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«Love, Not Hate»- Youth Exchange- Poland- The Experience

The Cyprus Youth Clubs Organisation- KOKEN through its European partnerships gave the opportunity to 5 young people to participate at the Youth Exchange «Love, Not Hate» that took place at Lowicz in Poland on the 20th – 26th  of August.

A Youth Exchange about hate speech and human rights education for young people involved 35 young people from 7 countries (Cyprus, Poland, Spain, Hungary, Italy, France and Czech Republic) orgainised by the organisation EURO FRC under the ERASMUS+ Programme.

Here is how the team that represented our organisation experienced this project.

 

Froso Nikolaou- Group Leader

«Coming back from this project I wish to express my sincere thanks to KOKEN for choosing me as a group leader and the formation of this great team we were. These 6 days were intense, productive and creative. As a group leader,I wish to congratulate the team for the great cooperation we had. They were all full of energy, laughter and maturity towards the project’s theme. There were days that were very intense and moving.Through this project the team obtained valuable experiences, they interact with other cultures and gained knowledge in relation to human rights and hate speech.

Personally, through my role as a group leader, I understood what diversity is and the value of being free and feel free to be different from others. I also contributed to this project by helping in the coordination of my team and of various activities that took place during the project.

I thank KOKEN once more for this opportunity and looking forward for continuing our work with the team on this topic in Cyprus and elsewhere».

 

Georgia Charalambous

«During the course of ‘Love, Not Hate’ I felt not only welcomed, but genuinely loved  and accepted for who I am. All the participants soon felt comfortable with each other and with all the team leaders too, and literally Love WAS in the air!! We were not only learning how to promote ‘Love, Not Hate ‘ in theory but also got to practice it with each other.  Some participants of the project couldn’t speak English, but that wasn’t an issue because everyone found different ways of expressing love to one another! I would just hang around and someone would randomly massage me, or hug me!  Words are far from enough to express the good vibes and love of the team! The project was very well organised and at the end of each day we had learned so much!   The food and accommodation were perfect too!   As you can see I have 0% negative comments! 🙂

I am forever indebted and grateful to KOKEN for sending me to this project and Sylvia and her organisation EURO FRC for organising such a project with impact and full of action exchange!!  I have learned so much and came back a different person! I feel motivated, inspired and hopeful for the future and hope to keep in touch with all the wonderful people I met so that we can change the world and defend human rights together».

 

Kyriakos Tikkas

«One of the nicer experiences in my life. 35 people from 7 different countries at Lowicz in Poland.I truly feel very lucky to have met these young people from other European Countries and I had the chance to interact with them through non- formal activities and to discuss and deal with very important matters in relation to the protection of human rights in a spirit of solidarity, respect, diversity, multicultural dialogue and love of course.

Additionally, we all received very important knowledge that concern the causes and results coming from social discrimination while on the other hand we also exchanged good practices on how we can help others that experience social exclusion, hate speech, bullying and/ or discrimination in general.  We all deserve to live in a better society and to enjoy respect of human rights.

During the project I can say that I have earned 35 new friends with whom I surely do not want to lose contact with. Once someone gave me this advice: «Buy experiences and not materials».

It is indeed in such moments that what you feel during these experiences, you cannot express in words».

 

Maria Georgiou

The project «Love Not Hate» in which I participated it was one of the most amazing project I have ever been to. I learned so many things and I med amazing people ready to fight for the human rights. I felt like a part of a big family and each participant gave me a bit of hope for the future. It was also very well-organized. In this project we made so many things to spread love and they gave us a lot of useful ideas for the future.  In this project I learned that if we work together we can achieve a lot of things!!! #LoveNotHate. Thank you KOKEN and EURO FRC.

 

Hariton Loizou

How blessed I feel that I got this opportunity to experience such unique moments! In the small city of Lowicz we managed to fit (35 young people) our creativity, productivity, imagination and mostly our love and willingness to fight hate speech and discrimination against people in all fields.

I will always recall the day when we were all running together to catch the bus towards Lowicz from Warsaw, but most importantly I will always remember the other 4 special and great people of our team with whom I have shared the sensitivity and perceptiveness we experienced those days. Also, I will keep in my heart and miss the other 30 people with whom we have shared our reflections regarding hate speech in our countries, our personal experiences and views, as well as the moments where we were getting to know one another better. We have learned more about each others cultures, traditions, food; we had fun and exchanged our personal feelings on the topic.

Having said all these, this memory which had the colour of love will always leave to me a sweet taste since this project that exactly what was describing: love, not hate. #LoveNotHate

 

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