Resilience and Democratic approaches for young people, France 2020

From the 14th till the 22nd of September, our volunteers alongside young people from France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria & Turkey took part in an International Training Course program in France.
The Training Course aimed to increase the level of youth participation. Moreover, it promoted democratic values, intercultural dialogue and social inclusion.
In the following lines, you can explore the experiences that our volunteers gained through their participation.

Mary:

Being part of a team always triggers me and now I know that being a part of an Erasmus+ team is where I truly belong. Even the training course was all about participation and how it makes young people take place in critical matters.

The eight days I spent in Poitiers were so much fun. The place we stayed, the activities we had and the people I met. Oh, those people… There’s a special place in my heart that belongs to them, for the fun we had, our never-ending conversations and the things I learned from every single one of them.

Of course, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of it, if it wasn’t Greek Youth Mobility. Thank you GYM for the opportunity and especially Nikos who was there for me before, during and after the project. It would be nothing without you GYM and without Ademi Association, who took care of us the best way possible and made my first experience unforgettably amazing.

So, that’s not a goodbye, that’s a see you soon.

Chloe:

In the period between the 14th and 22nd of September, I had the opportunity to be part of an amazing project who took place in Poitiers, France. The place that we spent all the days was close to nature and for the first day I felt that I was about to witness a different and unique experience. The topic of the training course was about youth participation and the ways that young people take initiatives, getting involved, and participate in different aspects of life. I keep in mind the ladder of engagement in youth participation (non-engagement, partial engagement, full engagement) which one can identify in activities and decisions that young people are taking in comparison with the initiates and the involvement of the adults. The workshops and the activities we had were efficient as there were based on the interaction and the engagement of the group. The environment that we worked in was beautiful and the project was fertile ground for collaborative learning, discovery, and connection of the group. I will miss the nights that we spent all together playing the Djembe drums (African instruments). Despite all the difficulties concerning Coronavirus those days, I am grateful that I had this opportunity to travel, to participate, and to make new friends. Thank you GYM for that, I am really looking forward to new experiences that they are about to come. 

Christina:

An Erasmus+ youth program is always a good idea and an unforgettable experience. I would highly recommend to everyone to participate at least once in a project like this and I am sure that you will not regret it!

This program was organized by association Ademi in Poitiers and had the title “Resilience and democratic approaches for young people”. It was a well-organized educational opportunity to enrich our knowledges and learn a lot of things for the aspects of democracy. In general, we had the chance to meet with young participants from different countries, discuss and share our ideas and thoughts. I really enjoined the workshops that we did and the team building activities during our breaks! It’s really interesting for some days to live and be surrounded by people who come from different countries and discover their cultures!

Thank you very much GYM for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Greek team and participate in this amazing program!

Light Up Your Future, Italy 2020

From the 1st till the 7th of September, our volunteers alongside young people from Italy, Spain and Czech Republic took part in an International Youth Exchange program in Italy.
The Youth Exchange aimed to improve the self-confidence of the participants through a variety of intercultural and interactive activities.
In the following lines, you can explore the experiences that our volunteers gained through their participation.

Matina:

Participating to the Erasmus youth program ‘’Light up Your Future’’ through Greek Youth Mobility was a unique and unforgettable experience. Honestly, in the beginning I was worried a little bit about the whole thing, travelling in corona time, about the participants and the adaptation in general. As a team I had good guidance from the organization and I had one of the best times in my life. I met amazing people, I visited beautiful places in Nuoro, Sardinia, I practiced to speak up and to do the step out of my comfort zone. Another important thing was that we had a great communication not only among the participants of the Greek team but also with the members of the rest of the teams, even if some of them they could not speak English very well. So we had to overcome the communication barriers and in the end we all enjoyed it. After all, those lessons teach us how to overcome obstacles in our lives and not to give up. I would definitely participate again to a relevant program.

Giannis:

The Youth Exchange programme in Nuoro (Sardegna) was an unforgettable experience for me. Undoubtedly, the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic created uncertainty for all the participants. Nevertheless, with the prompt and responsible aid from both the GYM and Malik organisations, we managed to confront these difficulties and moderate the uncertainties. Our weekly stay in Nuoro brimmed over with wonderful and fascinating activities which, certainly, stimulated us to take initiatives, step out of our comfort zone and boost our sense of creativity. This enriching environment had been in total alignment with my initial expectations when I applied to this programme. In fact, it even exceeded them. But most importantly, our heritage from this programme will, surely, be the enduring friendships that we forged. I, also, feel the need to express my gratitude to the GYM and the Malik organisations, the incredible Sardegnian local team as well as the other teams. Every individual had something special to offer and I am blessed to learn from all these interactions. Without all of them, it would not have been possible for me to engage in all these intense and indelible emotions that I had the unique opportunity to experience. My mind is still a little blurred as this experience has eventually come to an end and I am surely going to miss all these exciting people. However, even though the main part of the programme has ended, I am absolutely certain that all these relationships have just begun. To conclude, I am looking forward to participating in more Youth Exchange programmes organised by the GYM organisation.

Irini:

My experience in Nuoro was amazing. I will never forget all the amazing people I met and the fun times we had together. To me, that was the best part of the trip and the greatest learning experience.
I really enjoyed the workshops and the energizers. Both helped us to connect and enjoy each other’s company as well as exchange ideas and create something together.
Moreover, Nuoro was a great place, I enjoyed exploring its different areas, local cafes, shops, gelato, wine. All were beautiful.
Still, nothing compares to the friendship we all created and how much fun we had with each other. I already miss my new friends and I can’t wait until the day we meet again.
It was the first time that I participated in a youth exchange program and I loved it. We had a busy and productive week and it felt great. From now on I will definately try my best to participate more in such educational opportunities and this one in Nuoro taught me a lot about working with other people, debating, entrepreneurship and coming out of my shell.
I will always remember those times.
Thank you to everyone who helped in putting it together and organizing it. You all did a great job.

