema „Healthy Lifestyle“ statt, an dem 35 junge Erwachsene aus 7 Ländern (Italien, Georgien, Polen, Ukraine, Moldawien, Österreich und Deutschland) teilnehmen. Aus diesem Grund fand vom 11-14 September das APV Meeting „Together for Healthy Lifestyle“ in Tbilisi, Georgien statt, bei dem sich die Teamleader aus sechs der teilnehmenden Länder (Georgien, Polen, Ukraine, Moldawien, Österreich und Deutschland) trafen, um den anstehenden Austausch zu besprechen, planen und organisieren. Die Aktivitäten für das bevorstehende Programm wurden bei gemeinsamen Diskussionen an das Thema der gesundheitsbewussten Einstellung angelehnt und non-formelle Lehrmethoden zur Umsetzung besprochen. Des Weiteren wird, zusätzlich zur kulturellen Vorstellung der einzelnen Länder, ein Überblick über die nationalen Gepflogenheiten und Einstellungen zum Thema gesunder Lifestyle vorgestellt. Sowohl das Programm, als auch das Freizeitangebot während des Seminars sollen die gesundheitsbewusste Einstellung der Teilnehmer fördern. So werden beispielweise morgens Joggen und Fitnessübungen stattfinden und nachmittags verschiedene Ballsportarten angeboten.

Während des APV Treffens wurde neben den organisatorischen Meetings, den Jugendleitern Einblicke in die georgische Küche und Kultur dargeboten.

Die Organisationen, die im Rahmen des Erasmus + Programmes der Europäischen Kommission und der Unterstützung der National Agency of Austria stattfindenden Projektes teilnahmen, sind Caucasus Youth Nexus (Georgien), Invento (Moldova), Jubuk (Deutschland), Changelog Foundation (Ukraine) Fajna (Polen) Studenten Entwicklungsgesellschaft Österreich (Österreich) Agenzia di Promozione Integrata per I Cittadini in Europa (Italien).

 

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European Contact Making Seminar in Cracow, Poland

Ekaterina:

Teamwork is everywhere..

I took a part on a project of great partner organisation ECIM from Poland. The name of the project was “European Making Contacts Seminar”. The seminar was around 10 days, from 9 till 17 Sep’ this year. I am really glad that I could take a part on it. At the first, I met people coming from 13 countries to make this world better. On the second, I worked a lot in teams and could not only improve teamwork skill, but also analyse my attitude and act in it actually. It wasn’t easy, but I’m satisfied with myself and done work. On the third, we created realistic and high potential projects, which can be well implemented in participants’ countries realities. It’s a great result, if you think about only one week term of the project. The best part was sharing our experiences and ideas two days long by presenting and leading different activities to each other. I think, every project should offer this opportunity to all participants to make something real, to share own experience and of course to learn from others with hand, heart and head.

I don’t want to go into details. Erasmus + projects have a lot of in common. If you take a part in one of them once, you probably know how others work. But I would like to say “Thank you” to our Host organisation ECIM, who made the main point of the program a teamwork and made possible to achieve our common goals in a friendly atmosphere. I could express myself on the seminar without any thoughts to be judged or blamed by somebody. It really kept my motivation and inspiration on a high level. Also, we worked not in ordinary teams, but with people coming from 13 different countries. They all have their backgrounds, their values and their opinions. It’s not one of the day to understand them all, to respect their causes and to accept their way to manage and organise the work process. But Erasmus + projects are made for it. They can really teach you in a few days how to tolerant people from all over the world, how to work together, how to accept others opinions, how to express yourself and your ideas in international groups and how to highlight the essence of the conversation in any situation. Especially are good for it Icebreakers and Teambuilding games. It was a lot of fun and pleasure to feel the group as unity and to know each other better.

I highly recommend you to visit Krakow for weekends at least. I would love to come back to Krakow and enjoy the city as a tourist by my own. My first impressions were made on the project, but feelings are very positive connected to this experience, to be protected, to be led, to be in a group of associates. I feel that I was welcome in this city. Maybe it’s the most important after feeling when you are at first time in the city. Just try it!

As tradition of my reports, Thanks to Nata, who gave me this chance to travel around the Europe and who believes in young generation! Every time I learn about myself and others in good conditions and the best time for it! All this possible thanks Erasmus + program and JuBuK e.V. …and Universe…and Teamwork!

 

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Training Course TNT – Thanks but no Tanks

Georg:

Velden am Wörthersee (Austria)

TNT was my 4th Erasmus+ project in general and the 1st one in Austria. I was very excited about the project and the place. Growing up in Germany I heard a lot about Austria, but was never able to discover this beautiful country by myself. Thanks but No Tanks was a training course organized by Europahaus Klagenfurt, which took place in a picturesque little city called Velden. I heard a lot about Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck, but never about Velden. Meeting 30 new people from 13 different countries and working on a project in a lovely surrounding? Sign me in!

