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Monthly eddition | December 2018

Issue â„– 8

YOUTH VIBES International Center for Development of Education and Training

My Erasmus+ experience

Good practices in the elimination of discrimination

The New Age


Good practices in the elimination of discrimination Author: Gabriela Momchilova


Monthly eddition | December 2018

Issue № 8

There are numerous kinds of discrimination:

it can be based on age, color, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation and many more. Most probably, every single person on this planet every day either becomes a victim of discrimination or witnesses some kind of discrimination without even realizing it. Even I was not realizing it before I participated in few Erasmus+ youth exchanges, which were connected with this topic.

The first project I’m going to talk about is called “Europeans against racism and intolerance” which took place in Poland, Murzasichle in the period 11-18 March, 2018. It gathered 42 youngsters from 6 European countries – Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Turkey. The project was mainly focused on the topic of Migration and Refugee crisis. Apart from the energizers and different non-formal games we had a lot of discussions and even debates where everyone was freely expressing his/her opinion. We built very fast an environment where every single opinion was heard and respected, even though most of the time there were disagreements. I think that one of the good practices in the elimination of discrimination is indeed the freedom of expressing one’s opinion and not being judged by other people. Respect is the key of humanity’s bright future.

The second aspect of the project that I really loved and learned a lot from was the presentations of each country about the refugee crisis. In Bulgaria nowadays we don’t actually have a crisis, at least not as big as the one in Germany, for example. This is why most Bulgarians think that we don’t have refugees. Other Bulgarians think that refugees are not our problem as long as they don’t cause problems or don’t live in our country. If I got a dollar for every single time I heard the expression – “Who cares where they go, as long as they don’t stay here”, I would have been rich by now. Learning more about the refugee situation in other countries actually opened my eyes for the problem. Even though we don’t see it on television, on the news, or in social media, the problem exists, it’s there, we can do so much about it because we are all human beings and it’s our duty to help others. It warmed my heart when I saw that all the participants in the project were people who shared my belief that we MUST do something to solve the problem and help peoplе in need.


The second project I’m going to tell you about is called “IntegART” which took place in Spain, Murcia during the period 15-24 September, 2018. It gathered 30 people from 6 different countries – Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Lithuania and Spain, but we also had representatives of Ghana, India, Russia and Ecuador. We had huge cultural diversity. We managed to identify different types of discrimination with a slightly different approach – through art. We had the freedom to express ourselves, our thoughts and believes using music, dances, painting, theatre and so on. We even had a day that was devoted to LGBT community – a topic very unfamiliar to most of the participants. I had the opportunity to enlarge my horizon.


Monthly eddition | December 2018

Issue № 8

The thing that I most like about this project was the meeting with refugees and our art exhibition devoted to discrimination that we shared with them. We met people from Nigeria, Algeria, Papua New Guinea and Tunisia. We even did some energizers with them. Even though we had a language barrier we managed to communicate with these amazingly brave people and we had the honour to hear their stories. They totally fell in love with our art pieces. We all learned that after all we are human beings dealing with the same existential problems, no matter the colour of out skins or the places we come from. Another practice of fighting discrimination that I think is one of the most successful is meeting people who have experienced discrimination and hearing their stories. This experience can totally change a person’s view of the world and actually make him/her do something meaningful. The world can be changed by setting an example.

And don’t forget what Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”


The New Age My experience in an Erasmus+ project


It’s been quite some time since I came home from my second Erasmus+ project, but I am glad that I took my time to think about all the things, because there was a lot to think about. Now, that the things have settled in my head, I looked back to reflect on my experience as a whole. The project was called “The New Age” and took place in a town called Struga in Macedonia. With participants from Slovakia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and Spain, we looked at the topic of conflict management. Every day, we had four sessions starting from 10 till 19 o’ clock with 30-minute breaks in between them. During these sessions, we learned about the main conflicts in each of our countries, such as the LGBT referendum in Romania or the independency of Catalonia from Spain. We then proceeded to exchange our opinions about the conflicts, which gave us different views and opinions on the conflicts. Later, we defined what a conflict is, what the causes of a conflict are and finally, how to solve a conflict, all in an informal form of learning with teams consisting of randomly selected people from different countries, brainstorming, making a poster and then presenting it to the rest of the group. The final result of our work was a small booklet, which should work as a guide in our everyday conflict solving.

But that’s not all, if the sessions were a “formal part” of the project, now I’d like to look at the “informal part”, which was our free time after dinner at 19 o’ clock. During this time, we could actually meet and get to know each other properly, and in my opinion, this is the main part of every youth exchange. This is where I gained the most from the project. While conflict solving was very interesting and helpful, the main value came from the time spent with the people from different countries. From chatting, to deep talks and having fun together, just having to communicate and express yourself in a different language is a great challenge to improve your communication skills, but also learning about different views, opinions and cultures is so fascinating, that I couldn’t go through all the benefits, that it gives you. It develops now often overlooked soft skills, such as empathy, respect, listening to others, putting yourself in their shoes and overall broadens your view in general.


