Making Music; helping people , Spain 2020

From the 23rd of February to the 1st of March, our volunteers alongside with youths from Spain, Ukraine, Italy, France and Georgia took part in an International Youth Exchange program in Spain.
The Youth Exchange aimed to improve the level of attitudes and competencies of young people and also the intercultural dialogue, the social inclusion and the solidarity amongst them.
In the following lines, you can explore the experiences that our volunteers gained through their participation.

This exchange has been more than just an exchange or a project for me. I managed to contribute to the society and those in pain, by playing alongside with other musicians, who by the end of the project became my family. I grew not only as a musician but also as a person, seeing the passion and determination each and every one of us had to make this possible, and then seeing people’s faces light up when we all played together. Even outside of rehearsals, to pick up my guitar at night and just jam with my friends, or do fun activities, has given me so many happy memories that will stay with me forever. I believe that all of us achieved the goal of the project and created some bonds with one another that will last forever. Last but not least, the accommodation was great, and the food was exquisite and I’m grateful to Greek Youth Mobility and the Spanish team for taking care of us and making all of this possible!

~ Jerry Pylarinos ~
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At first glance I really felt this program was for me as soon as I saw the post on Facebook. “Making music; Helping people” was a phrase that captured me emotionally because I always believed that music, can improve people’s mood, their way of thinking and their attitude. Although I had never been involved
in any Erasmus+ programs before, I had my doubts about what my experience would be, but it turned out to be, once in a lifetime experience. Our final destination was San Javier, Spain. From the moment we met up with the Greek team in Madrid, I knew I was going to have a fantastic time for the next seven days. After a four-hour train trip and a bus ride we finally reached San Javier.
After the first day, we spent a lot of time together (rehearsing, at the sports camp and the conservatory and performing together in many places).
Throughout the program, I had the opportunity to meet new people from other countries, meet new cultures and share experiences with them. Apart from this, I had the chance to practice my English language skills too.
I couldn’t be more grateful for the things I learned, and the new friends I got during this program. I’d really hope that everyone has this chance to attend such an experience at least once in his life! Overall, I’m thankful to “Greek Youth Mobility” for having given me this life changing opportunity!

~ Christina G. ~
Χριστίνα

Such an intense and unique experience . When you mix together an Erasmus program, music and many emotions its an explosive unforgettable mixture. A unique journey, with a goal to help others , especially elderly, through music. I think we achieved it, but not only this. We helped ourselves to explore, learn new things, make new friends, connect, feel. People can do wonderful things inside a music team. Thank you Greek Youth Mobility for this amazing opportunity. Thank you for everything. Looking forward to start a new experience with you in the future.

~ Katerina Chatzovoulou ~
Κατερίνα

This project was my first Erasmus experience and I have to say that everything felt so familiar. Having people from all around Europe in a place where music is our common way of expression could only make words seem so weak. I personally feel so lucky for meeting every single talented musician in this project and providing together music and positive energy to other people.

~ Thanasis ~
Θανάσης

“Making music; Helping people” was a really wonderful project. A really wonderful experience that I will remember for a lifetime.
In this project, through music, we didn’t only help others (people in hospital and in nursing home) but also ourselves. We discovered a new us. We became more real.
This was my first time as a team leader in an erasmus project. The experience was unique. It made me realise how important it is to contribute as much as possible to make beautiful things happen. I would definitely do it again.

~ Elena Drenou ~
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Dissemination of “Volunteerism vs Voluntourism”

📣 Another wonderful initiative from Asociatia Oden Nehoiu as a dissemination of the “Volunteerism vs. Voluntourism” Youth Exchange in Romania! More than 40 participants from 8 European countries analyzed the topic through non-formal education for 9 days! 🌍👏

📍 Here you can find the link of the Official Magazine for the “Volunteerism vs. Voluntourism” project!

📍 You can also find the calendar of the project here !

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The power of Human Rights , Belgium 2019

From the 15th to the 20th of October, our volunteers alongside with youths from Lithuania, Spain , Finland, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, Germany, Slovakia and North Macedonia took part in an International Training Course program in Belgium.
The Training Course aimed to promote Human Rights through a non-formal way.
In the following lines, you can explore the experiences that our volunteers gained through their participation.