My journey started in Berlin, where I took a flight to Salzburg. From Salzburg it took me 3.5 hours by train to arrive in Velden. My first impression – I am in the middle of nowhere. Little train station and nothing special around gave me an impression of being in the countryside until one of project organizers Marc picked me up and my views changed to the opposite. We took the “tourist” path to our hostel. Situated at the lake “Wörthersee” Velden is a famous vacation destination for higher upper class tourists and international stars. Some people also call it Austria’s Monte Carlo. Not only had the high society the privilege to enjoy the proximity of the beautiful lake. So did us.

Every day of the TC was divided in tree parts, two morning sessions after the breakfast, two afternoon sessions after lunch and the evening program. The aim of the project was to provide us tools and competences to understand what civil society is, to present concepts of non-violent communication and to empower young people to act cautions in terms of conflicts.

 

Day 1.

After a long sleep and nice breakfast, we started our first day as usual for every project with an introduction session to the training course. Two amazing trainers Marco and Lorenzo facilitated our TC. In the second morning session, we played get to know each other games. Everyone created a “social media profile” on a flipchart sheet with our personal information, hobbies, favorite movies and books to provide basic information about ourselves. Besides everyone added an inbox envelope so we could, mostly anonymously, exchange messages or little gifts with each other. Furthermore, everyone pulled one secret friend, whom we should try to communicate to and spoil thru the whole TC without letting the person to know it. It was a funny part of the TC, because everyone obviously tried to figure out who his or her secret friend was. After the lunch, some of us already decided to discover the lake and take a swim in it. In the afternoon, we learned how to work together and worked on definition of non-violent communication. Already in the evening, one of my favorite parts of every project took place – the international evening. All of the participants were able to present their country and offer the typical food and beverages from their home countries. After the first day, we were already able to come closer and leant each other on a personal level.

Day 2.

On the second day, we started to work deeper on the topic of non-violent communication. We tried to analyze the reasons for arising conflicts and how these can be solved. We played a very interesting game in groups to see how conflicts can arise if there is a lack of communication and how the right communication can affect the outcomes and benefit all of us. In the end, my group was very satisfied with our outcome. During the ensuring discussions, we talked about the problems and tried to analyze why the things happened as they were. Furthermore, we talked about the methods of non-violent communication and how these can be used in the youth work. In the evening, the participants of every country presented their sending organization. I can proudly say Laura and did a great job presenting JuBuK in the best way J

Day 3:

During the third day we worked on the principles of non-violence strategies. To be able to apply the techniques of non-violent communication we did a little role-play. Divided in 2 teams we got a predetermined pro/contra point-of-view on a certain topic. In our teams, we did a brainstorming on how to defeat out point of view with arguments and examples, after what three persons of every team debated against each other. Being one of the debaters wasn’t clearly an easy job, but it was interesting to be involved and also defeat a point of view which was clearly the opposite of my personal. I realized that to be able to communicate without violence it is necessary to understand the way of thinking of your opponent. After the lunch, we switched to political dimension of the communication and participation and did again a little roleplay to discuss the topic of the building of a new refugee center in an imaginary conservative little town in Austria. The group was divided in communities of interest. Vera and I played the mayors and facilitated the discussion. It was very interesting to facilitate the discussion.  Once again, it was very exciting to see what communication means in terms of an outcome.

Day 4.

After the trainers provided us the tools during the first three day our topic was to figure out which political/societal conflicts there are in our countries/communities, who is invoved in in and how we can manage to resove these problems. During the morning sessions we worked on it and tried to find a connection to same or similar problems in other countries or communities. To be able to understand how political communication works the project team organized a trip for us to Klagenfurt to meet representatives from two biggest Austrian parties – Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ). Both parties presented their views and ways of political campaigning on a local area and we were able to discuss different topics with them. For myself I realized that the views and the ways of these two parties are pretty similar to the both biggest German political parties, CDU and the SPD. We had a free evening this day, so a group of ten people including me decided to go out and discover the nightlife of Velden, instead of spending all of our whole evenings in the hostel. It was probably the best night of the project from my point of view, as we all had a lot of fun until late in the night and become closer as a group.

 

Day 5 and 6.

During the last two days we worked on a creation of our own campaign in our community/country. Laura and I joined to create a campaign for Germany. We decided to aim the refugee crisis and the problem of acceptance among German citizens. The provided tools really helped us to develop a proper campaign. In the end, we evaluated the project and discussed the outcomes.

On the last evening, the organization team really surprised us. Europahaus Klagenfurt organized a special dinner with a buffet for our whole team. The food, the beverages and the atmosphere were amazing. Of course, we revealed who our secret friend was and wrote messages and wishes for everyone. The rest of the evening and the night we spent with talking, laughing and shooting pictures.

