Empowering for Change – Youth Exchange in Vilanova

From the 23rd to the 30th of August 2016, the Youth Exchange ‘Empowering for Change’ took place in Molí de Mar, in Vilanova y la Geltrú (Barcelona, Spain), with 23 participants coming from Latvia, Greece and Catalonia.

The activity was focused on understanding the value of change, as the action that favors learning and as a key element for social transformation as well.

The group of participants and leaders proposed and carried out diverse activities, such as workshops, presentations, debates, performances, games and group exercises.

ye_e4c-1In addition to exploring the different styles of thinking, acting, learning and personal expression, the group was introduced to some new theories and tools, focused on learning to learn and on improvement of communication skills in a way that is entertaining, participative and supportive; by acting, reflecting, taking on challenges and being a part of the experience of working in a group and living together.

The group rated the activity and the venue very positively, with special mention of the activities that were done in the open air, as well as the most creative ones, such as the Talent Show and the making and editing of short videos, which were made for the purposes of the first International Short Film Festival ‘Empowering for Change’. One of the most popular activities was ‘Change in the city’, ye_e4c-4where the participants made interviews with locals about the changes that have taken place in their city and about their own definition of ‘change’, along with the day when the group enjoyed a visit to Barcelona city.

During the week, one morning was dedicated to the presentations and the debate about the question of the most necessary changes in their communities. It lead to an exchange of ideas and proposals for future initiatives of Youth Exchanges and Training Courses for youth workers, that took place the next morning, in order to respond to the most urgent needs of youth from a European perspective.

Even though the exchange set very ambitious objectives, that cannot be easily achieved in one week, such as learning to identify their own style of action, learning, communication and thinking and ye_e4c-2being able to experiment with different styles, we could say that the exchange achieved most of the foreseen results, such as rediscovering the joy of play and spontaneity as a source of learning, giving value to knowing oneself and learning how to use different communication and thinking styles. At the end of the exchange we trust that the experience has served to give value to the talents and personal competences, improve the level of self knowledge and expression, think in a positive way, critically and creatively and, ultimately, to be a bit more prepared not just to adapt oneself to the changes taking place, but also to change according to your personal wishes and interests.

The activity, coordinated by FCV, was carried out in partnership with the youth non-profit organizations United Societies of Balkans-USB, the European association World at Our Home, thanks to the support of the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission and the City Council of Vilanova i la Geltrú.