Erasmus 2019!
Such an unique experience to be among young people from 11 countries and together discussing, raise awareness about interesting information that broaden our horizons of knowledge.
Many activities, workshops, expeditions that really changed our minds and fill our heart with positivity and love. Have been such greatful for being chosen from Greek Youth Mobility. Hope you share more amazing projects like that.

~ Anastasia ~
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#HumanRightsAreLikePotatoes

We had the opportunity to look for new practices in developing initiatives and policies for the Human being and its needs. We drew up new political and social activities and actions and we met each other by exchanging practices that have been developed nationally and locally to strengthen the Agenda of Human Rights.
Participants with vision and appetite from Belgium (host country), Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Northern Macedonia, we gave the present to a radical educational meeting and training. A meeting which offered us an important joint into a non formal-educative research for the potential of our countries (both national and transnational) to find those potentials that can, through a vast of projects, activities and initiatives to create the groundwork for civil society policy.
During the 5 days of the Training Program, the Greek delegation had the opportunity to listen to and be informed about the practices adopted by the other participatory countries. Throughout the days of the meeting, we sought the potentials to create networks of initiatives on a vast of issues. Under the microscope of the Research and the group dialogue, were the: Poverty, Unemployment, Peace, Domestic violence, Legal abuses and the general malpractice of Regulations against Vulnerable Social Groups. Moreover we had the chance to focus on the most boiling topics hence the mistreatment of Migrants, Refugees and foreigners or Asylum Seekers, the Increased Crimes against women and children, the childhood labor and the war conflicts between states.
On the occasion of a guided tour on the German soldiers’ cemetery and via the stories about the lives of the deceased and the circumstances of their deaths, the debate expanded and extended to the issues of war, hatred, anti-Semitism, collective national genocide (Jews and Poles). From that time the threat led to the nowadays Kurdish and Syrian Genocides and the hordes of migrants and refugees who are fleeing to European countries for a better though unsure and insecure thus unsafe “tomorrow”.
The visit to the refugee and immigrant premises in the province of Limburg, the Belgian Red Cross, was a big surprise for all the participants, on behalf of the Solidarity Corps European Team, a partner of the European host Organization in Belgium. At the Belgian Red Cross premises we had the chance to meet and talk in private to the beneficiaries, as well as the visit of a major Holocaust survivor who shared his life experience and the difficulties he faced in his life through his personal narrative back to us as a multicultural audience.
Finally, divided into multinational mixed Action Groups created collectively by the countries that participated in the Education module of the Program, we touched on specific Human Rights’ issues. Issues and topics challenged and endangered by far-right policies and the increasing radicalization with the up-rise of far-right and fascism in Europe. None of these wonderful training days that the Greek delegation had had would have taken place without the coordination of the GYM (Greek Youth Mobility) Group, which we thank for the continued support and the team building preparation.
Indeed, the Human Rights are like Potatoes. Potatoes all same under their own skin, but they differ so much on their external characteristics… Just like humans! We are all the same if we only peel out the layers that concern our external characteristics, nationality, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, our habits and customs, our disability, our work, our social status and so many other characteristics that differentiate us…

~ Alexandros ~
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Intercultural Comics, Italy 2019

From the 18th to the 28th of November, our volunteers alongside with youths from Italy, Malta, Romania, Estonia and Croatia took part in an International Youth Exchange program in Italy. The main focus of the project was to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue, the values of freedom and tolerance and the respect of human rights encouraging, by non formal activities, critical thought of young people. To increase awareness of young people about immigration issues and focus on the necessity of social inclusion for migrants and asylum seekers and refugees. To upgrade artistic and professional skills of the participants by the peer learning.
In the following lines, you can explore the experiences that our volunteers gained through their participation.

My experience in this youth exchange program in Alezio it was something special for me. I would like to say that I am very grateful for these 10 days because I had the chance to meet new people having with them a great time. We gained some new skills about comics and how we can draw better but the most important thing for me is the fact that I spent these days with all these great participants and I will never forget them. I am sure that I took the right decision to go in this project and for sure I don’t regret it.