2 weeks after the project I can clearly tell that, it was one of the best experiences in my life. This TC contributed so much to my personal development, not only from the topic but also on an interpersonal level. I met amazing people from 13 different countries, I made new friend and I learned the importance of the communication in our life. I’m looking forward to the next Erasmus+ project. Until then – never stop growing!“

Article about the project in Austria: https://www.meinbezirk.at/villach/lokales/europahaus-klagenfurt-als-zentrale-stelle-der-europaeischen-jugendarbeit-d2233265.html

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Time to Make Love Speech – Training Kurs – Litauen, Kaunas – 2017

Emili: 
„Time to Make Love Speech“ – so lautete das Thema des Anfang September stattgefundenen Training
Kurses in Litauens zweit größter Stadt Kaunas. Junge Leute aus fünf verschiedenen Ländern (Türkei,
Litauen, UK, Spanien, Italien, Deutschland) hatten dabei die Chance sich mit der Gegenbewegung der Hass
Rede auseinander zu setzen und ihre Erfahrungen zu teilen. Ein besonderer Schwerpunkt lag dabei auf den Rechten der LGBT Gemeinde.
Meine Reise von Stuttgart verlief im Großen und Ganzen ohne Zwischenfälle so, dass ich gegen Nachmittag endlich in Kaunas ankam und mir einen ersten Eindruck verschaffen konnte. Wir waren in einer Pilgerstätte/ Kloster untergebracht und übernachteten in Mehrbettzimmer, welche sehr gut ausgestattet waren. Am Anreisetag stand abends noch Pizzaparty auf dem Plan so, dass man alle Teilnehmer kennenlernen konnte und dann auch sehr herzlich von Trainerin Ieva begrüßt wurde. Später kamen dann auch noch Milda und Alex als Trainer dazu.

Der nächste Tag und erste offizielle Kurstag war ganz der Einführung in das Thema „Love speech“ gewidmet. Uns wurden die Grundlagen des Themas erklärt und der erste
Gastsprecher sprach über die Love speech Bewegung in Litauen. Diese Einführung war auch nötig um alle Teilnehmer auf das gleiche Level zu bringen da die Gruppe aus
erfahrenen Jugendarbeiter wie auch aus nicht so erfahrenen
Teilnehmer (mich eingeschlossen) bestand. Darüber hinaus
fehlten natürlich auch nicht die klassischen Energizers und
Kennenlernspiele um sich untereinander besser kennenzulernen und ein Teamgefühl aufzubauen.
Am nächste Tag wurde nochmals das allgemeine Wissen über Love speech vertieft und im Anschluss daran im „World Café“ über verschiedenste Thema wie Flüchtlinge, Integration geistig Behinderter,
Religion und LGBT Rechte diskutiert. Dabei war vor allem interessant die Situation in all den verschiedenen Ländern erklärt zu bekommen sowie die jeweiligen eigenen Meinungen zu hören. Daran anschließend bekamen wir einen Überblick über die Begriffe der LGBT Gemeinde und deren jetzige Situation und Rechte in Litauen.
Am Mittwoch war es dann endlich so weit und wir bereiteten alles für die Free
Hugs Initiative vor. Die Organisation MLS begleitete uns dabei und half und bei
den Vorbereitungen. Mit Postern, Musik, Luftballons und guter Laune ging es
dann ins Stadtzentrum um Leuten ein Lächeln aufs
Gesicht zu zaubern. Es war ein schönes Gefühl fremden Menschen eine kleine Freude zu machen und den meist sehr großen Abstand zwischen Fremden mit einer Umarmung zu verkleinern.
Am Abend hatten dann die ersten drei Länder ihren Kulturabend – mit
dabei auch Deutschland. Dafür hatten wir Produkte aus ganz Deutschland mitgebracht, wie Gummibärchen, schwäbische Maultaschen, regionale Biere und so
weiter. Es war ein bunter Abend, vor allem auch durch die türkischen
Tänze welche uns das türkische Team beibrachte.

