Youth exchange “Once Upon a Time: Young People for Diversity” was focused on youth between 18 and 25 years old. The youth exchange took place in Cagliari, Italy from 14-20 of January 2019. 36 participants from 6 different countries- Greece, Italy, Sweden, Portugal, Germany and Poland participated. Main aim of the program was to increase the awareness of young people on intercultural learning through the use of traditional fairy tales and stories as well as to increase European values such as mutual understanding, tolerance and active citizenship.
Here is a text from the Greek participation that summarizes the experience of this youth exchange:
“It all started at a day like all the others. We received a phone call: ‘You are selected for the project’. And then we find ourselves flying to Sardegna. The project was about puppet theater and inclusion. Upon arrival we had our first pizza meeting- of course, we were in Italy! Every morning we would start our activities, getting to know and learning from each other. As expected, we couldn’t be missing an intercultural night, where we met each others’ countries as well. On our third day we started getting more into the official subject and a guest taught us all about storytelling- and its difference with ‘telling a story’- while making our own stories in small groups.
The next day was different than the others, as we travelled to the village ‘Mamoiada’, where we visited the Museum of Mediterranean Masks and spent the day witnessing the beginning of the Carnival along with its festivities- a very important day for the village Coming back to Cagliari, we present traditional fairytales from our countries, finding similarities, differences and “new” ideas, but for sure had a lot of fun! Coming to the end we make the final project. We were, once again, divided into mixed teams and started, under the guidance of an expert, making our own inclusion-stories with our own hand-made stars: our puppets! On the last day we presented everything and it was all loved and cheered by everyone!
Before leaving, on our last dinner, we shared our last special moments together. Looking back through the week, feeling like an eternity and an instant at the same time, we started as a group of strangers. And we were a group of friends, sharing smiles, sharing hugs and tears, telling each other that “this is not a ‘goodbye’, it’s a ‘see you again”.”