~ Dionysis ~
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It is an extraordinary feeling starting a journey with people that you don’t know. It’s more extraordinary that these people become a second family for the rest of the days you pass with them and they are there to share concerns and dreams, experiences and, sometimes, even loves. This is the great meaning of youth exchanges. In “International Comics” project, moreover, we met people talented, passionate with their art and willing to create and do their best. Finally, this group of 31ple were a family that was breathing for the art and they made great effort to preserve human rights and tolerance of all these people that have the greatest need.

~ Aristeidis ~
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As it was my first youth exchange, I was concerned, almost, for everything. By the time I met Greeks in the airport I felt that the next 10 days of my life would be unforgettable. We arrived at Alezio and I met people that were full of joy, love and talent. We discussed, we passed time together. We had long walks and a lot of jugs. We were friends, even though we met each other some hours ago. “International comics” for me was the start of a new era in my life!

~ Sofia ~
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Being my first Erasmus too I have to admit that i lived an experience I didn’t expect to and for which I am really grateful. This project not only gave me the opportunity to work on such an interesting topic, exercise my drawing skills and practice my Italian but also to meet some amazing people, great artists or not, who became loving friends. My expectations were set really high from this first experience.

~ Alexia ~
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It’s hard for me to express all of my thoughts about this beautiful experience we had in Italy! The location, the people, the project… Everything was impressive! I feel so lucky and happy of myself for being a witness in something like that. Yet, not everyone was an artist, but even when words are existing no more, the universal language of art speaks on behalf of us. United as a family, we created outstanding pieces of art, we had a great time together and everyone individually contributed with his/her own unique way to design memories that will be etched in our thoughts forevermore. I would like to thank both ‘’Greek Youth Mobility’’ and the hosting organisation for giving us such an incredible opportunity and every single participant, both for our perfect collaboration, but also for the spiritual bonds we managed to create! Love doesn’t count distance!

~ Dimitris ~
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Joyful Leadership , Croatia 2019

From the 9th to the 17th of November, our volunteers alongside with youths from Armenia, Romania, Croatia, Italy, Albania, Czech Republic, Turkey, Slovakia, Portugal and North Macedonia took part in an International Training Course program in Croatia. The main focus of the project was to promote leadership and exchange experiences with other young leaders.
In the following lines, you can explore the experiences that our volunteers gained through their participation.

When I applied for my first erasmus+ program I didn’t expect it would end up being an experience of a lifetime. I couldn’t be more grateful for the things I learned and the people I met during this program. The title of the program “Joyful leadership” could not be more representative. During our training we had the opportunity to discover our leadership skills, find our weaknesses and abilities, and collaborate with wonderful people from many parts of the world through a wide range of activities at an individual and team level. The trainers were excellent and willing to help us in a professional and personal level. Apart from this, we had the chance to practice our English language skills, to become acquainted with new cultures and spend time with wonderful people. Overall, it was an enlightening experience and I’m really thankful to “GYM” for having given me this life changing opportunity!!

~ Konstantina ~
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It’s not always easy to describe such an intense experience as an Erasmus+ project with words. And that’s because no words can really express the feelings and bonds that are formed during this kind of training. With that being said, the Joyful Leadership training course, really, was an amazing experience. Powerful topic, engaging workshops, hands-on activities and charismatic trainers, all helped to form a very rewarding experience. But what matters the most, as always, is the team: people that through opening up and knowing each other, get to know themselves a bit more. I’d really hope that everyone has this chance to attend such an experience at least once in his life!

~ Mema ~
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There are various projects and exchange programs that are interesting. But that’s it. The ‘’Joyful Leadership’’ training course was THE experience.
First of all, the mentors’ experience, excellent mood and knowledge about the topic motivated even the last participant. Secondly, the structure and the experiential activities were extremely good putting all the theoretical knowledge in practice through simulations, demonstrations, personal mentoring. Finally, the training had the precise target of wanting to empower new generations of role model leaders, so it was really serious after all.
If joyful leadership is “the process of influencing others with joy about what and how needs to be done to accomplish shared goals for the benefit of all“ the training course was exactly this. Useful and intense experience, for those who want to become not only leaders but further more!
Thank you Greek Youth Mobility for the opportunity!