Am Donnerstag ging es interessant weiter mit Gastsprecher Lezsek Jankowski von der European Foundation of Human Rights. Er erklärte wie rechtlich gegen Hassrede vorgegangen wird und wie umständlich und kompliziert es manchmal werden kann die Täter ihrer Verantwortung zu stellen. Im Anschluss daran kamen wir zu dem Thema Flüchtlinge und Milda teilte dabei ihre Erfahrungen mit uns und stellte uns auch unterschiedliche Initiativen mit Flüchtlingen vor. Als Gastsprecher dabei war ein
russischer Journalist der auf Grund seiner regierungskritischen Artikel nach Litauen geflüchtet war und nun über sein jetziges Leben erzählte wie auch über seine Herausforderung die er in Litauen zu bewältigen hat.
Am nächsten Tag folgte dann ein weiterer Vortrag. Die Organisation nannte sich „Dress for Success“ und
hatte sich auf das Wiedereingliederung von Frauen in die Berufswelt spezialisiert. Das Ziel war es Frauen
die große Probleme haben Arbeit zu finden eine kostenlose Hilfe zu bieten. Vorstellungsgesprächtrainings
sowie Selbstbewusstseinübungen und letztlich auch ein neues Outfit soll den Frauen helfen wieder in den
Arbeitsmarkt zu gelangen.
Nach so vielen Vorträgen in den vergangenen Tagen war jeder
glücklich als bekannt wurde, dass wir am Nachmittag eine
Augenkontakt Initiative starten würden. In einem zentral
gelegenen Park wurden dann Decken ausgebreitet und Leute
dazu eingeladen sich gegenüber von uns zu setzen und sich
eine Minute lang in die Augen zu schauen. Das Experiment
sollte Leute dazu animieren mehr auf die andere Person zu
achten und auch ohne Worte Verbindungen aufzubauen.
Motiviert startete danach dann auch schon der zweite Kulturabend der wie der erste die verschiedenen
Länder bunt darstellte und vor allem durch die ausgesprochen leckeren Essen in Erinnerung blieb.
Der nächste Morgen wurde mit einem langen Picknick begonnen
was von jedem mehr als willkommen geheißen wurde. Danach
sammelten wir Ideen für eine eigene Initiative die wir am
Nachmittag umsetzten wollten. Schnell war klar was gemacht
werden soll und wir starteten. Es wurden Komplimente auf kleinen
Zettel in der Stadt verteilt und wir fragten Leute durch den
„Liebestunnel“ zu gehen. Dabei geht man langsam mit
geschlossenen Augen durch zwei Reihen von Leuten die einen sanft
berühren. Die Idee klingt erstmal etwas gewöhnungsbedürftig,
jedoch ist es wirklich ein schönes Gefühl und auch die Teilnehmer
kamen alle mit einem großen Lächeln auf der anderen Seite an.
Und auch am nächsten Tag erwartete uns etwas Neues. Wir nahmen Teil an einem Fußballspiel in einem
Nachbarort zu dem auch Flüchtlinge eingeladen waren. Nicht alle spielten Fußball – konnten jedoch auch
auf anderen Wegen einen Beitrag leisten. Ich zum Beispiel half Luftballonfiguren zu machen und an die
Kinder zu verteilen. Leider war nicht sehr viel Zeit vor und nach dem Spiel so, dass ein wirklicher
Austausch von uns Internationalen mit den lokalen wir auch Flüchtlings- Teams nicht wirklich statt finden
konnte. Am Ende des Abends wurde dann noch die ganze Woche reflektiert sowie auch Feedback
gegeben. Und dann wurde auch endlich die angekündigte große Überraschung gelüftet – die Good- bye
Party fand in einem „old style – party bus“ statt. Und so ging dann auch der letzte Tag zu Ende.
Mir persönlich hat der Kurs sehr gefallen und ich hab auch das Gefühl einiges gelernt zu haben. Ich wusste
am Anfang des Kurses nicht wirklich viel über das Thema, habe aber jetzt einen groben Überblick
bekommen und so auch die Motivation mich mehr mit dem Thema zu beschäftigen. An dieser Stelle hätte
ich mir vielleicht ab und zu mehr Details und auch klare Strukturen bei den Präsentationen gewünscht da
doch oft nur die Oberfläche angeschnitten wurde oder das Wesentliche aus den Augen verloren wurde.
Im Gegensatz dazu haben mir die Initiativen wiederum sehr gut gefallen und ich hoffe in der Zukunft
wieder an solchen Events teilzunehmen oder sogar welche selbst zu organisieren. Und an dieser Stelle
auch ein großes Lob an Ieva die wirklich ein großes Talent dafür hatte uns zu motivieren und uns trotz klarer Strukturen an der langen Leine laufen ließ :). Des Weiteren hab ich in dieser Woche wirklich tolle Leute kennengelernt die mich immer wieder aufs Neue durch ihre Erfahrungen inspirierten und ich auch mit einigen Freundschaften aufbauen konnte. Also alles in allem war es eine tolle Erfahrung die ich hoffe in der Zukunft wiederholen zu können!

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Training „Refugees Integration vs. Discrimination“ vom 21.08.-29.08.2017

Charlotte:

Gefüllt mit Glück, Freude und viel Balsam für meine europäische Seele: Eine Woche nach meiner Rückkehr vom Training „Refugees Integration vs. Discrimination“ vom 21.08.-29.08.2017 in Bulgarien, blicke ich gerne auf die vergangenen Tage zurück und ich bin sehr dankbar, dass ich an diesen Ort reisen durfte.

