In May 2018, a training activity organized by the local youth organization Youth Initiative Center (YIC) took place in Gyumri, Armenia, to which I attended on behalf of the Fundació Catalunya Voluntaria.
The training was carried out from 10 to 18 May and brought together participants from different European countries and neighbours, such as: Germany, Armenia, Belarus, Spain, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Republic Czech and Russia.
The project was called “Connect the Dots” and contained different objectives, among which was to make contacts between the organizations to promote or create new projects in the future and also the objective of being able to know better some of the organizations that participate in the European Volunteer Service (EVS). To achieve this goal, we visited associations in Gyumri and we also moved to the capital of the country, Yerevan, to meet representatives of entities participating in the EVS. Also, the organizing entity, YIC, showed us its facilities in Gyumri and we visited the new house that they were opening for the youth of the town. Additionally, thanks to all these study visits in the place, we could see the action of the organizing entity and the volunteers that collaborate with it through the EVS and with diverse backgrounds. This generates a very enriching cultural exchange for the young people and for the volunteers themselves.
The program of activities began on the first day with a contact between the participants and then different group activities to promote trust among the members while extending our knowledge about the Erasmus + program, the Service of European Volunteering, Youthpass and other related concepts. The evolution of the activities concluded in the last days in the formulation of proposals for projects and the exchange of information between the associations.
The summary of the experience is that it has been a very good opportunity to expand knowledge of European programs focused on young people, to see the reality of the actions carried out by local entities, as well as to promote a very interesting cultural exchange between all participants and organizers.