~ Tona Fotini ~
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OpportuNEETys , Romania 2019

From the 25th of October to the 5th of November, our volunteers alongside with youths from Romania, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the UK took part in an International Youth Exchange program in Romania. The main focus of the project was to increase the employment opportunities of the youngsters and to create job-searching methods.
In the following lines, you can explore the experiences that our volunteers gained through their participation.

In a wonderful mountainous area in the Carpathian forest, I spent 10 of the greatest days of 2019. As a leader of the Greek team, with great experience in Erasmus + projects, I can say It was one of the most interesting and peculiar projects I have experienced so far.
All the elements that constitute a successful Erasmus + youth exchange were there.
• The multicultural character
• Self-improvement activities
• The joy of co-creation
• Intercultural nights
• Interesting day-trips
• Incredible human beings
As the highlight of the project, I will mention our workshop at a school in Vatra Dornei. We prepared activities for the local children and it felt amazing.
I am happy to share that the participants of the project were excited about it and it was an experience that offered them precious life skills and awareness.
So, let them tell you about it.

~ Sotiris ~
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Erasmus+ project for me again! Youth exchange again! But, this time I had high expectations. The previous one wasn’t the perfect one for me. Romania, a new place and Vatra Dornei in the middle of the Carpathians. Seems like heaven… and, it was! Okay, I was expecting to have fun but these projects serve a higher goal. I wanted to educate myself and gain new skills. This was the way I felt.
One of my main motives to participate in such projects is, of course, to meet new people, make new friends and learn about cultures that I didn’t know before. I think I achieved that and I hope that new destinations and people await for me to visit them! I really cannot separate the countries and the participants right now, I love them all!
But, I should return to the higher goal I mentioned above. I learned a lot in this project. The activities were up to my expectations for sure. I think I got better in presenting myself and my thoughts. I also understood the situation in other countries about education and employment.
The schedule was well made so that we have plenty of discussion and teamwork to do. It was a ten-day creative trip! I acquired a lot of knowledge not only about the topic, but life in general also.
Last but not least, I would like to mention some things about the place. As I wrote before, it was my first time in Romania and I definitely want to visit this country again! The facilities were great with plenty of choices for your free time and well organized for our activities. The facilitators were amazing and they will stay in my heart forever. The accommodation was also really nice (at least my room with my dear roommates) and the food whether you liked it every day or not, it was traditional and for me, this counts a lot!
To sum up, Erasmus+ is a great opportunity for young people. Ι recommend everyone to apply. Magical experience! I will try to go again for sure and you should also do the same! Finally, I would like to say “thank you” to everyone that participated in this project, it made me a better person. I do believe it. If you get to read that, I want you to know that I love you!

~ Vaggelis ~
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“OpportuNEETys” was my first Erasmus+ experience. Nevertheless, having friends who had already participated in a youth exchange project, I knew that it would be ten days full of interesting and fun activities. However, what they didn’t tell me was that this would be an experience of a lifetime, ten days I will never forget.
The project was really well organized, with plenty of stimulating activities, without ever letting us get bored. Furthermore, the location was truly amazing. Our hotel was located in the area of Bucovina, a mountainous area with beautiful scenery which made the experience even more majestic.
“OpportuNEETies” had a huge impact on myself. This project taught me how to work as part of a team. Through this project, I got in touch with new cultures and learnt more about daily life in the countries that participated. Through this project, I, also, managed to step out of my comfort zone and develop self-confidence and public-speaking skills. But, most importantly, through this project, I met so many different and interesting people. Different people with different personalities, different ideas, different cultures.
Through this project, I made friends from all over Europe, friends that I miss from the first day I came back home. To conclude, “OpportuNEETys” was such a mesmerizing experience. This project helped me to become a better person.
In the end, it motivated me to travel more and explore Europe in depth.