Was mir jedoch schwer fällt, ist es die Erfahrungen aus dem Training messbar zu machen. Woran kann man messen, ob ein Training gelungen ist? Ist es der Ort an den man reist? Sind es die Übungen und Veranstaltungen an denen man teilnimmt? Oder sind es die vom Bier begleiteten Gesprächen nach einem lehrreichen Tag?
Das Wetter in Varbovo wurde täglich von Sonnenstrahlen begleitet und die malerische Berglandschaft schuf eine magische Atmosphäre. Sicher doch ideale Vorrausetzungen, jedoch nicht ausschlaggebend für den Erfolg des Trainings. Das besondere war das Zusammentreffen junger aktiver Menschen aus acht Ländern Europas. Das Training bot eine Plattform für Dialog und Austausch, diese schuf einen Nährboden aus dem sich eine ganz besondere Eigendynamik entwickeln konnte. Entscheidend für den Erfolg des Projekts war für mich persönlich die Begegnung mit den einzelnen Teilnehmer*Innen.

Im Jahr 2015 war das bulgarische Dorf Teil der Balkanroute, über die viele geflüchtete Menschen die Europäische Union erreichten. Der Ablauf des Trainings war eine Aneinanderreihung intensiver Erfahrungen. Wir hatten die Chance viel über die Lebenssituation von Geflüchteten in den jeweiligen Ländern zu erfahren. Wir fanden Antworten auf die Fragen, wie z.B. die Realität für Migranten und Geflüchtete in Mazedonien, Slowenien oder in der Türkei aussieht. Außerdem konnten wir interessante Persönlichkeiten aus der Politik treffen und den Bürgermeister von Belogradchick mit Fragen löchern. Eine Frage die mir unter den Fingern brannte war beispielsweise: „Wie reagierte die Zivilgesellschaft in Bulgarien während der Fluchtbewegung?“.

Beim Besuch der Kleinstadt Vidin wurde uns diese vom Bürgermeister als eine sehr tolerante Stadt präsentiert. Tatsächlich leben in dieser bulgarischen Stadt seit Jahrhunderten Juden, Muslime und Christen gemeinsam.

Übrigens, was ich Euch noch erzählen muss: In Vidin durfte ich die Organisator*Innen des Projektes zum nationalen Radiosender begleiten und dort ein Interview geben. Die Radiomoderatorin befragte mich zu der Lebenssituation geflüchteter Menschen in Deutschland und sie war sehr interessiert an dem Wohnzimmer Projekt, in dem ich in Fulda mitarbeite.

Zudem kamen wir auch in den Genuss die zauberhaften Felsformationen in Belogradchick zu bestaunen und durch die Magura Höhle zu wandern.  Die pure Schönheit dieser Welt!

Die Bandbreite der Themen, die während des Projekts aufgeworfen wurden boten immer viel Platz für Diskussionen, die nicht selten hochemotional endeten. Ich muss sagen durch den straffen Zeitplan fehlte es oft an Raum für Reflexionen, jedoch konnten Aussagen am späten Abend, gemütlich bei einem Bier weitergedacht werden. Durch den straffen Zeitplan kamen jedoch Gefühle zustande, die für mich bis heute schwer zu definieren sind. Rückblickend war die Diversität der Teilnehmer*Innen  die wichtigste Quelle für den nachhaltigen Wert der Zeit. Es war sehr interessant zu beobachten, wie sich verschiedene Aspekte herausgebildet haben. Zum einem kam man nicht darum festzustellen, dass es Stereotypen auf allen Seiten gibt, mit denen man sich erst einmal auseinandersetzen muss und die auch dazu führten, dass man sich plötzlich in einer bestimmten Rolle wiederfand. Es ist schwierig sich einzugestehen, dass Stereotypen bei einer Begegnung eine Rolle spielen, aber schwierig ist es auch sich seiner Identifikation klar zu werden und dieser zu entkommen. Trotz all dem war es auch großartig zu sehen, wie einige Teilnehmende im Laufe der Zeit eine sensible Haltung gegenüber Themen wie Sexismus, Rassismus und Xenophobie entwickelten. Das schenkt mir Optimismus den ich weitergeben möchte. Neben all den spürbaren Unterschieden die sich aufzeigten, waren es doch die zwischenmenschlichen Gespräche, die die politischen und gesellschaftlichen Gegebenheiten in den Hintergrund drängten und uns die Ähnlichkeiten spiegeln, die uns als junge Menschen auf diesem Planeten verbinden. Ich danke dem gesamten Team die diese Begegnung realisierten und mir ermöglichten ein Teil dieses Austausches zu sein.  (Charlotte Lohmann).

