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An unforgettable story of Youth Exchange in Rettenegg, Austria

  • This project is written by participants who attended the Youth Exchange.

In the heart of Rettenegg, a small village near Vienna, Austria, where only 700 inhabitants live, an Erasmus+ Project called “Youth 4 Active Society” was held with the participation of 56 young people from all around Europe.

Check project video HERE.

When it comes to youth participation, youth activism is one of the most vital factors that we should consider. With our experiences from the Project, we can explain youth activism as Being involved in society, playing the role of messengers, being part of decision-making in our community, being aware of ways and concepts of participation, and responding to challenges.

Every morning, we started the day with an energizer. Which both made us ready for the day and made our bonds even stronger with each other. Energizers were not only fun games but also a way to teach us how to work as a team and build trust. In a day we had various activities about our topic. For us the realization of how much we can learn with informal education, and seeing how productive we can be in a day was priceless. For example, we had a Project called “Perfect Island” as the name said, it aimed to create a perfect island for a group of young people from all different countries. and for us, it made a realize how each country has its own issues and how each young person is dealing with many problems in their daily life. Every one of us actually represents the main national problems and we discuss the possible solutions altogether. While keep working on our subject we had the chance to see how the youth is involved in society and the external factors to their participation in other countries. And soon we come to the point that we all are facing common challenges. Less or more but the same in bases. Do we witness how we all are really disappointed and worried about the current situations as a youth and the concern of do we actually have a future for ourselves in our countries?

Free times were the perfect connector between us. We had coffee breaks, parties, and organized trips which we all could bond together. We sit at each other’s table, we listen to each other’s stories, we support each other, and thanks to the trust between us we even invite others to our homelands.

During the realization of the Project, all the participants experienced new cultures, traditions, and environments, living and interacting with strangers on a daily basis. The diversity in people is what brought us all together. Only when we united, it can be a national or international basis, we can make a change.

Alba (Spain): Erasmus + has taught me to be more self-confident, speak better in public, and  be more active and tolerant. I am getting to know another part of myself that I love.

Marysia (Poland): I am very glad that I participated in this project because everything was very informative and we all learned a lot, but mostly the participants were amazing and I  could feel positivity and kindness for the whole time.

As part of the project results, participants have created an AMAZING toolkit with methods about Youth and Youth activism. You can find it on this LINK