Dimitris:

As my first Erasmus+ program I must admit that at first I was skeptic. I thought that the morning routine would be boring, I wouldn’t communicate with my fellow participants and I wouldn’t gain any new knowledge. Thankfully I was proved wrong! The exercises were very interesting, the stuff was very cooperative and I made new friendships that hopefully will last long. But most importantly I learned the true meaning of the program. I got out of my comfort zone. I done things that I wouldn’t even imagine, I socialised with the participants and the locals. I practised my Italian and I encountered new interesting cultures. Overall, this whole program has broaden my horizons in terms of entrepreneurship and getting out of my comfort zone. I’m really looking forward to do that again!

Katerina:

After about six months living under the new conditions due to the covid – 19 without travel and without much social interaction, the youth exchange program “Light up your future” in the island of Sardinia was a feeling of euphoria in my life.
A trip to Italy at this time was a risk for me but looking back it was absolutely worth taking it.
From the first moment that we arrived in Nuoro we felt the Italian hospitality from the hosts and with time we all became a very strong team.
During the days of the program, we had the chance to learn a lot of new things through the activities and to discover the place of Nuoro.
It was an unforgettable experience that every young person deserves to live. I want to thank the Greek Youth Mobility team very much for this opportunity and for everything that they offered to me!

Anastasia:

In short, it was an experience I will remember. Not only because I had the chance to learn more about the meaning of entrepreneurship , but also because of the people from such diverse backgrounds and the exposure to their cultures . I highly recommend GYM as they are dedicated and passionate in what they do and are more than eager to help us. As a huge advocate for the Erasmus plus scheme i think every single youth should try it and taste this life changing experience.

Outdream yourself! , Poland 2020

From the 11th till the 17th of August, our volunteers alongside young people from Poland, Italy, Romania and Lithuania took part in an International Youth Exchange program in Poland.
The Youth Exchange aimed to improve the self-confidence of the participants through a variety of intercultural and interactive activities.
In the following lines, you can explore the experiences that our volunteers gained through their participation.

In the last year I wanted to participate in an Erasmus+ project, but I hesitated. After a discussion with a friend of mine, who has participated in many projects, she urged me to apply and as soon as I read the post for this project I did not hesitate at all.
I am a shy person and I need time to become friends with someone, but in this project I met wonderful people whom I hope to see again in the future. It was very profitable as it helped me to get out of my comfort zone.
Through the activities I realized that several times I should have a more active role and express my opinion, because no one has the right to judge me. Moreover, group activities and public speaking gave me courage to speak in front of people way easier than before.
The prevailing climate was pleasant and friendly and I believe this helped everyone to feel more comfortable and welcome. The excursion to the mountain was a wonderful experience, while at the same time it became an occasion to get to know each other better, to help each other, to have patience and overcome our fears. I think national evenings were also very important because apart from learning traditions from other countries, through them we learned to respect the different. For me this project was an amazing experience through which I have gained important lessons, great memories and many new friends.

~ Arpine ~
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An unforgettable and special experience!
In just 7 days we were given the opportunity to meet young people from Europe and share ideas and perspectives, while working on developing our soft skills as well. The combination of the outdoor activities in nature and the friendly and youthful spirit of our team’s members and facilitators, made this youth exchange unique.
Thank you Greek Youth Mobility for giving us the chance to be part of this great project.

~ Ioanna ~
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A truly unbelievable week in the south of Poland!
During the “Outdream yourself!” project, I learned how to cooperate with young people from different nationalities and backgrounds for a better outcome.
Despite the fact that we had different ways of thinking, we were always able to compromise and create a great result.
I got to know different cultures, I made a lot of new friends and I am sure that if I have the opportunity to do it again in the future, I will blindly go for it!
Consequently, this project was definitely a remarkable “challenge” that everyone should take. In the end, I would like to thank GYM for providing me this educational opportunity to better understand and develop myself through the beautiful world of non-formal education.

~ Vaggelis ~
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In August we had the opportunity to participate in the youth exchange “Outdream Yourself” in Poronin, Poland. Our sending organization, Greek Youth Mobility, supported us at every step and provided us with the right guidance throughout the project. The success of the activities allowed us to “outdream ourselves” and motivated us to continue the journey of self development on our own. But the main factor that empowered us was the team spirit. We shared our thoughts, emotions and dreams. We learned to cooperate, support each other and avoid criticism. We explored new places, danced all night long and united our wishes in a single shooting star. We hadn’t realize how strong our bonding was until the farewell.

It was a life-changing experience!

~ Maria ~

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Participating in the Erasmus+ Youth Exchange ” Outdream yourself” in Poronin, Poland , was one of a kind experience. During this exchange we discovered the topics of entrepreneurship, self- development and sustainability. I had the chance to develop myself according to my needs. Additionally Ι gained intercultural competencies, as well as valuable life-skills.                                                                                The project was really well organized and the facilitators were more than eager to help us. I am grateful to Greek Youth Mobility for giving me this opportunity.

~ Anastasia ~

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What can I say about this experience? After this youth exchange, I am filled with beautiful memories of places, people and activities.
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to live this experience. I met people from different backgrounds with different goals and life experiences, but I believe that we all had something in common; an open-mind and the urge to evolve and learn.
This project was a reminder for me not to lose sight of my goal which is traveling and meeting other people’s worlds. This project gave me a sense of hope and positive energy to keep going in life.
Last but not least, I would like to say ‘Thank You’ to the Greek Youth Mobility team because I would not have been able to participate in an initiative like this without them.

~ Nikol ~

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