~ Ermioni ~
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I had heard various rumours about Erasmus+ Youth Exchange Projects. Few friends had applied and came back, with a lot of stories to tell. What I enjoy in life is travelling to unknown destinations, learning the local way of life, meeting new and different people. From what I had heard, this project seemed like a perfect match!
My story started in Cluj-Napoca on the 24th of October. I had the luck to meet our national group beforehand, so there we were, new people, walking around this beautiful city. The exploration day of 25th passed pleasantly and it was time to gather to the meeting point. What a gathering!
There was a barely empty, cold parking area next to a river, which had been transformed by the groups of the project into something special.
We had short talks with as many people as possible. I realized that even if we were total strangers, we had already silently agreed to bond together and serve our common goal. The vibes were amazing and they continued to be amazing until we took a nap, during the night travel. The days of the project were fast because enjoyment is tricky. The schedule was well organized, the food was plenty and the guesthouse was spacious, well structured and supportive for our goals. There were a lot of places to sit with a group, chat, work and also to have fun.
During the project, the Romanian team showed great hospitality, warmth and assistance not only for making us feel comfortable but also to guide us through responsibilities. The organizer, Dumitru, always carried a big smile, good mood and enough tolerance for our moments of negligence. In these circumstances, we came closer to people from 8 different countries! Big participation for a project, as we were told, which felt like an asset. We were coming closer and closer during the days and I had the chance to pick the brains of almost everyone in different matters.
The activities were arising interesting conversations, challenges of cooperation, cultivation of tolerance, various opinions and competences were shared, and personally, I became more aware of how it would look like to live in a multicultural society.
One thing, though, became clear; sometimes we use nationality/background/social ranking as a mask that we choose to put on strangers. This mask can look ridiculous, or aggressive, or stupid, or lazy, or devious, or anything. Probably, we do it to alleviate our fear for the unknown, giving our own characteristics to certain groups of people and thus feeling closer to logic. But it is not a rational thing and totally not true. Sometimes it happens unconsciously.
Through this project, up in the mountainous guesthouse, with nature being the only thing surrounding us for 10 days, we were isolated together and something rare happened; masks got off! In this light, we interacted purely with each other in circumstances representing normal life (not tourism).
We developed and educated ourselves genuinely, and according to the European virtues. And its also the combination of kindness and openness which people in this project were carrying, that led to an unforgettable experience, with love, affection and no masks.

~ Dionysis ~
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24/10/19: “The night when all started”
The Greeks are at the meeting point! I really wanted to have a drink and smoke, but “no” I said to myself “you should discover these people around you! You know you are going to miss them in 10 days!” It was true! I missed all of them! I experienced the process that creates this bonding!
4/11/19: “The night all ended”
We are at the airport at 5:00 am. Everybody! I focused not to say goodbye forever to people who are going to miss the most because I will cry! So I said to some of them “don’t cry we are so lucky we have these memories.”
In reality, I was saying that to myself. I can’t believe that we are not going to be all together again. In those 10 days, we were a circle! A circle of life and self-improvement! And now it’s gone! So unfair! Ordinary life should be like this! To appreciate every second because we don’t have time to waste! To live the Erasmus+ life that we had in Romania. I m so glad and grateful I met all of these people, but mostly I am happy that I met myself through different eyes!
Thank you Greek Youth Mobility!

~ Paulina ~

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Eurosports, Spain 2019

From the 2nd to the 10th of November, our volunteers alongside with youths from Spain, Poland, Turkey and North Macedonia took part in an International Youth Exchange program in Spain. The main focus of the project was to promote the importance of healthy lifestyle through physical activities and the promotion of cultural diversity on the European continent.
In the following lines, you can explore the experiences that our volunteers gained through their participation.

It’s not the first time that I’m living the erasmus experience. But this erasmus youth exchange was one of the most intense and happy moments so far. I can’t really describe in one small text all of the feelings and experiences, and how much I changed and grew during these days. The most unique thing for me was how much I connected with the Greek team, it really felt like we were a small family. These days I laughed so hard that it was impossible. I think I laughed more than in this whole year so far. I got in touch with different cultures, I learned so many things in just 10 days. All I can think of is when I’m going to participate in another project. Because I felt free these days. I feel like I can be totally myself, I’m building myself, because no one knows me here, I can be whoever I want to be, I don’t have to meet anyone’s expectations but mine. This is so unique, I totally think it’s worth it.

