Erasmus+ youth exchange projects are always life changing events for the participants, who come from different countries, have different cultural backgrounds, lead various lifestyles. Nevertheless, for a whole week these people become a family and share everything from experience and knowledge to room and food. For a week these totally different people embrace the diversity of the new family they live in and return to their usual routine more tolerant, flexible and experienced.
The project Breaking the stereotypes organized and hosted by Copenhagen Youth Network in Stenlose, Denmark became a piece of memorable experience for 5 Armenian participants: Anahit Kitapsizyan, Ani Mkrtchyan, Elen Simonyan, Ruben Nurijanyan and Samvel Abrahamyan. It indeed became a cherished memory for them, as while reminiscing about the project, the participants couldn’t help sharing their emotions, which where regarding the project itself, the atmosphere, the participants, the country and what they ultimately got.
“Breaking the stereotypes”, which took place in Stenlose, Denmark 9-18 July 2018, was aimed at raising the issues link with the prejudices, lack of understanding and stereotypes about refugees and migrants. This very urgent and bothersome meanwhile delicate issue was delivered through various activities during the sessions. One can confidently note that due to amazing job, dedications and efforts of the project facilitators the topic was covered thoroughly and the participants not only got useful knowledge regarding it, but also felt under the skin of refugees and migrants through simulation activates. Jubilation, excitement, anxiety: the participants would go through different emotions during the sessions, which helped them to better understand the essence of the topic and generate new ideas.
But the success of the project was also linked to the unique hospitality and the caring attitude of the organizers. Always ready to support and give a helping hand if needed, this is the best characteristic of the organizers, which ensured a carefree week fort the participants.
The atmosphere during the project can be described by on keyword- Respect. Indeed, this word became the golden rule of the project and stayed the moto of everyone until the end. Mutual respect towards other participants, organizers and facilitators helped everyone to reach an atmosphere of cooperation and support which ultimately created a win-win situation for everyone.
The above mentioned was also the outcome of ice-breaking activities, which facilitated greatly the process of getting to know each other. Moreover, intercultural nights turned almost every evening into a feast and breathtaking journey to a new country.
The lion’s share of the project’s success was also linked to the scrupulously made choice of the participants by all the partner organizations. All these smart, bright and open-minded young people were also willing to share their knowledge and collaborate on generating new ideas.
In the end these complete strangers became real friends, who were convicting each other to visit their country first. Hopefully, due to today’s various means of communication these young people will stay in contact and further develop this bond between them and why not come up with the new ideas of possible collaboration.
Better to see once than hear a hundred times. The proverb is really useful when it comes to describing the impressions got from a country. Nevertheless, one can say that our participants really enjoyed their experience in Denmark and the authentic tours organized by the hosting organization in Copenhagen helped them to discover the capital with all its beauties.
One can be deeply convinced that Denmark will always be one of the favorite destinations for our participants.
What we got?
To this question our participants would separately give almost the same answer, which comes to prove the atmosphere of harmony during the project. And the answers were new friends, unforgettable experience, new connections, bright memories, rich knowledge of the topic and what is the most important the motivation to share the knowledge and experience in their community.
In the conclusion one can note that once more Erasmus+ project proved its effectiveness in helping the young people to improve and create better future for themselves and the communities where they live.
Power to the people
ABCD Innovation Center
Stereotypes were broken