The Erasmus+ youth exchange “Under Ten Flags” brought together participants from ten different countries and backgrounds to explore the themes of peace-building, cultural exchange, and community building. Over the course of several days, the participants engaged in a wide range of activities that aimed to foster creativity, critical thinking, and cross-cultural understanding.
The program began with an introduction and team-building activities that allowed the participants to connect and build relationships with each other. They participated in a scavenger hunt, memory jar activity, and magnet exchange to learn more about each other’s cultures and traditions.
The second day of the program focused on creativity and critical thinking. The participants engaged in a songwriting competition, case study analysis, and discussions related to peace-building. The day ended with a cultural night where participants celebrated the cultural diversity of the participating countries.
The third day of the program delved deeper into the concept of peace and conflict resolution. The participants engaged in small-group discussions, analyzed conflict situations, and learned about different organizations working for peace and social justice. The day ended with another cultural night event showcasing the cultural heritage and customs of different countries.
The fourth day was dedicated to rest and exploration. Participants had a chance to explore the vibrant city of Istanbul and visit some of its iconic landmarks and historical sites.
During the fifth, day participants explored sensitive issues such as terrorism, power dynamics, and language barriers. They engaged in discussions, simulations, and activities that aimed to promote empathy, understanding, and effective communication. In the evening, they participated in a cultural night event that showcased the traditions and cultures of Serbia, the Netherlands, and Cyprus.
On the sixth day, participants focused on human rights, discrimination, healthy relationships, and creative expression. They learned about individuals and groups who fought for human rights throughout history, engaged in interactive activities, and worked together to create artistic representations of their experiences in the program.
Finally, the seventh day was dedicated to project dissemination, documentation, and the farewell party. Participants learned about the importance of social media and accurate documentation in promoting their project and receiving reimbursement. They also prepared short videos that summarized their experiences and learnings from the program.
Throughout the program, the participants had opportunities to reflect on their experiences, share their perspectives and ideas, and build lasting relationships with each other. The activities were engaging, informative, and thought-provoking, and helped to reinforce the importance of community building and cross-cultural understanding. The Erasmus+ youth exchange “Under Ten Flags” was a resounding success, leaving participants feeling enriched, inspired, and connected with each other.
The youth exchange was fully funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and the Nederlands Jeugdinstituut (NJi). The program ensured that everyone could participate equally and fully benefit from the experience by removing financial barriers. The Erasmus+ program’s and NJi’s support is admirable, and it emphasizes the importance of investing in initiatives that promote intercultural understanding, personal growth, and active citizenship among young people.