Monthly eddition | December 2018

Last but not least we learned about Erasmus+ projects in general - their different levels, topic selection and how to create them as well as where to look for new projects. This gave us an insight into how people can write and organize projects, for those who might be interested in working with youth. To conclude, I can only recommend the Erasmus+ experience as a whole. Not only do you get to travel, you also learn something new, develop yourself, meet amazing people and most importantly, make yourself some beautiful memories to remember.

Issue â„– 8


My Erasmus+ experience

Author: Donika Boneva


Hello, everyone! My name is Donika Boneva,18, from Stara Zagora. I was a participant in a project, which was in Cosenza, Italy from 09.10.18 until 16.10.18. I had a great time since my meeting with the Bulgarian team at the airport. I knew it would be a wonderful project at the time I saw five positive, happy and enthusiastic young people in front of me. Our leader Mishela was serious, organised and friendly and she justified my expectations about how a leader should act. Everything was okay with the flight. We arrived at Roma, but unfortunately, we didn’t have had enough time to see all of the beauty in Rome. Luckily, we did had time to walk around the city centre, to buy souvenirs, to take photos and to see Fountain de Trevi. Later we took a train, which had a delay. But for our advantage, the train company gave all of its passenger’s free bags with water, juice and sweets, which were very delicious. When we arrived at Cosenza, we were taken by car from the Italian organization. Our accommodation was at the Calabria University ‘s campus. I’ve never been to a real student campus before and I haven’t experienced the students ‘s life until then.


The other participants were from Italy, Portugal and Slovakia. I am going to miss some of them. Our activities were pursued also in one of the University ‘s buildings. The lunch and the dinner were at the students ‘s canteen. The food was delicious and varied, which made me enjoy it. The activities were fun, not that hard and interesting. There was more practical part than theoretical, and I liked this part. There was mostly group tasks and a variety of different interesting games and energisers. We had the opportunity to talk and have a discussion with Italian entrepreneurs and to visit Cosenza ‘s occupational(labour) market, where a couple of specialists gave us attention and knowledge about the situation in Italy and the European Solitary corpse.


We had free time too. One of the days we visited Avantea city by train. It was raining but that didn’t affect on the great views we’ve saw there. We took a lot of photos, we had wonderful gelato (Italian ice cream) and even went to the beach, where some of the guys from the group had swim. It was a great gesture from the Italian organisation that the last day they have rented a modern traveling bus especially for us, so we could have a panoramic view at the most beautiful parts in Cosenza. After that we received out Youth passes and went for a diner. Later we had party for the last time with all of the group and took goodbyes, even though we’ve promised to each other to see again someday!


Non-formal education Author: Mishela Spiroska Non-formal education is a learning movement which contains a lot of values, knowledge and importance for everyone. It helps us to acquire and maintain skills and abilities in a fun way. It provides us an completely new experience which we will never forget. I am glad to say that I am part of the Erasmus+ family. My name is Mishela Spiroska, I am 21. My first Erasmus+ youth exchange was in December, 2015. It was held in Madrid, Spain and for me it was the best project. The organization was excellent. The name of the YE was “Don`t be afraid of anything�. The main theme was conflict management and mediation. The focus and the main objective was increasing our ability to resolve conflicts around us and help us to create a safe and open to non-formal space activities. We learned how to deal with our fears and insecurities, also the acquisition of competence through non-formal education and promote the active participation of young people in society - all this through the international voluntary initiatives.


My second Erasmus+ youth exchange was in March, 2017. It was held in Specchia (a beautiful village near Lecce), Italy. The name of the project was HOME (Hosting Opportunities for Migrants in Europe). The most important thing that I learned is how to feel empathy. We collected stories from the migrants and refugees hosted in the Refugees Center, did the activities together and had a lot of fun. The conclusion was that we all deserve the same rights, acceptance from the environment and love because we are all the same.

My third Erasmus+ youth exchange was in October, 2018. It was held in Arcavacata di Rende (near Cosenza), Calabria – Italy. The name of the project was E-for work. The main theme was about the complex and difficult employment conditions that unite us and we questioned together on the concept of youth employment: work orientation, youth and female entrepreneurship, new concepts such as start up and social enterprise, precarious and underpaid work.


"The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein."

Profile for Youth VibE+s Magazine

ISSUE 8 - December 2018  

ISSUE 8 - December 2018  

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