Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange
Venue: Markutiškių village, Trakai, Lithuania
Dates: 12 – 18 December 2016
Participants: Nikola Husličková, Jana Šťastná, Lucie Spěváková, Romana Kremláčková, Tereza Márová, Lucie Galačová
Group leader: Karel Janásek
Hosting organisation: EurooHugs
Participating organisations: Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Italy
Sveiki! It was that time before Christmas when 45 young people from six countries got together in Markutiškių village, Lithuania. The name of project was „Your voice matters“ and it was held between 12 of December – 18 of December in beautiful La villa royale. Together with 6 other participants we had the chance to represent Czech Republic and meet people from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Bulgaria and Italy.
In the first place I would like to THANK our organizators Donatas and Vili, who prepared perfect project and managed everything for 100%. Also our facilitator Atanas was really creative in preparing activities focusing on the topic. The first day was mainly about introducing ourselves and getting to know each other. We had also sessions about world without democracy, citizenship, human rights and all these activities were managed in group works or some other entertaining forms of learning. The next days we were working in national teams on our countries‘elections and presenting the models to other groups. Also we had elections in practice when we elected our president among us. We experienced it is not always easy to agree on certain thing in such a big group of people where everyone has different interests. The other day we had the trip to Vilnius, where we were supposed to make interview with locals and ask them whether they are happy or unhappy in EU and how it changed their life. It was interesting task and it definitely made our visit more enjoyable. Besides that we had also meeting with the representatives of the organization Žinau, ką renku at the ISM University. We were discussing very remarkable project of pre-election debates that are organized by 16 years old people. I bet it was interesting topic for all of us there. Back in Trakai we were discussing the influence of the European Parliament on the countries of participants and as always it was accomplished in fun way of world café, group work, followed by discussion and presentations and posting on our blog. The other day we had guest in our villa. It was meeting with European parliament member: Petras Auštrevičius. His visit was extremely interesting and motivating. We also discussed many current topics from refugees’crises to future of EU. Last day we had a brainstorming in teams and created brochures on the topic: active citizens in Europe. Every evening we had intercultural night organized by some of participating countries, where we were learning some info, language, traditions of the country. We were also tasting some food and drinks from these countries and learning to dance some traditional dances.
As a whole project I would say it was very successful. All the activities were very interesting, motivating and fun indeed. Also the place of venue was very nice as well as food prepared for us. We had the evaluation of the project in last day and according to participants feedback I can say they all were very satisfied in all aspects of project. We also received our Youth passes. For me personally it was the best project I participated at. If there was a chance to go for other Donatas’ project I would not hesitate at all to take it.
Youth Exchange “Your voice matters” was implemented from 12 till 18 December 2016 in Trakai reg., Lithuania. During the project, we had 45 participants from Lithuania, Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Latvia and Italy. Participants meet in order to raise their awareness of citizenship and law, to realize the need for active participation in the political life of their countries and Europe as a whole.
Youngsters identified the strengths and weaknesses of the policy in their countries, create on this basis a model of the ideal state where they would like to live, prepared and organized voluntary action in order to inform people about the importance of elections and convey to society the idea that every vote is important for the good of society.
Participants learned, discussed and analysed different topics related to raising the awareness of young people in political matters, finding ways to increase desire of citizens to participate actively in the political life of their country. The most important of them:
- Benefits of citizenship in different countries and human rights;
- Parliament as a legislative body, its main functions and role in the modern model of state governance;
- Themed evenings for knowing legislative authorities in different European countries, various forms and types of governance;
- Ideal state/Country of dreams;
- Voting is the way to participate in the political life of the country and Europe;
- Youth Parliament and local politicians about important topics and trends
- Youth activism in elections;- How to promote ideas for engaging young people and citizens in general in political activity;
- Active EU citizens, a strong Europe and confidence in the future.
In order to achieve the above-mentioned results we used non-formal education, such as presentations, games, brainstorming is, role-playing games and other activities that will get everyone involved in the project.
During the Youth Exchange, participants created an online platform where they shared all the information and we are going to distribute around Europe, so we could inform more people about elections in local authorities and European Parliament. https://yourvoicematters1.wordpress.com/
In order to inform the youth about the current situation in Europe, we invited an actual Member of the European Parliament Petras Auštrevičius, who made familiar the participants about how EP works, what are the current obstacles Europe faces, what are the opportunities for the youths in the future and of course, support with real facts why we should be active voters.
Donatas Verseckas, organiser