28 April 2018

YE- "A step for respect", France

Do you know what happened between 21th-31th of March? Another amazing Youth Exchange in France "A step for respect", where the participants got a better understanding of one of the most frequent social issues nowadays: discrimination.

Florin Matei: "A step for respect" can be described as an everlasting experience for me. 25 people from 5 countries spent together 10 days full of interesting activities that covered the main problems of the current society in terms of discrimination, followed by different ways of solving them. „Forum Theather” made us see the world through the eyes of an offended person, but also of an offensive one, the migrants game showed us a realistic vision on how the immigrants are facing the bureaucracy and the interview helped us hear the French people's opinion about different types of discrimination. Moreover, the meeting with an asylum seeker and with Roma people made us see from several perspectives the situation nowadays. it was about useful information, long-lasting memories and friendships, a healthy way of living, and last but not least, a strong, happy and crazy Romanian team. To conclude, I will say that now I am able to use new techniques for fighting against discrimination, better ones, with long-term effects, I've got new international friends and amazing memories.” 

Iulia Bretea: "About "A step for respect"... There are a lot of words that could describe the whole experience, but in definitive the whole 10 days were great; at first I was curious what could we learn about discrimination or what could we do to help refugees or other persons in need, but after the first day in France I found out that there is so much more about the topic and we even got the chance to switch places, imaginarily, with victims of discrimination or with asylum seekers because some of the most interesting among the activities that all of us experienced were the „Forum Theather” activity and the "Migrants Game". Also, by impersonating people that were so different from us all of us realised that we can cause harm so easily, but in the same measure we are able to make up for everything and to improve someone's life. I really enjoyed the interviews day, it was a very creative and unique activity and I had never believe that I was going to be able to edit recordings. All in all, this project was very enjoyable, I stumbled only upon nice people and now we share friendships and even though some of the days we were very emotional because we realised that we were somehow lucky to be in our own skin, the activities were very good and helped us to connect to the topic."

Alexandra Buliga: "Incredible! This is the word to describe the „A step for respect”. Cool people, great location, exciting and instructive activities, and things I've never met before in other ERASMUSplus programs. By far the most interesting activity for me was the meeting with Roma people association where I was able to discuss the situation of Romanian citizens of Roma ethnicity in France. Another interesting activity was "Migrants Game" - extremely realistic and engaging, the game puts you in the skin of a refugee and I have noticed how difficult it is for a few minutes of his life. As for the organizers: open people, eager to help you, always with the smile on their lips. They worked a lot for this project and I saw that. Intercultural evenings were extraordinary: good food, fun and experience exchange. The location was a dream: full moon, the Pyrenees and the campfire, a memory I will not forget. This was my first experience as a group leader. My team is extraordinary, hard working and extremely involved. I'm proud of them! SolAfrica you are extraordinary. Keep going!"

Alexandru Iovan: „A step for respect” gave me the opportunity to experience my first youth exchange at its highest limits. During it I learned things I did and I did not expect before, I met so many interesting people, with interesting ways of life and different ways of thinking. The most important thing I learned during this exchange is how to start the fight against discrimination. It was the main purpose that made me want to take part in this project and I can say that at the end I fulfilled my desires. About the hosts, I can say that they were very welcoming, always with a smile on their faces. The food was good and French cheese did not miss from our plates not a single day. Moreover, as the accomodation was at a pedagogical farm, we could eat more bio food every day. To sum up, it was a great experience and if I could, I would go back in time to live it all over again."

Raluca Dumitrescu: "The project is by far one the most interesting one I've been to. Besides learning more information about discrimination, migrants and the difficulties that they might encounter, we took it to another level and did more practical activities. In one day we had a discussion with a migrant from Nigeria that now lives in southern France and we found out more about her jorney. We had an activity that put us in the shoes of a person from the gay community and we had to improvise, to find a solution in eliminating any kind of discrimination. Through this activity, forum theatre, we had time to self-reflect about ways to improve ourselves and the community we live in. I had the pleasure of meeting great people, learning new games and activities that I will definitely use in the future. A part that I really enjoyed was the intercultural nights that were super interactive with presentations, quizzes, games and obviously traditional food."