In the framework of the Erasmus+ program and the training course "Passion for Democracy", which took place in the beautiful Biały Dunajec, Poland from 9 to 14 May 2022, the organization "Youth Center of Epirus" chose us, Christina and Vivi to participate together with participants from Turkey, Poland, Romania, Italy, Spain, France and Portugal. The theme of the training was the issue of the low level of active participation in the community among young people.
The aim was through discussions, interactive energizers and quizzes, presentations and speeches to exchange experiences and look together for a solution to this problem. The first days were exploratory and the programme was packed. We familiarized ourselves with the group, discussed about the democracy and the situation of each country, organized the intercultural night where each country presented some information about their country (through projection, tasting, dancing, questions etc.) and took some time for each country to briefly present the organization they represent as well.
We were then given time to visit thermal baths/spas, visit Zakopane city, have dinner in an excellent traditional restaurant with live folk music and finally visit Krakow to tour the city and attend some speeches on the topic by youth workers, experts, trainers and by the representative of the local city council. We were also given a presentation to learn about Erasmus+ and its activities, the youthpass and the opportunities offered by such youth exchange, seminars and volunteering initiatives. Based on this we were divided into groups and each group organised a plan for an Erasmus+ project on the topics we were interested in and which could be proposed and implemented.
The trainers guided and helped us through non-formal education practices, to get to know each other and interact, with the ultimate goal of understanding the importance of voting and striving to be active citizens. We even created some vlogs in which we came up with slogans to promote the importance of youth participation in elections. The participants, apart from new acquaintances and new friends, at the same time we gained the necessary skills and what we need to take into account in order to be more active in activities related to civic participation.
It was a unique experience and we will keep these memories and what we have learned from this training course as resources for our future course as independent, free, active, open-minded citizens who have the power to be heard and take initiatives for a better tomorrow.
This project was co-funded by European Union, the Erasmus+ Program