In the framework of the Erasmus+ programme, the youth exchange "Youthmocracy" took place in Lama Dei Peligni from 1 to 8 September 2023. The youth exchange "Youthmocracy" was organised by the 01 21 Aps organisation. The main theme of it was democracy in the European Union and the ways in which young people can enhance their participation in public life and become actively involved in the political scene of their community. This youth exchange involved 36 participants and participants from Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Greece. Some Greek participants report:
During the first week of September, we had the privilege to participate in Youthmocracy. Reflecting on the incredible journey that has now been completed, we feel that we have gained so many unique experiences! The youth exchange took place in the picturesque village of Lama. From the charming cobbled streets to the stunning views and rich history, Lama was a great introduction to explore our neighbouring country.
Maia Camping was the perfect place for this kind of project. Through the tranquility of the mountain landscape, we were able to connect with nature and create our own community, where everyone was equal, everyone had space to express themselves, every voice was heard. During our time there, we also had the opportunity to taste delicious, homemade vegan food. For me, this was an incredible opportunity to discover a lifestyle different from the one we are used to.
Through the activities, small groups were organised to delve deeper into the different types of democracy / other systems of government and introduced them to each other, we organised our own political parties, campaigns and elections. We also had the honour to meet the Mayor of Lama Dei Peligni, Mrs. Tiziana Di Renzo and we talked about women in politics. At the same time, we interviewed local people about their views on freedom of speech and the current political situation in Europe and met volunteers from Montagne Senza Barriere and learned about the joulette (a specially designed wheelchair that allows disabled people to participate in hikes).
In addition, we can't forget the intercultural evenings! While participating, we discovered that we have an abundant number of similarities such as common words in our language (magari-macari, kiraz-kerashi), food (every country in the Balkan region has a different type of halva) and customs (Martenitsa - Martian, Nestinari - Anasthenari). This project challenged us to step out of our safe zone: daily communication in English and participation in group activities definitely helped us to improve my social skills. Finally, we want to thank everyone who participated in this youth exchange, especially the hosts and the facilitators. Never stop exploring and learning!
This project was co-funded by European Union, the Erasmus+ Program