Over the week of July 17-24, young people that form part of the Youth.Inc programme took off to Tortona, Italy to partake in Erasmus+ project S.P.A.C.E. to learn more about democracy and its various aspects, participating in activities centred on active citizenship and volunteering.
Through several interactive activities, participants were allowed to learn about the democratic process as well as get educated on and engage with various contemporary issues such as the environment. Indeed, as the matters concerning our natural environment become all the more pressing, young people talked about alternative energy and other personal choices (such as veganism) which may help the planet.
As it is they who will take over the care for their nations and states, the idea of being an active citizen is all the more important, teaching the young people to be vocal and active about matters which concern them.
By giving them the space and opportunity to take centre stage in discussions, the Erasmus+ project seeks to instil confidence in young people to take charge and educate them on a variety of matters, preparing them for their role as informed citizens.
However, democracy and the environment were not the only themes that participants got the chance to explore and learn about. Through experiencing travel, young people got the opportunity to learn and practice various dimensions of what it takes to reach a destination successfully, taking away several crucial life skills. Learning how to pack, how to behave and what to do in the airport and adjust to various changes and challenges were all a crucial part of the exchange experience. Travelling in a group, young people also had to learn how to live and communicate with one another and work as a team, sometimes compromising and adapting to the needs of others. As a result, this trip proves fruitful for the enhancement of a variety of life skills for the young people, allowing them to gain more experience and confidence for their future travels.
On their trip, young people also got a chance to have fun and explore the city, enjoying various leisure activities and spending time with familiar as well as new participants. Since the participants of the program came from both Italy and Ireland, they got a chance to exchange cultural experiences, enhance their worldview and make new friends. By partaking in the multicultural night where each country had prepared some activities representative of their culture, young people got a chance to have fun while also learning new things.
Overall, the exchange program proved to be highly enjoyable for both the young people and the youth workers, combining the beautiful sights of Tortona and Alessandria with the fun and educational activities of S.P.A.C.E. Young people not only got the most out of the Erasmus+ project but also enjoyed the thrill of travelling to a new place as well as meeting new people from different places