A Seminar Series to Strengthen Civil Participation in Europe
25.-31.03.2012 (Introductory seminar in Weimar – Germany)
17.-21.09.2012 (Reflecting seminar in Brussels – Belgium)
The seminar series included opportunities to:
- have an intensive exchange and to network with people active in civil society,
- learn more about the implementation of ideas and activities in a regional and an international context,
- share experiences in different thematic fields such as youth empowerment, active citizenship and diversity and tolerance
- find future partners,
- develop activities and ideas for strengthening civic participation,
- identify further potential for personal and institutional involvement,
- learn more about EU-funding programmes and visit European organizations.
Pictures from this wonderful experience, you can view here
Paintings Solothurn 2012
Every August since 2006 a unique youth exchange takes place in the beautiful town of Solothurn, Switzerland. Intercultural Paintings Solothurn is an art project gathering together students between 18 and 26 from all over the world. The aim of the project is to let young people express themselves through art and their own language in an intercultural environment.
This year’s participants came from 7 different countries – Georgia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Russia, Spain, Israel, and last but not least Switzerland.
The main activity of the project is painting. All participants paint around 6 hours a day during the project. I found really inspiring doing what I love with 26 other people who I can share ideas and experience with. There was no limit in what we can draw – we just had to include some writing in our own language and use imagination in everything we do. Our paintings were the product of the exchange that we sold at the market in the centre of the city. Something important about the project is that the money we raised, goes to children in need. We also had an exhibition in the local university the last night of the project.
A surprise for the viewers was our 15-minute performance which presented the different languages of the participants. We, the Bulgarian group, chose to recite a part of a famous Bulgarian poem written in the Sorbonne University – ‘Hadzhi Dimitar’ by Hristo Botev. The leaders of the project did not miss to plan some leisure activities for us. We celebrated our success on the market with a Saturday evening concert – a local band played just for us.
On Sunday we had a hiking trip to one of the highest points in the area – we enjoyed a magnificent view! Some of the afternoons we even went swimming in the river Aare that crosses the town. Something I loved about the project was the accommodation. We lived in a cozy cottage in the woods which provided a lot of outdoor activities as well as the feeling we are close to nature. I have to mention the project was really well-organized. We had neat schedules for our everyday tasks in the house and each task was performed by an intercultural team. Only the dinner teams were made up of people of the same nationality who cooked their traditional cuisine. This was one more opportunity to learn about other participants’ culture.
Living with so many different people of my age helped me improve my communication and teamwork skills. I cannot miss mentioning the last night of the project. All of the participants went to a local bar on the river bank and celebrated these amazing 10 days we spent together. This evening was probably the most emotional of the whole project especially for me because I had to leave earlier than everybody else.
I will never forget the group hug everybody gave me when I was leaving! I came home filled up with positive energy to the limit. I am really inspired to paint, communicate and continue following my dreams. During those 10 days, I really felt like I belong somewhere, I was amazed how all the participants are so talented and creative in their own way which makes them the most unique and inspiring people I have ever met.
A lot of pictures, but still not enough to represent the whole experience, you can view here
The European Young Weeks (EYW) is the best expirience in my life till now. In Waldmünchen, Germany I spent two wonderful weeks, met 50 new people from 12 different countries, found enourmously much about their culture and character and found a lot about myself too. Furthermore, I decided where I want to study thanks to this project as well as developed my English and German speaking and writing skills. My days there were filled with many interesting games and tasks. I met people who I am still in touch with. I remember what one of the ‘teamers’ said to me on the third day. She explained that she was a participant too and that EYW changed her. I did not believe that this could happen to me even for a second, but as I was at the trainstation leaving Waldmünchen and saying ‘Goodbye’ I understood how wrong I was!
European Youth Weeks 2013 presentation and pictures