Late in August Youthfully Yours SK gave us the opportunity to travel to a charming city in the south of Bulgaria, which is preferably known for its winter attractions and mountains it lies in, and to participate on an 8-day youth exchange project with the main topic called “Political Games”. In Bansko we have met with a few inspirational people of various age categories from Bulgaria, Serbia and Poland. We should have been enriched with the Italian group, but unfortunately because of the bad Covid-19 conditions in their country,
they couldn't come. Thanks to brilliant organizator we have experienced quite a few methods based on informal education. We have started easily with team building activities during which we have got to know each other.
After those so called “Ice Breakers” we have jumped right into the project activities.
We have thought about stereotypes in the media and their effect on us, we have discussed current situations in our countries, human rights, LGBTQ+ problems, minorities and a few more. Discussions, during which we have got deeper into problems, with which a lot of us weren't familiar or didn´t consider as problems, but for other people and countries are quite significant, were often difficult and full of emotions. What is more we have noticed that the way we solve and fight our various problems vary from person to person, from country to country. The project was enriched with relaxed evenings where each group introduced their country and its culture. As a "psychohygiene" we also took a hike to Bulgarian mountains nearly 3000m above sea level where we also had a plenty or workshops on mentioned topics. We also tried to make our own workshops, which we can use in the future in our local communities.
For few of us this was the first Erasmus+ project, therefore we hadn't known what to expect, but the doubts quickly changed into brilliant experience and unforgettable memories, thanks to which we have grown as people. Our time on the project carried on quickly and we have become a great group. Despite the fact that Covid-19 affected the whole project and we had to take quarantine after we came home, for us to leave the people we have met and the city we have experienced was uneasy.
We are thankful for the experience and we are looking forward to new ones.
Tereza, Viliam, Martin, Rado, Michael a Matúš