Category Archive : youthinaction

I will break free – Estonia

The topic of the youth exchange that we took part in, in Estonia from the 1st to 10th of March was ‘Cyberbullying’. The four participating countries were Austria, Estonia, Italy and Portugal. The main aim of the project was not only to educate ourselves on and spread awareness about cyberbullying, but also to make new friends, collect new experiences and – of course – to get away from our daily lives and learn in a different surrounding while enjoying the time abroad.

At the beginning of the project we got 
to know each others names and played some team building games to work together even better. Then after that, we started to get familiar with the topic through workshops, presentations and games. We learned a lot about cyberbullying and the activities showed us how serious and emotional the topic can be.  Creativity also played a big part during the workshops! We made a lot of posters, postcards, some videos, and we even wrote our own song! 

But workshops and games were not all that we did, of course. On the fourth day we started to prepare ourselves for a visit to a local school where we went the next day. We talked and discussed with the students about cyberbullying, their thoughts on it and how present it is in their lives. What we also did was to share our cultures and most importantly: we got them involved in little activities which we had prepared before!

The next thing that we had planned was a flashmob. We had many ideas on what we could do and how to make people aware of the issue of cyberbullying. And I am more than happy to say that it has been a total success! It really surprised all of us how well it worked out in the end. But see for yourself 🙂  Flashmob in Estonia (click to watch)


Just as said before, the project was also about enjoying ourselves and learning in a different environment! After visiting the school we went to Narva, a city close to the Russian border, where we had some hours to explore the city and spend some free time together. During our breaks at the project venue we had the opportunity to get active and go cross-country skiing, or to enjoy the beautiful landscapes by having a walk. In the evenings we even got to jump into Estonian culture and go to the sauna 🙂
Yours, Chiara

I like to move it, move it! Youth Exchange

This time wEUnite itself organized a project which took place in Vienna from the 15th until the 22nd of February 2018.

The main topic due to the title „I like to move it, move it“, was the impact of sports in personal daily life. A perfect fitting number of 25 participants from five countries (group of five per country) attended in the project. Besides of Austria with some German influence, also Poland, Italy, Lithuania and Estonia were on board.

Already before we met each other in person, a Facebook group was created along with assignments to get to know the other participants and an idea about the project as well as receiving information about the schedule and other essential stuff.




Move it, move.
I am going to start with our daily sport activities which began every mornging at 10:00 am after breakfast. Each day had another topic and they were built on each other. (01) The first day we did sports without movement and by ourselves. Jumping, stretching and sweating, all together but still alone. (02) The following day was about others and we had to choose a partner with whom we performed the given tasks. It was a lot of fun and together the exercises didn’t feel that hard. (03) The third day was about music. Up to now our sports activities were just accompanied by cheering and moaning, but that day our DJ (Antonio) provided good sounds. (04) On this day we were separated into five groups and had to fulfil several competitions – let the games begin. (05) Despite the forecast (snow and freezingly cold) we had a great walk to the city centre, like schoolkids divided into teams of two. Then we got an intense topic, like talking about love or what makes one happy/sad and after five minutes we had to switch partners. Thereby we again got to know other people better and we had great and meaningful conversations. (06) Again divided into groups we did a circle training with 6 stations. I cannot tell you how long three minutes can feel and how exhausting they can be. Just give it a try 😉 (07) The last day of the project was quite intense. Already before breakfast there were rumours about a hard workout. One and a half our later everyone broke down on the floor. Satisfied and filled with pure happiness. We all did a good job.

    

Hey buddy, hey what’s up.
On the very first day we had to choose a buddy who was from now on always by our side to support and help one another. During the program every participant set a personal goal and without my buddy I am not sure if I would have succeeded, but like that I did! I appreciated this concept very much and within days we became closer and closer. Additionally, there were five reflexion groups, each led by a team member, to talk about the daily experiences, problems and requests.

