Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange
Venue: Cankru, Turkey
Dates: 12-19 August 2018
Participants: Ludmila Klimešová, Ema Kratochvílová, Kristýna Liptáková, Lucie Olivíková, Vojtěch Lipták
Group leader: Jiří Guth Jarkovský
Participating countries: Sweden, Lithuania, Greece, Turkey, Czech Republic
Please read the info pack.
Hosting organisation: Cankiri Youth Group
Once upon a time there was a youth exchange. This one took place in Turkey, in the town of Çankırı, where young people from Lithuania, Turkey, Czechia, Sweden and Greece met to learn about the topic of unemployment. More specifically, the unemployment of highly skilled/qualified/educated people.
As per usual, the programme began slowly with the first day activities being solely about getting to know each other, breaking stereotypes about our countries and establishing the rules for the week to come. Similarly, the second day was dedicated to learning about our sending organizations, the Erasmus+ programme, the Youthpass and its uses. However, in the following days, we jumped right into the topic and started learning about it using various methodologies — team presentations, brainstorming and (perhaps most enjoyably) theatre play. I could not believe it is so much fun to stage a play on such topics as “Prepare a strong CV” or “How to correctly behave at a job interview”. None the less informative was just plainly sharing our experiences with the our career paths, since the age range of the participants was quite broad and (as it turns out) the job market is widely different in the participating countries. For my taste the depth to which we explored the topic was a little bit too shallow, but I could see that a lot of the participants learned a great deal of information and (importantly) had lots of fun doing so.
An unforgettable moment was the day trip to Cappadocia, a national park in the centre of Turkey with incredible rock formations and even more incredible views. Turkey might be mostly known for its coast, but its inland can also be breathtaking.
A youth exchange is not really a youth exchange without the intercultural evenings. At this one, they were clustered into two evenings (of three and two countries), so there was not much room for activities during the evening, but we still had the opportunity to try Swedish, Lithuanian, Turkish and Greek dances. And there was amazing food afterwards!
I often like to say that a youth exchange is as good as are its participants and by that standard, this was a great youth exchange! The Czech group in particular had a perfect dynamic and the participants from the other countries were also a lot of fun to work with. Well, the Lithuanians were a little bit shy (as they were very young) and the Turks could not speak English very well. But it was still fun trying to communicate with them. 😀
Also noteworthy is that the gender balance at this project was something about 25:4 (girls:boys). Interestingly, it did not seem to create any problems or complications, except for a lack of boys when we wanted to dance.
Jiří Guth Jarkovský