Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Training Course
Venue: Băile Herculane, Romania
Dates: 6 – 12 September 2016
Participants: Martin Pavlata, Markéta Mušálková
Participating countries: Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia
Hosting organisation: Friedenskreis Halle e.V.
As this was my first Erasmus+ project, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was very much looking forward and at the end, I got nicely surprised. The project has taken place in Băile Herculane, a former territory of Austro-Hungarian empire, well known for it’s renowned spa, in a beautiful valley that you can see in the pictures. At the train station, we were greeted by our very friendly and caring project organisers Adina and Gerolf. We were accommodated in a decent, 4 star hotel with delicious food, a swimming pool and pretty much everything you need.
The main aim of this project was to raise knowledge of 26 youth workers in the topics of social exclusion and discrimination (economical, geographical or by the color of your skin), who would then share this with their local communities, so the real effect would be much greater than only 26. There were people from different EU countires of different age, different profession or social status, however everybody was somehow connected to work with young people. Some were teachers, some were volunteers, some were members of student’s organisations and some were trainers. Not only we learnt a lot of theory, we also played many non-formal and interactive games, from which we understood a lot about our thinking. For example, we played a game where everybody had a social status. You could be the ambassador’s daughter, an illegal immigrant from Mali, a Romanian teacher or a prostitute. You were told different statements and should take a step forward when a statement applies to you. In this activity, you could really find out how it feels, when other people have more possibilities and are ahead of you. Another great activity was a game, where you were supposed to choose somebody from a group of people based on a status they had to “travel with them in a train”. It was interesting to observe which factors are crucial ones when choosing someone you want to spend time with. I learnt a lot about myself, how I make decisions, I improved my social skills and leadership skills when leading a group of people. A chapter for itself was the intercultural evening, where all the groups from different countries would tell us about their country, their history, habits, culture etc. Everybody brought some of their national food and drinks, significant items, souvenirs. A very interesting part of the intercultural evening was when every country got an envelope and the citizens of other countries would write down what comes to their mind when they think about that country. I found about a bunch of stereotypes that are being said about my country. However, I was very happy and also a little surprised that the most that has been said about the Czech Republic was very positive. Basically, we are a country with very nice architecture, friendly people and great beer. Apart from those real project days, we also took a day off to go on a trip to a local cave and on a boat trip. It was really fun. Well, enough talking, go try it yourself! Thank you for this great opportunity, EYCB.