Autor: Manuel Geier

Elisa & Ibrahim

Elisa

Hi, my name is Elisa and I am from Deutschlandsberg. I am 21 years old and I study Sustainable Food Management at the FH Joanneum in Graz. In my free time I enjoy organizing and taking part in Erasmus plus projects, doings sports like mountain biking, travelling and spending time with my friends and family. I also love being in the nature, cooking and Spanish and Italian language.

What do I like about youth projects?
My first project was the European Voluntary Service in Santiago de Compostela. It was an amazing year and the start of my “Erasmus life”. Taking part in these kind of projects gives me a lot of new perspectives of life, makes me meet amazing people, allows me to travel all over Europe and encourages me to develop myself. Organizing Youth Projects gives me the opportunity to share all that with young people and to give back what I receive.

What have I experienced by taking part in Youth Projects?
I experienced how diverse Europe is and how many things we have in common. I experienced that stepping out of my comfort zone can lead to great results and is definitely worth it. I experienced that there are a lot of people who follow their dreams and work everyday on their goals they want to reach – and that I can do that as well. I experienced that strangers become friends in a couple of days and spend an amazing time learning together.

Why am I part of wEUnite and who told me about it ?
This summer I applied for a project in which wEUnite was the Austrian partner. So I met Nina for a chat over a cup of coffee. We immediately grew sympathy for each other and were all sure that our collaboration would turn out to be successful. I hope to collaborate with wEUnite in a lot of projects in the future.

Ibrahim

Ahoi ! My name is Ibrahim. I`m 23 and I live and study in the beautiful, chill city of Klagenfurt. I`m a psychology student who likes to read in empty libraries, working out when the gym is not so crowded and to sleep when it’s snowing cats and dogs outside. For the time being, getting my bachelor and other self-improvement activities are the center of my attention.

What do I like about youth Projects?
I love the diversity of people and their Ideas and World-views. People and their stories are very interesting for me as there`s always an idea, a though or a perspective that’s new to me. I also love how relatively fast one can make life-long friendships during projects. I met amazing people and I know that there is still new and interesting people for me to meet.

What have I experienced by taking part in youth projects?
Its very hard to express what I experienced in youth projects. Shortly said, I`ve experienced self-development, meeting great people and learning from them.

Why am I part of wEUnite and who told me about it?
My amazing friend Tini introduced me to a wEUnite project that tackled a very interesting topic, which was youth leadership. The Project`s Title was “Desire to inspire” and it was the first project that I took part on with wEUnite and that proved to be a very good decision.

Manuel’s CHOICE

I did a special training recently and I want to share my experiences with you 🙂

From 4th to 8th September 2017 I did the Choice training at Olde Vechte in Ommen, Netherlands. You can find information about it at the following website: http://oldevechte.com/open-call-trainings/choice/

First of all: to do this training, you have to do the Event Wise training or Basic Synergy program first. I did the Basic Synergy program in Cortemilia, Italy some weeks before. You can read about it in our blog post (http://www.weuniteaustria.eu/2017/07/united-we-win-youth-exchange-synergy.html). If you want to have information about this or anything else, just write to me and I am happy to talk to you. 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/mangei

Now, lets dive into my experiences!

I had my expectations about this training… and I was completely wrong. There is a lot of information on the website about the Choice training, about the objectives and so on and I really wanted to tackle these points, since I love to work on and improve myself, but I never would have guessed where this training would actually lead me and I am really happy about this surprise. Why? Today, speaking of myself too, if we hear or read about things, we always seem to already know everything, but things are never the way we think they will be and because of this wrong believe, we miss a lot of opportunities. We make assumptions and don’t even give things and people a chance to explain themselves, so that we may learn and grow. Some trainings, like this one, are different and they build on this surprise moment or the unknown and I love it. It stops me from thinking that I already know what will happen… because in fact I don’t know what will happen. This is also called life. Every moment in life is different. And every moment, is a moment, we can learn from and grow with.

About this training in general: I won’t share any specific details or activities we did in this training, so you can experience it on your own. In fact, it really doesn’t matter and the journey is different for everyone (see previous paragraph about, why my experiences are unique and not comparable to what you might experience). Nevertheless, the outcome might be somehow similar, when I compare myself to other participants. Just check the website for possible outcomes like „Lasting self-confidence„, „Renewed quality relationships„, and „Connect to live and opportunities„.