Yes, we can, yes I can!
I do not have enough time, I cannot do this, I am not good enough, et cetera…. There are so many excuses why we are hiding our light under a bushel. Throughout several aspects we learned to identify our excuses which stop us from doing what we want, reaching our goals and how to deal with them or even end them. Analysing your habits and excuses was quite intense and I will keep up doing it regularly and throwing them away. We are better than this. We can do anything we want. Just believe in you and put effort into reaching your dreams. 
Let’s just kill someone and grab a beer!
During our free-time we gathered together and played the well-known mafia game in the children area of the hostel lobby, went to grab some beers in a cozy bar around the corner, had funny as well as deep conversations, awesome live-music in the staircase and so much more. All in all, these intense days together brought a strong bondage in our group and to say goodbye at day 8 ways really hard. I cannot mention everything we did or describe the feeling you are going to have in such a project, or the impact it will have on you. Just one thing: DO IT, you will love it!

Yours, Anna

Desire To Inspire – Leadership training

Some week ago, from 15th until 22nd of September 23 people from Austria, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Macedonia and Malta gathered in Klagenfurt for the training course under the title “Desire To Inspire”. This training course was based on the importance of leadership in everyday life situations and even more on those appearing in youth work. The focus was put on methods and aspects for and about leading groups, but also on how to present oneself and behave in order to be respected.

In order to make this week as great as possible and a secure learning environment the first one and a half days were dedicated to the topic of getting-to-know each other and building a team out of this group of people. Having been blind-folded, for example, was part of a trust- and team building activity and from the trainer’s perspective definitely made those 20 participants an amazingly strong team for the upcoming days.

Each day had a different topic such as group dynamics, live action role play, myself as superhero and overall leadership. Aside from theory we tried to give the stage to participants and let them learn by putting into action their new knowledge and receiving feedback for further improvement. Everyone was so into the topic that even offered free time was used to keep on doing workshops and discussing topics of the sessions.

Together we all got new perspectives and a bigger understanding of leadership and its importance in youthwork. Having had the chance to discuss about and work on this topic intensively I can definitely say I’ve improved my skills and learnt from everyone of the 22 other people there.

Besides working there was also time for cultural exchange, game nights and story telling in the evenings.


And here are some impressions about Desire To Inspire:

Aleksandra, Macedonia

„The DTI was an unforgettable experience for me. Things that I have learned there about leadership, team work, trust and friendship were surprisingly amazing. The organization was perfect, the group was like one big hearted family and I can honestly and truly say that I had the time of my life, time filled with lots of fun,crazy games, laughter and inspiration. We were many deferences connected together in one perfectly big puzzle.“ 

Kristina, Slovakia

„Desire To Inspire was the first training course I participated in but given my previous experience with youth exchanges, I kept my expectations low. The projects I’ve been to before were great but their organisation was rather disappointing. That’s why I was so amazed when I saw all the effort wEUnite made to make sure everything is prepared and on point. We had all we needed (or even more) and we got the opportunity to improve our soft skills & leadership skills. The activities we did were always innovative and enriching so I really enjoyed each one of them. Besides that, I’ve also made many new friends and got to know myself better. Thank you for everything !“

Krzysztof B., Poland

„Desire to Inspire was quite a special training. Each activity and workshop managed to help the participants in learning something new about working with groups, about being a leader as well as what happens when there is no leader. IT was an amazing privilege to take part in it.“

Manuel G., Austria

„The training gave me a lot of opportunities to practice leadership, as well as being a follower and possibilities to support others. I put my focus also on communication with people in terms of helping them to see their potentials and how they can enable it. Furthermore, I took special opportunities from the organizers to facilitate and lead workshops which gave me the confidence to be able to perform on different stages in front of people in future and to create and facilitate activities and workshops for other people to help them to improve themselves. During this training I improved my skills to be in lead by being authentic, pro-active, open-minded, team-oriented and a role-model in order to successfully achieve goals. Thanks a lot to all organizers for realizing this great training! It was a pleasure to be part of it!“

Lucy, Czech Republic

„The training course DTI influenced my personality a lot. We were busy but as I am retrospecting, I am appreciating it at the same time. Now I believe in myself much more but what is more important, I met people who are like me and they are my friends now.“

Triinu, Estonia

„I went to training course with high hopes, and I was pretty surprised at the end of the week – my expectations weren’t just fulfilled, but exceeded. I learned so much in such a short period of time and I experienced so many things and feelings. All this thanks to the team and magical group of people that we had. <3 blockquote="">




A very big, big thank you from the whole team behind this training course! It was great to work together and we hope to see you soon in one place or another 🙂

United We Win – our follow-up :)

Hi, I am Matthias and I will tell you about our follow-up:

This week we completed the final part of the „United We Win“ Synergy Basic youth exchange and training (link). We organized our follow-up activity in Vienna in order to apply and share some of the countless things we learned in Cortemilia. 