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„Emplyment4You(th)“

Youth Exchange in Zakopane, Poland, August 2017

Luis: 

10 Days full of joy and 39 new friends.

When I registered to come to this Youth Exchange in Zakopane, I was still unemployed, writing applications and sending CVs to Organizations and Institutions. I was hoping to get some help with details in my CV, talk to others in the same situation and maybe learn something new about the labour market in Europe. In the meantime a lot of things changed, I got a job as a language teacher in Central Asia and I started to prepare for my next big adventure. Would it still be worth it to go? I have been to Poland many times and wasn´t this going to be boring if I already got a Job in the meantime? I should better use the three month remaining until I start my new position to prepare myself. These were some thoughts I had, before coming, but after this 10 days I feel so stupid writing them down. This Youth Exchange had such a big diversity of people that made it a unique experience. We, the 40 participants, were different in any imaginable way: Some of us had finished their Master degree, others were still in High School. Some of us had several years of experience in running own businesses, and others dropped out of School and worked in factories. Some of us were party animals and every night out, some others don´t drink at all. Some of us enjoy speaking in public, others were too shy to even introduce themselves. The perfect balance of non-formal learning activities and free time, group-work and individual tasks, national and international presentations, debates and input made us grow all together and become one team. Our diversity does not disappear after spending 10 days together, but we could clearly get to know each other much better and understand each other mutually. I learned a lot from many other participants, but I was also very happy that I could help others sharing my personal experiences with them. We also learned a lot about Jobs and the Labour Market, about soft skills and negotiation strategies. I believe that this kind of personal improvement will help anyone of us in the future career. The Polish culture night was an unforgettable Moment and even though we were not very lucky with the weather, our hosts have chosen a very beautiful and comfortable place for us. Walking in the mountains gave me personally enough time to reflect a lot on many things that were in my mind. Visiting the employment office in Zakopane made me realize that Poland has a growing economy and is an attractive place for many of its eastern neighbours like Ukraine and Belarus. Talking to a headhunter also gave me the opportunity to understand the selection processes from another perspective. In general I am super happy that I decided to come and I would recommend anyone to participate in an experience like this.

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Svetlana:

I am writing this article on the last day of a ten-day journey through ups, downs, learning progresses, simulations, presentations, social dynamics, endless food, sunshine and thunderstorms.

Zakopane: a youth exchange like the local summer weather.

In terms of learning about employment, CV writing, job interviews and business plans there was a huge personal progress in my case. However, I would not say I know how to do all of that in its perfect entirety and mistake-less now. I got sometimes a bigger sometimes a smaller insight into the different topics addressed. What I definitely acquired is an awareness and a self-reflective attitude of how to improve my own situation as well as my local environment in terms of employment. Small steps to a bigger goal – which now seems more valuable to me than a professional telling me what is incorrect in my CV line by line. The concept of informal learning fulfilled its aims here, even though one might think I was a shy and quiet participant during this trip – that does not mean I am not absorbing and reflecting.

Personal growth, tolerance, self-confidence, reflections and evaluation of myself are key words of E4YOU I believe.

Furthermore, this experience taught me how to act and react in social tricky situations. I could give you millions of examples, but I guess you can imagine…. right? There were thunderstorms and sunshine. You have to learn to love them both!

Dave:

The project, Emplyment4You(th), taken place in Zakopane, Poland, between the 18th-29th of August, organised by ECIM (Marcin and Ola) proved all the advantages that youth exchanges offer. This well-planned project gave us a deeper understanding of the field of labour market. Each activity, as well as travelling and accommodation, was thoroughly thought through. We arrived on time, following a tight transportation schedule and were even able to explore one of the biggest cities in Poland – Krakow. We explored a new style of architecture and appreciated the differences between other big cities we had previously visited.

Upon arriving in Zakopane, we were pleasantly surprised by the location our host agency had chosen.  The nearby hillside provided a perfect route to enjoy the country’s beauty during the break-times. We were able to experience nature without interrupting the process of learning and the mountain air provided a healthy atmosphere to do so.

The everyday program consisted of multiple workshops and presentations. We explored the field of employment, engulfed in details of writing essays and giving interviews by peer-to-peer methods. We learned that the details which are usually overlooked can have a major impact. We learned that non-formal education plays such a key role as formal and that body language can influence others more than words. This project taught us what to research and how to filter information.

In the beginning, we were reluctant to the concept of playing so many games, but we quickly saw how interesting they can be. A simulation game demonstrated that to be different does not mean to be less of value, a self-understanding game gave us a better approach towards ourselves and others. We discussed the future of the labour market and the different outcomes which could take place.

In the meantime, we had access to the traditions of 8 countries. Every night was devoted to a separate culture, we tried their food and attempted their dances. By conversating with the participants, we noted down the mentality differences born only by living in specific boundaries. We saw how many similarities our languages have, how we can find a common root for the same words. But we experienced most from the Polish traditions. Our meals consisted entirely of Polish recipes and we even had the opportunity to try highland games.

Apart from teaching us the theoretical and practical sides of the labour market, this project showed us how to successfully navigate in the field of social communication. Because we are constantly thrown into new situations, they are never repetitive and to be able to balance the unexpected circumstances means to achieve all that we intend. This mini-community made us understand how friendships are formed, how groups of people gather together and how to integrate in social circles. We learned that even though we might not have the same background and mentality, in our core we share the same yearn for knowledge, travelling, closeness and change. We want to change the stigmas, the problems each of our countries share. We want to develop ourselves, try new things, explore the world through communication.