So, I was at this training, went through the whole process and I have to say: It was the best thing I did in my life so far. I can not describe this feeling. It’s unbelievable. I feel kind of reborn and full of joy and excitement. To be fair, I have to say, that it was also the biggest mind-fuck I’ve ever had so far in my life and I had many ups and downs during these days, but it was just the right thing! All the objectives which were promised on the website were fulfilled. I found the solution to so many things somewhere I had never guessed to find it, even if it is so obvious. I really loved the closing words by the founder of Olde Vechte, Marko Vlaming, who said: „I would not call it a training, I would say it’s a Wake-up Call of things we already know but forgot„. I just can sign his words without adding anything.

I encourage everyone to go through the same process and to find what you really need in life, to live your life to the fullest, to be happy, to be motivated and also to be wild.

Not only the trainers, Yassar Markos and Veronika Pavlová, and the co-trainers, the program but also the participants on the training were just amazing. I am so thankful for all the things I’ve learned and got from all of you. You made this amazing training possible and helped me to grow! Big thanks to all of you! Furthermore, I want to give a very special thanks from the deepest point of my heart to Krissy, since she was my base at this training and helped me to overcome my biggest resistances, took away so many fears, taught me how to be in the presence and she made every day shining for me! I love you! 🙂

Since I am now back from this trip, many good things happened meanwhile already and I cannot believe that it really happened. It just feels so good. Compared to other trainings, the outcome feels totally different and I know that these outcomes are long-lasting, since fundamental changes happened inside me which were definitely life-changing.

Me flying home from the training, being tired but full of happiness. 🙂

I am really, really glad and happy that I did this training and I guess, when you see me, you can see my new self by just looking into my bright blue eyes. And if there are times, I may forgot this new feeling, please just remind me about this time. 🙂

Yours,
Manuel

United We Win – Youth Exchange & Synergy Basic Program

United We Win – Time to play

wEUnite had the great pleasure to join the Synergy Basic training for the first time. The project called “United We Win – Time to play” gathered 30 participants from 5 different countries: Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy and Austria. From the 17th to the 27th of June, we learned about ourselves, group dynamics and the so called “WE”. Even though the project duration was just 11 days, wEUnite managed to create close friendships with people from around Europe.

See below personal statements by our participants about this project. 🙂

During the first part of the project we learned a lot about ourselves. Not only did we get input to different kind of methods on how to treat yourself well in everyday life, but also getting to know the rest of the participants was part within the first days.

Challenge after challenge our group started to become a unity. Different activities, so called processes, taught us how to work together. Building trust and train our communication skills and our perceptions was part of many activities on slacklines and in solving tricky challenges being blindfolded. Also dancing to the limit and watching our own movements and other movements excited every single participant.

Besides these activities, the project also focused a lot on self-development, on how to become an even better version of yourself and how to overcome the limits you set on for yourself. To do that we used techniques like visualization to face our fears, did performances on stage and did a lot of other tasks to get out of our comfort zone. We also used different kind of meditation methods to focus our mind, get clear visions and to get calm. Many processes were supported by music and motion.

Thank you L’Arca del blues and the Synergy network to let something so unique, beautiful and unbelievable happen! In the end, even with many doubts in between, we all had an amazing learning experience!

Finally, these are personal statements by our participants about the project and their experiences and learnings:

Magda:

Well, I’m honest: this project was quiet a challenge for me. I struggled with the trainers, the project and myself. The hardest part: having to trust in people I’ve never seen before. However this also became my biggest learning: sometimes you just have to let go & don’t think for a moment. I’m still not completely able to do that, but I’m a step further.   Apart from that: this was an amazing Adventure, with ups & downs, with tears & laughters, with foreigners becoming friends ❤

Manuel:

Coming back feels unreal. The world is still the same, but I am not. In terms of self-development, the activities during these 10 days brought a lot to me. I experienced a new level of trust and care, faced many fears and took inside-out approaches to connect to people in a quick and honest way. I have a new perspective on people now in general and my communication, understanding, listening and speaking abilities are renewed and improved. With that, I am able to better connect with (new) people and my beloved ones. I see people now as opportunities. I also learned to be more honest to myself and to others and to see my needs and wants in life. With a clear vision in mind I am going to make my own way. I see fears as friends of mine, I accept them to be with me and still take the next step to go where I wanna be. Big thanks to Fabiano, the co-trainers and all participants for making this project so successful for me and for teaching me things I can not learn in school or university! This project brought more joy to my life! I will share the light of joyfulness with the world!

