Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Training Course
Venue: Rakvere, Estonia
Dates: 1-11 September 2016
Participants: Tereza Mazanová, Thi Que Huong Lam, Lukáš Jirousek
Please watch the video: https://www.facebook.com/Seiklejad.Org/videos/vb.130185263658840/1328110787199609/?type=2&theater
and read the blog: http://comeinestonia.blogspot.com
Participating countries: Estonia, UK, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, Germany, Portugal and Turkey
Participant’s fee: €50
Hosting organisation: Seiklejate Vennaskond
This summer, for the second time you’ve stepped into my life and made it more colorful and fruitful by countless number of experiences, and I’m more than grateful to be a part of this wonderful journey which I’m about to tell you.
With Lukáš Jirousek and Tereza Mazanová, we were the perfect team who were always full of energy and invariably ready to take part in any discussion about refugees. This year’s project brought together 35 participants from 10 different European countries, including the hosting country Estonia. Thanks to a range of creative and fun ice-breakers and energizers, we got to know each other very fast and well during the first couple days of the project. It took place in the beautiful northern city named Rakvere, and lasted for 11 days, from 1 to 11 of September.
During that short period, we were able to take part in a variety of activies, from group discussions to role-play games regarding the issues of refugees. We also had a chance to share our own experiences and listen to others’ while doing the given tasks. Plus, we watched a film about the refugees in the US context from the American perspective, but that story could also be related to many others who are currently fighting to survive in the European land. Moreover, in order to know better about the situation of refugees in the hosting country, we had a special guest giving us a detailed presentation about the issue, making us realize the importance of so many factors that can easily affect a person’s concerns and thoughts.
On one of those days, besides the main activities con relating to the topic, we had a chance to visit the oldest and biggest Estonian national park Lahemaa. Not only did we have a great time there to relax/refresh/revive and release ourselves which I called the 4R rule in nature, but we also enjoyed the breathtaking views in the pure and untouched natural world of the national park. Coming back to the main mission of this project, the last 2 days of the project were devoted to preparing and conducting workshops focusing on refugees’ issues. They took place in two local high schools in Rakvere and our aim was to raise their awareness about the obsticles the refugees are currently facing. Some of the groups succeeded in making really big changes, the others were less successful but in the end we were all satisfied and glad that at least we had a chance to listen to their opinions/points of view not only about this topic but also about other aspects of life.
This year’s accommodation and food provided for the project were extraordinary and completely beyond our expectation. Besides this, it was the trainers who made this project the best experience anyone could ever ask for. Not only did they help to broaden our knowledge about our Erasmus+ program itself but they also gave us many necessary pieces of advice and valuable tips on how to apply and arrange such a project in the future by ourselves.
overall, I could say that, like last year, not only did you give me the priceless opportunity to discuss and talk about things that should be discussed and talked about more in the European political and social platform, but you’ve also given me the friendships that I believe are going to last for the rest of my life despite the fact that the chances that we meet each other again soon are very small. This year’s topic has taught me loads of patience, bunches of generosity, piles of interhuman relationship and heaps of love.
Erasmus+, you’ve given me more than I expected, and left incredibly enormous marks in my heart, from the shy waving gestures and subtle hand-shakes when we met on the first day to the warm and tight hugs we shared before the bus pulled out of beautiful Rakvere on the last day. From the creative energizers to the energetic dances. From the really fun, entertaining and relaxing social games to the unforgettable all-night club and pub rides. From the well organized group tasks to the individual but possible missions to complete.
Thank you, the wonderful organizers, for letting Mother Nature surround us, lifting up our energy and spirit every morning when we got up.
Thank you, the all-day-and-all-night support team, for taking care of us and making our journey go smoothly, softly as it should and to be more organised as planned, and fast-solving any technical/physical/psychical/health problems which occurred during the course of the whole project.
It’s been now more than 5 days since I left the small but gorgeous and peaceful northern land called Estonia and came back to the normal routine in the circle called life. But now thanks to this incredible experience I strongly believe that I’m back with a better version of myself than 2 weeks ago, a more optimistic Lam with a different perspective of life.
As a migrant myself, I feel so much luckier and do have many more opportunities than the second group who are “the refugees.” They left home not because they want to, but because they have to.
If we put all of the eggs in one basket and without knowing their insides label them all as dangerous, we will never know the story of their mother hen or how they came into the world, and they will probably be afraid to ever get out of that basket. The same situation can be applied for the refugees.
Even though the project ended leaving us many questions unanswered regarding the refugees’ issues, yet deep in my heart I’m feeling like I already have answers for some of the questions for this current issue which used to stick in my head before I joined the project.
Thank you, Erasmus+ and EYCB for giving us, young pepple, the opportunities to learn from each other. Had it not been for EYCB’s trust in sending us to this project, we would not have had this once-in-a-lifetime ticket to venture and gain so many invaluable experiences to remember for the rest of our life.
Thank you, Estonia, for the wonderful people we have met and for gathering us all together in your land. You all have left us with multiple unforgettable and meaningful memories as well as numerous great bursts of laughs, plenty of sympathetic silence and tears, making us more compassionate toward what we are doing and seeing around us.
We traveled to this beautiful land from various corners of Europe, near and far, but with one main goal in mind and the strong willingness to make a change, even a small one, I do believe we’ve made it.
And above all, thank you, my dear friends, for making this journey the best full stop to my summer diary. I miss you already..
Because in the end they say It’s not important how far you’ve gone but it’s more important how and who you share your journey with.
From Huong/Lam with lots of doggie love, monkey smiles and bear hugs. I hope to see you all soon.
Thi Que Huong Lam