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“Pay It Forward Through a Youth Exchange” – The experience

With the Erasmus+ Contact making event “Pay It Forward Through a Youth Exchange” we gathered 30 youth leaders in order to provide them with space to meet with their peers, establish partnerships, find out more about quality in youth exchanges and develop together youth exchange projects that could be implemented involving youngsters from their communities.

The CME built trust among participants and gave them the opportunity to get to know each other closer so that personal and professional connection serves as a basis for stable partnership in the future youth exchange projects. The participants shared challenges, needs and interests of young people in their communities and were able to explore how these could serve as basis for developing youth exchange ideas.

The project was coordinated by ‘WOW Go’,was co funded by the Erasmus + and took place in Amsterdam from 2-9 December 2018. Following countries were included in the project: The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Poland, Romania and Spain. The project was funded by Erasmus+ program of the European Union.

“Wow go Amsterdam” was the team that hosted this successful contact making seminar for newcomers in Erasmus + to develop a youth exchange project. This.

Youth exchanges allow groups of young people from different countries to meet, live together and work on shared projects for short periods. On a youth exchange, you can expect to participate in activities such as workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, outdoor activities and more. Participants’ learning experiences are recognized through a Youthpass (ec.europa.eu)

Youth exchanges take place outside the school environment. This seminar hosted us in a creative boat some kilometers from the city.

This is just the definition of a Youth exchange in the Erasmus + manual. However, Youth Exchanges offers you much more that a new excursion in a European city.

It makes you recognize the bigger sense of belonging to a bigger community called Europe. It’s an incredible opportunity to meet this kind of people that are optimistic that you can actually understand them meaning of the phrase “to be the change you want to see in this world.” “People that focus on their target on developing local communities to make this world a better place for you to live.”

You cultivate competences that seem idealistic such us the improvement of   social and civic citizenship learning to learn competence, intercultural learning, etc

For me is a deeper understanding of other perspectives and find common ground to work together for same ideas and values. Loud laughter, strong connections, some conflicts, that construct the puzzle of a team’s developmental approach) and build into the participation ladder.

I would like to thank the organizing team for a “WoW” contact making event. Bringing together 28 young people, young workers, and connect them together through no formal methodology to implement ideas.  Introducing new ideas for hosting youth exchanges in this boat!

Ivy MIltiadou,

Eirini Pavlou

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