The event was based on was a board-game night. We hosted the evening at Catalysts in Vienna (link), the company I (Matthias) and Manuel work at. Manuel, Pato and me were joined by many colleagues from Catalyst and young people from all over Vienna. We also give a big thanks to Catalysts for providing some snacks and drinks!

Personally, I find games to be a powerful tool for learning, teaching and integration. The rules of games determine the interactions between participants. During the game, they supersede our general societal rules of interaction – which are often divergent – and make us all speak a common language. Games are an important part of the Basic Synergy training we were part of in Cortemilia. I am happy with how we replicated our learning. 

 

The first game we played was Magic Maze. True to the spirit of „United We Win“ all players have to cooperate and coordinate as a team to beat the game itself. All while not communicating with each other. The game requires trust in others while demanding responsibility from every team member. I was often reminded of experiences from the youth exchange. 

 

We concluded the evening playing „2 rooms 1 boom“, a social deception game. Again trust, communication and seizing opportunities were the center of the game. We interrupted the game for a bit to tell our guests about Erasmus+ projects and shared some of our experiences. Some people stayed even longer and continued the evening by playing some rounds „Werewolf“.

 

To summarise, we had a great evening, applied and shared some of our experience and learnings with others and spread the word about Erasmus+ and wEUnite.

Yours, Magda, Manuel G., Matthias, Nina, Pato

Elena & Pato

Hi, my name is Elena. I am 23 years old and studying Slavic Languages at the University of Vienna. In my free time I try to do as much as possible like going out, doing some sports, travelling, meeting people etc. To get this balanced I also love to stay at home doing nothing and just being lazy.

What do I like about youth projects?
Youth projects are the best way to get to know people from all over the world. It’s not just meeting them, it’s a chance to get really acquainted. It’s unbelievable how much you can learn from other cultures. Another great opportunity are the different topics of the projects. I loved the way of learning, which is proceeded by creative, active and non-formal methods.

What have I experienced by taking part in YPs?

I get to know a lot of interesting people, learned a lot about volunteering and could experience pure humanity with a lot of fun!

Why am I part of wEUnite? / Who told me about it ?
One of the founders asked me if i would like to participate and spontaneously I agreed. It was a really great opportunity and for sure it was not my last project! 🙂




Hi! My name is Patricio, but everyone calls me Pato and I am 22 years old. Currently I am working as a part time social worker in a refugee center and I’m studying international business in the Economic University of Vienna. I have so many hobbies that I stopped counting them – but mostly I love to play guitar and get into the subject of technology.

What do I like about youth projects?
I love the idea because it connects so many young minds and create unbelievable deep bonds in no time. Within one week you will meet people and get so close to them that you get the intention, not even at home you will find such connections. Additionally, you learn so much from every workshop session and every presentation.

What have I experienced by taking part in YPs?
I experienced not only a completely new country, but also numerous different mindsets. Working with people with so many different mentalities let you change the way you think about your surrounding. When you get to know a person during a YP, you start to put yourself in their head. And meeting not only one, but many people during an entire week in a relaxing environment you are more or less empowered to look at situations from their points of view as well. This is basically enough to teach people how to communicate and act in a peaceful way.

Why am I part of wEUnite? / Who told me about it?

Actually I know wEUnite since the first post on Facebook. I know this because a friend of mine – which I regret not having talked to her about wEUnite much earlier – is one of the founders of wEUnite. She is one of the most motivated and caring people I know. I am part of wEUnite because WE UNITE. Learning in ways that are presented at YPs is completely different than what I have ever known before – and I think this has to be spread. wEUnite can definitely help to do that.