Matthias:

This training taught me many things about myself and let me see my own priorities in life more clearly. I learned how to deal with the unknown, be it people or situations, and I believe I am more able to recognize opportunities because of it. It was important for me that I didn’t only learn these things intellectually but to have actually gained experiences that helped to internalize these learnings. 

Nina:

United We Win – what a beautiful title for an Erasmus+ project. When I first read it, it didn’t sound any different than my previous projects, but it turned out to be a completely new, unexpected and incredible experience. Having been in Italy for 10 days I had the chance to explore and be part of a Synergy basic training. Every now and then I had my doubts about the program and whether I can take something out for my own learning. Being back home for some days already I can honestly say that this project was one of the best ones I participated in. It changed my perception and empowered my self-confidence. United We Win also taught me that alone you will dream, but together, being united, you can make your dreams become reality. If any of you, my beloved readers of this blog, ever have the opportunity to take part in a Synergy basic training – please, please take the chance and go for it 🙂 I promise, you won’t regret it! 

Pato:

This project was unique in every kind of way. Normally I’d say that friendship and intercultural exchange is the the best part about Erasmus+ Projects. But this time was different. I learned so much about me through others. Sometimes there was no dialogue needed. Sometimes you had to look at things from a completely other point of view in order to deal with it properly. So friendship was still made, but in a completely new and different way. I learned to accept every single participant as he/she is and I would definitely host them in Vienna any time they can come for a visit. They changed me. Thank you synchro for this incredible and undescribable experience.

– Pato, Manuel, Nina, Matthias, Magda

Matthias & Magdalena

Hey. My name is Matthias and I’ve spent most of my 27 years of age studying computer science and mathematics. At the moment I work as a Data Scientist at Catalysts and I will at some later point go back to university to pursue a PhD. I love playing, watching and discussing football, I adore many old French movies and more recently I have started to very much enjoy film photography. I also do and care about many other things.


What do I like about youth projects?
They represent an endless source of opportunity. Opportunities to learn new things you didn’t know you want to learn. Opportunities to meet open people from all over the world. Opportunities to travel to new places that you had never even considered.


What have I experienced by taking part in YPs?

I’ve met many fantastic people from all over the world. All of them kind, open minded and interesting in their very own way. I learned many things about myself. For some of them I am unsure if I would have been able to learn them by myself.

Why am I part of wEUnite and who told me about it?
By pure chance I met Manuel G. one evening. Almost immediately he invited me to a project that was about to start in a few weeks from then. I was in a spontaneous mood and so I agreed without understanding what any of this was about. It turned out great, the lesson here is to always trust strangers.

Hello lovely People! I’m Magdalena, I’m currently 19 years old & live in Vienna! I study social work & besides that I would call myself a political activist. What I enjoy in my free time? Good discussions, food, friends & sports ( Cross fit & Yoga).

What do I like about Youth Projects?
First the most obvious part: getting to know new People, new countries, new languages, new traditions.. and so on. However, apart from that: getting to know myself better, especially in challenging situations.

What have I experienced by taking part in Youth Projects?
Ups & downs, tears & laughters, foreigners becoming friends.

Why am I part of wEUnite and who told me about it?
Establish connections, gain experience, create & be part of a beautiful movement. And I got to know about it from a friend.

#MusicMakesFeelings – our follow-up

After the youth exchange „Music Makes Feelings“ in Rijeka/Croatia (read about this project here) we were supposed to come up with some kind of follow-up, to spread the things we have learned and experienced in the project. 

As the title already suggests, this project was about music connected to feelings. This is why we decided to use social networks to spread music and share which feelings certain songs bring up. What we did was the following: we started a chain to post a favorite song and to share why this specific song is important to you. Some people have connected their songs to their first love, others to a special experience or memory, and some chose a song that makes them happy and cheerful. In any case, music makes all kind of different feelings – and this is what we wanted to show and spread.

We started our chain with the Austrian team and nominated further people to continue the trend. As a sign for our follow-up we used the hashtag #musicmakesfeelings 



As usual with such kind of online activities, not everyone feels motivated to continue this trend and share their songs and feelings, even if they were nominated to do so. But this is something we have learned from it 🙂 

It was a good experience for us to find an idea and try to make it work – we really hope that you listened to some of the shared songs and got positive vibes out of it!

Continue having good feelings with music and spread them amongst your friends 🙂

And here is the official project video in case you are curious what we did there and how we made music and feelings in Croatia MusicMakesFeelings-Video

Yours,
Manuel G., Nina, Tini, Marion, Pato, Manuel E.