From 20th to 26th of October,6 young enthusiastic people from Macedonia attended a multicultural youth exchange project in Alsace, France. The village La Vancelle is situated near the biggest Alsatian cities,60 km from Strasbourg and 30 km from Colmar, yet surrounded by beautiful nature and mountains where on one of the peaks there are castle’s ruins.
The project was funded by the Erasmus+ Programme and hosted by the French organization Tambour Battant. The Macedonian sending organization SFERA had chosen the participants from different cities to travel to France and represent Macedonia on the project. Along with 20 other participants from 4 European countries (France, Slovakia, Romania and Italy) they attended the youth exchange with the topic YouThink-Eco Citizenship. The theme of the project was the Eco Citizenship and sustainable development striving for better intercultural comprehension and promoting a higher common interest in sustainable living in the Europe.
All the previously mentioned objectives were successfully completed as the participant learned about the sustainable development, cultural differences, the youth engagement and active citizenship through non-formal education methods and working on English language.
The methodology was based on working groups for reflection, different workshops, interactive debates, role play and other group building activities, regarding the Eco citizenship and sustainable development as the participants presented eco practices in their home countries, had a workshop about waste sorting, learned how to build a composter and compost, had a presentation about Eco transportation and were shown eco cars and their usage in France. We also learned more about the Erasmus + program and the opportunities it offers.
Regarding the study visits, the participants visited Eco center and waste sorting institution working in the area of Alsace and were introduced with the recycling methods and learned more details about recycling in general in France and Europe. Also a very relevant study visit was the one of the European Parliament where they had an introduction of the way of operating and administering of the European Union and its guidelines.
The cultural events such as intercultural nights were the times to enjoy and share our culture, music, food and present our country the best way we could. Everyone shared their traditional food and drinks, spending a very memorable moments dancing on our favorite songs.
The closing ceremony was handing the participants their assigned Youth Pass certificates by the hosting organization, exchanging experiences and impressions and finally saying our goodbyes to our new lifelong international friends.