Youth Exchange Start the Cha(i)nge: When the change has started!

Rain. The weather forecast for the week was rain and storm. That’s what I expected the first day, when I woke up to make the final preparations and start the program. But the sun was rising in a clear sky, dyed orange and light blue, with a calm sea marking the horizon.

And that was our landscape for 7 days, with 20 young people from four different nationalities. It was a week full of activities led by four facilitators representing the partner organizations.

“Start the Cha(i)nge” has been an exchange to reflect on who we are, our environment, and how to change it. The week was divided into a first more personal part, with more introspective activities, where meditation and self-reflection were developed. This space was also used to present oneself and to get to know the rest of the participants, highlighting the strong points among them.

The second part took place in the city of Vilanova, where the participants went out to talk with the local population, asking about their problems, and asking and proposing solutions – always taking into account the time of preparation, the resources and the power of advocacy. The goal was to demonstrate that with very little, and doing small actions, you can start to create a big change. Four small projects came out of this initiative: posters were made to spread basic vocabulary of English, Catalan and Spanish; posters to reduce noise at night, a video that gathers the requests of citizens, and post-its to promote the use of bicycles.

In spite of having had some unforeseen events – one day the fire alarm went off at 3 in the morning! -, the exchange has been marked by good weather, calmness and deep conversations.

During the week, a visit to Barcelona was also made, from which we leave you a video made by Vadim, one of the participants from Romania.

From Fundació Catalunya Voluntària we thank the participation of the organizations System & Generation, Minte Forte and RJOS ‘Apvalus Stalas’, and their involvement in the project!

Ana.