Article by María Sánchez Melero

Sometimes differences contribute to create a different atmosphere. When we speak about Erasmus+ projects, specifically Youth Exchanges, cultural differences seem to expand. The result of that is an enormous personal development and lot of new and creative ideas. That happened in Odoorn, the Netherlands, where 32 people from Latvia, Spain, Romania and the Netherlands were there together for one week.

The project “Lead The Change” is an international multi-activity project dedicated to train young people to develop their leadership skills and create change in society. Experienced youth workers and leaders support the young people.

After that week together, they learned how to find out their competences and improved their skills, how to empower themselves and dealt with their emotions and stress. Moreover, they discovered new cultures, always with values like solidarity, democracy, respect, etc.

How could they learn that? These kinds of programmes are always based on non-formal education. This is learning whereas you are playing, doing workshops and the most important, having fun. The activities that the participants enjoyed the most in my opinion were: the intercultural night, during which every country showed their traditional dishes and drinks. Spider web, they had to cross a net without speaking and without touching rope. Cross the line, an activity with many different types of questions and Life map, a workshop about the past and the future.

The experience and the values that you receive after taking part in a Youth Exchange cannot be described, if you were not yet the part of it. It is incredible to observe how many of us have improved, developed and were empowered during the week. Not only did they empowered us , but also we could improve our English skills, our adaption capacity to changes, the way in which we relate to the others, etc.

Now the distance between us is bigger, but we are still together because we have built something big: a great team. The change in society is starting; let´s see what is going to happen.

Photo credits: Thijs Kroezen