~ Eleni ~
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I think these words can’t describe the strong emotions I experienced those days. These days were by far the best days of my entire life. They combined everything ; friends, knowledge, fun, laughs , love. It was a life changing experience I’ve never lived before. I can’t stop talking to my friends about this project and I talk so much that sometimes I feel they want me to stop. I will start by mentioning the Greek team, our small part of Greek Υouth Μobility. We were so close and I think this contributed a lot to my great experience. First, Nikos our group leader was extremely helpful and friendly even though sometimes you could see he wanted to kill us with our silly questions. We developed a great relationship and created strong bonds from the very beginning. The other members, Stella, Eleni, and Konstantinos were so perfect, open-minded people that I felt they were my family. During the whole project Ι knew Ι could count on Nikos and the other members. We had so many inside jokes and were so close to each other that I felt extremely familiar. So we could more easily meet foreigners and discuss with them, making them feel comfortable. Having so strong bonds with your team enables you to be more sociable and we achieved a very good communication with the others. About the project, it was so well organised that we always had time for activities and at the same time we had time for ourselves to eat and prepare for the activities. I will never forget Coma Ruga because it was a perfect location for this program to take place. The beach, the sun, the waves… already miss this! People from other countries were so kind and so ready to learn about your culture and spread theirs in a unique way. During the program I felt like all the people there were my family. It’s amazing how all those people were full of joy and happiness, always polite and always smiling. I still can’t understand how it is possible to laugh so much in 8 days. I know I will keep in touch with everyone because I created friendships that will last a lifetime, I gained knowledge in the most perfect and practical way, I collected memories that will follow me till the rest of my life. Thank you Erasmus+ and Greek Υouth Μobility for believing in our team and for everything you do for young people to live this experience.
Everyone should live this amazing experience. I’m so overloaded with happiness!

~ Nena ~
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It was my first time i participated in such a programme and i could say it was my best experience in my life until now. I can’t describe this experience with words.. It was the first time i spent so much time with people from different countries,with other cultures and mentalities. I shared with them all my feelings and i became a part of their inner world too. I laughed and cried with them. I also discussed with them about their way of life and i really gained deep knowledge. About the Greek team i felt like i knew them two years before.About the activities, I have to say that really impressed me. They were organized in an appropriate way in order to leave the safety of our groups and to be mixed with people from different origins. In this way, we interacted so intensively and created so strong relationships. Every morning i was looking forward to participate in the activities. Most of them took place on the beach, so the landscape, in combination with the games, the happy faces and the playfulness made me feel like a child. I felt really free. This exchange got me out of my routine and “taught” me to go out from the daily comfort zone, by sharing everything, from common rooms and bathrooms to common feelings and thoughts. I’m so grateful I took part in this exchange project and I wish all the people to live this experience at least once in their lives. I would also like to thank all the members for sharing this experience with me and undoubtedly the Greek Youth Mobility organization, which gave me the “ticket” to such a worthwhile life experience!!!

~ Stella ~
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On the 2nd of November, I took the plane to Spain to participate in a -8 days-Erasmus plus project at Coma-Ruga, a city outside Barcelona. This project involved sports, activities and a healthy lifestyle to promote cultural diversity, acceptance, and inclusion. During these days the way that the topic was covered met my expectations and I can say with certainty I learnt so many things I didn’t know, I bonded with people in such short period of time and I was so impressed by the fact that despite the various origins of the people, the activities that we used to play as kids do not differ. All these activities above are typical but there are so many others that take place in this kind of programmes, such as getting drunk, playing games, discussing until late at night and flirting. I do believe that in our lives we come to point when we look back and think about the times we felt alive and from the countless moments of our existence only a few moments pop up on our minds. So sad! This project was one of these moments of my life and I am so glad that I was part of it. I think it is in our hands to enrich our lives with similar moments by chasing opportunities like this. I know that I will not to remember how I interacted with all those people what things I said or what I did but I am so sure that I will never forget how I felt. I am so grateful to GYM -Greek Youth Mobility- for giving me the chance to participate and I am looking forward to new adventures.

~ Konstantinos ~
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Click here to watch the official video of the project!

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