And now, when all of it is over, we will remember a collection of moments. When we hear the name of a country, we will picture a face, a name, a story. When we think of Europe, we will think of being human.

 

We want to thank all the organisers and the European commission for the opportunity they gave us.

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„SUNemployment Too“

Youth Exchange in Komotini, Greece, August 2017

Ksenija:

Vom 03.08.2017 bis 11.08.2017 fand das Projekt “SUNemployment” in Griechenland statt. Dies war meine erste Teilnahme am Youth Exchange. Und ich kann garantieren, dass es nicht meine letzte war! 🙂

Wir waren jeweils 5 Mitglieder aus 8 unterschiedlichen Ländern.

Unsere Unterkunft befand sich im Herzen von Komotini und in wenigen Gehminuten war auch die Office zu erreichen. Dort hielten wir die Workshops ab. Spielerisch und mit den unterschiedlichsten Methoden haben wir uns mit dem Thema “junge Arbeitslose in Europa” auseinandergesetzt.

Jeden Tag wurden neue Gruppen gebildet, die um die Aufgaben in Teamarbeit zu meistern. Dies reichte von einer Schnitzeljagd quer durch die Stadt bis hin zur Gründung einer eigenen Partei.

Bis auf einen freien Tag, den wir am Meer mit anschließender Beachparty verbracht haben, hatten wir jeden Tag volles Programm.

Es wurde nur Englisch gesprochen. Das hat sich sehr positiv auf meine Sprachkenntnisse ausgewirkt, da es auch um tiefergehende Themen, als um dem üblichen Smalltalk ging.

Die Abende waren stets lustig und gesellig. In der “Culture Night” stellte jedes Team, die für sein Land üblichen, kulinarischen Spezialitäten vor. Weiterhin gab es eine Kostümparty, Karaokeabend oder wir verbrachten die Nacht tanzend auf dem Platz vor unserem Hotel. In ganz Komotini sind wir berüchtigt für unsere “Square Partys”.

Die gesamte Gruppe war toll und man war schon vom ersten Abend an integriert.

Abschließend kann man sagen, dass es eine wundervolle Erfahrung war. Ich habe eine Menge dazugelernt und viele tolle Menschen getroffen.

Ich freue mich schon auf das nächste Projekt!

 

 

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Start-up Summit in Brno, Czech Republic, August 2017

Stephanie:

“Startup Summit Brno” was an Erasmus+ Project from the organization Proactive Mind. It took place during the middle of August in Brno, Czech Republic and it gathered 26 young people from 9 countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Italy, who were interested in entrepreneurship and may be future business men and women or even founders of a start-up.
#1 #arrivalDay
Of course all the Germans arrived over punctual in the afternoon. We explored Brno
together, the second biggest city in Czech Republic. As we were back at the hostel, we
mingled with the team-members of the other countries, who arrived in the meantime. After getting to know each other while chilling in the common area of the hostel, we decided to look all together for a pub, but on the way to the a pub, we were more interested in discovering Brno by night and had a closer look at all the sculptures and fountains on the squares. As we decided to continue our search for a pub, it’s started to rain and we made a race to the hostel. Of course everybody was wet anyway. But the next days we had beautiful weather. But before the next day could start, there was one more problem. The windows of my room were open the whole time, so all the rain come in and the beds were completely wet. But with the organisers, we managed it to clean everything to have a good night in a dried bed.
#2 #getting2knowEachOther
The first official workshop day started with a hike to the top of the Spilberk, where a castle is located. In front of the castle on a meadow, we broke the ice with funny name games, energizers and team building games. We also shared our expectations, contributions and fears regarding the coming week with each other. The biggest fear was to have too less sleep. After lunch, we played the Brno City Game which was like a “Schnitzeljagd”, but with a tablet. This was a really fun way to get to know the city. After Dinner, which was in the same restaurant than lunch, we had a nice time in a medieval pub with honey beer and good talks.
#3 #impactHub
The next day, we visited the impactHub, a special place, where people of different
companies have their workplace and get connected. We get to know a venn diagram
about self discovery and a strategy how to find ideas. In the end, we shared business
ideas in a group of 5 people and tried to find out the top 5 most profitable markets of 2017.
After dinner in our regular restaurant, we enjoyed the international night with Armenian candies, Croatian pastries and Belarusian bracelets and quiz show.
#4 #technologyPark
At the next day, we were in the technology park, where a lot of small companies are
located. But it was Sunday, so no company was presenting themselves as at the other
days. I actually really enjoyed that we always used to switch the location of the workshops.
It was really inspiring to see the insight of different business locations. In contrast it was
pretty cool to have a regular and constant dinner place to sum up the day and to have
good food and talks.
But before dinner, we team up in groups of 4 with the same interest and did some work.
My group was about mobile application. We discussed about our business idea, presented it and applied it to the business model Canvas, which we got to know at the same day.
After that we learnt how to present like a superhero. This was really cool. One task was to answer a random question spontaneously in one minute. My question was: Why a pizza boxes square? The whole workshop was really funny and I learnt how to improve my presentation skills by focussing more on gestures, eye contact and making speaking
pauses.
In the evening we had the second international night with Italian dances and gestures,
Georgian wine and Czech beer.

 

#5 #technologyPark
This day we were at the technology park as well and we got to know which companies are working there. After the presentation we had a video workshop and learnt about different types of advertisement videos. In the end we even shoot and cut a video by ourselves about a shoe advertisement and I was the main character of it. It was really funny. First step before Hollywood. After it we collected first video ideas for our own business idea and created marketing messages by using a special marketing concept, we’ve just learnt.
During the evening there was the last international night and it was our time to present
Germany. We showed a video about Germany and we told some fun facts about the
country, its celebrations and German beer of course.
#6 #Prague
This day started really early because we head to Prague where we get to know a Czech
company which invest in start-ups and even 3 rising start-ups presented themselves. After the presentations, discussions and lunch, we got challenged by funny exercises, like
singing a song in front of the John Lennon Wall, exchanging a sock for something more
valuable or getting a caricature for free on the famous Charles Bridge. Prague was just
awesome.
#7 #SocialGardenCenter
At this day, we were at the social garden center, where we had a project management
workshop. At the same day we shoot and edit our video for our business idea and enjoyed the afternoon in the sun with a paddleboatrace. We also get to know how to start a start up in all the other countries.
#8 #sharkTank
The last day and it was time for the shark tank. Every group has to present their business
ideas and the videos in front of a jury and the jury could invest in the business ideas with monopoly money like in the TV show. My group made the second rank. It was pretty cool.

After a reflection round and lunch, we spent the whole time until dinner to prepare a
present for the organiser because it was such an amazing week and we wanted to thank
them. We got a chocolate fountain with chocolate and pictures because the organisers
always had chocolate as prize for the winner team of a game.
In the evening it was time to say goodbye and we had a nice chill out outside behind the
cathedral with beer and a nice view over Brno.

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 „Cultural Art-Gene“

Youth Exchange in Telavi, Georgia, July 2017

Iosif:

“Cultural Art-Gene – Youth Exchange” was an Erasmus+ Youth Exchange. This course took place during the middle of July in Telavi, Georgia. It gathered 34 youth workers, youth leaders and volunteers from Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine. Young people who are motivated and desire to obtain knowledge and experience regarding the inter-cultural issues. Applicant organization is “Stichting MasterPeace” from Netherlands, hosting organization is Caucasus Youth Nexus, from Georgia.

The main goals of the project were to knowledge about cultures and traditions through art and music among young people from different countries. All the methods used during youth exchange will be based on the non-formal education principles. Also we were involved in very traditional festival of Georgia “ART GENE”, where we had an opportunity to not only learn Georgian culture, but also to present our traditional songs as well. All of us get plenty of knowledge, very wonderful impressions and a lot of positive emotions in this project.

First day – arrival day in Tbilisi. After we just landed I felt sort of comfort around me. Immediately straight after landing we got picked up by the organizers from the Airport. It was an about 1,5 hour drive to Telavi, that appeared exciting in an old Mercedes driving above speed limit across mountains.  After finally arriving at the hotel, we checked into my room and made immediately new friends from across Europe. After a few hours of socializing with the new folks, we chose to watch an episode of “Game of Thrones”.

Second day was the day we got to know all participants, because some of them arrived just at night. For our first event organizers taught us a common naming game, so we could get to know each other and icebreak the atmosphere.  We got the chance to try self-made Georgian jam for breakfast and try our first Chachipuri for lunch and dinner. We did a few activities, much socializing and finally a welcome party with served Georgian wine at night.The third day was devoted to continuing of getting to know each other better. We tried to find out which similarities and differences we have with our new friends from different countries, we filled out funny questionnaire and also talked in small groups about our cultural and professional backgrounds. The highlight of the day without doubt was the workshop where we together learned to make traditional Georgian sweet – churchkhela! Everyone of us diligently threaded 20 walnut halves onto the thread, following by dipping them in a mixture of flour, sugar and grape juice. After leaving those sausage-shaped candies to dry in the sunshine for the next days, we went on to the next highlight of the whole program – the first intercultural evening. Ukraine with traditional songs, Armenian dances, German jokes and stories, tasty national food and national clothes of the three countries performing that day were impressive, culminated by the borsch – traditional Ukrainian soup – for the dinner. On the fourth day we went to explore Telavi, the old nice town we lived in. During the 2 hours walking tour we made a lot of photos with impressive monument to King Heraclius II, made a wish around a giant 900-year old plane tree, ate ice cream and all that by enjoying wonderful views out to picturesque landscapes of Caucasian mountains and valleys, which surround Telavi and can be seen from most of places. The time aft