06 January 2023

Inclusive communication: Diversity as a Lever of Performance

    Between 9th and 16th of December 2022 we participated in the youth mobility: “Inclusive Communication: Diversity as a Lever of Performance” in Guimaraes, Portugal.

    For a week, participants from Romania, Italy, Portugal and Spain lived, learned and laughed together.

    We learned about inclusive communication, cities of inclusion, sexist music and advertising, minorities and accessible communities. 

The aim of the project is to promote the social inclusion of vulnerable young people (emphasis on women, ethnic minorities, migrants and young people with disabilities).

This was my first Erasmus+ Youth Exchange and looking at it a week later, I realise it was the best experience I have ever had. I learned so many things in this project, even if I hadn’t believed that non-formal education is so effective. The subjects discussed during the exchange broadened my knowledge and changed my perspective regarding our modern societies, people and life. Travelling alone for the first time was not only challenging but also an opportunity to learn how to be responsible. The best part of this week abroad has to be how diverse people were! I could learn how different nationalities react and live, what their habits are and what their language sounds like. I was amazed by how the intercultural environment changed me and I can proudly state that I consider myself more of a European citizen than one of a specific country. Last but not least, living in Portugal for a couple of days let me discover their culture, architectural style and history. I truly enjoyed strolling through the medieval city’s streets and climbing up all the hills. Portugal for sure has some amazing places! I will miss all the people I encountered these days, especially my national team. Connecting emotionally with strangers is the best feeling in the world!”

- Chiriacopol Ștefan

„It’s not just about another Erasmus+ Youth Exchange. 

For me, it’s about the excitement I had when I found out I was accepted.

It’s about the fear I felt at first. 

It’s about the long ride I had once I left home. 

It’s about the people I met.

It’s about the time I spent waiting for the airplane to take off. 

It’s about the first breath of air I took in Portugal. 

It’s about the country that was waiting for me to be explored. 

It’s about more people I have met. 

It’s about waking up in a room where I could hear four different languages and understand only two of them. 

It’s about beautiful people all gathered in the same place. 

It’s about a big training room where I learned how to be a good person. 

It’s about activities that changed how I look at my society. 

It’s about being amazed by how people around me act and talk every minute of every day. 

It’s about discovering new cultures and stories. 

It’s about running in the rain without an umbrella in order to win a treasure hunt. 

It’s about talks in the living room in the middle of the night. 

It’s about the tears I shed at the end. 

It’s about happiness, a lot of happiness. 

It’s not just about another Erasmus+ Youth Exchange, for me, it’s about the most memorable experience I ever had.”

- Ciopei Diana Florina

„It was my first Erasmus+ project and if you had asked me back in August when I applied for it how much this experience would have meant for me...My answer would have been completely wrong. Fast-forward 3 months after that, I was sitting in an airport with 5 other wonderful teenagers that soon turned out to become some of my closest friends - I wouldn't have thought you can get this close with some people in so little time. There was also our group leader who made this experience even better for us because she showed us the world of Erasmus+ projects and not to mention that she took really good care of us. My stay in Portugal was an incredible learning opportunity from two main points of view. First, I've learned about our society, how to be a better person- how to treat people equitably and moreover how to take care of other special needs and to include them. Besides that, I apprehended how effective non-formal education is. What is more, I had the chance to learn a little of the braille alphabet and sign language. This project was an excellent occasion for me to develop as a human being and enrich my knowledge. So now, I am able to give back to the community something I`ve learned there and slowly to change our world into a better one as change is slow but never impossible. On the other hand,  this week I became more mature considering I had to take care of myself in a foreign country, I learned how to communicate with people without using words and I experienced living with other people in the same house and how to respect the cultural differences between us. I miss waking up in a room where 4 languages were spoken and I could understand just 2 of them. 

The impact of the project would have been the same if the workshops had taken place in a different country or city. But I might confess that I fell in love with Guimarães and Portugal. This city ... this whole city is special... you feel different here, people are always smiling, and everything looks like straight out of a movie. Waking up and seeing a castle through your window makes you grin from ear to ear.

Not long before the project, I saw someone online saying that after you begin participating in Erasmus exchanges you will never be the same, you will never be full again because you leave small parts of yourself in the places you go to. I didn't understand it back then, but now I can say clearly that is true as those people became part of my family, a part of my family that is spread in 4 different countries. I didn't come back home the same person, but I know this is the better version of myself and I just took a step on the stairs that lead to my best self to the better me. And that's all because I had something to learn from everyone and everyone left a mark on me. 

All in all, I would totally recommend such an exchange even if there is some hard work involved since this is an amazing experience that helps you improve as a UE citizen and future adult. For me it was one of the greatest and most beautiful experiences I have ever had.”

- Daria Georgescu

The impact an Erasmus+ project could have on me was something I had never really considered. I would have never thought that some people that I had just met would become so close to my heart and that they would teach me so many things. I would have never thought that I could fall in love so easily with a country I visited for the first time. Until now.

Taking part in the Youth Exchange in Portugal about “Inclusive Communication” was the experience of a lifetime; I will cherish all the memories and connections forever. I met so many people, which I already miss, from so many diverse cultural backgrounds; they are the ones who have made this experience unique and unforgettable. The whole team was united, supportive and overall delighted to be participating in this project. 

Overall, this project allowed me to enhance my knowledge on the topic of communication and also to create valuable connections. This project has changed me in ways I couldn’t even think about.

I would definitely recommend this type of Youth Exchange to anyone as it is a great opportunity to develop as a person and get to know people from other cultures.”

- Lupascu Sophia

„I recently had the opportunity to participate in an Erasmus+ project on "Inclusive Communication," and it was a truly transformative experience. The project brought together a diverse group of individuals from different cultural backgrounds and experiences, and we were able to learn from one another as we explored the topic of inclusive communication.

One of the most powerful aspects of the project was the emphasis on hands-on learning and experiential activities. We were able to put what we were learning into practice through simulations and role-playing, which really helped the concepts stick.

The project team was also incredibly supportive and always available to answer questions and provide guidance. They were passionate about the topic and committed to making sure that every participant got the most out of the project.

Overall, I would highly recommend this Erasmus+ project on "Inclusive Communication" to anyone looking to improve their communication skills and learn more about the importance of inclusivity. It was a truly enriching and rewarding experience.”

- Andrei Ciocoiu

„Between 10-16 december, I participated in the youth mobility KA2 "Inclusive Communication: Diversity as a Lever of Performance", coordinated by Núcleo de Inclusão (Portugal) and implemented with the help of GEYC (Romania), Arci Solidarientà (Italy) and Intercambia (Spain). 

Despite my fear of the unknown, of flying for the first time and visiting a completely new country with a new culture... I can only tell you that I would have regretted enormously if I lost this opportunity! Apart from the knowledge about the many types of communication at our disposal but which we do not use properly, I also accumulated unforgettable experiences with wonderful people, to whom I am grateful for what they taught me. Regardless of our backgrounds, we were all equal and eligible to share life experiences and cultural baggages from 4 different countries! Each of us had something to add about inclusive communication - how it is in our country, in our life, cities of inclusion - because we all aspire to equality, sexist music and advertising, what have become normalized without realizing it, minorities and accessible communities. 

Participation in such projects, regardless of the theme, helps people in multiple ways. How can you learn better than through non-formal education? This is how lives are shaped, communities are helped, friendships are formed and life is lived to the fullest. The city of Guimarães has woven a wonderful story for us that we will never forget, that we will also tell our local communities, its impact passing the thread of time and longing.”

- Daria Mateciuc

Period: March 2022 - May 2023

Funded by: Erasmus+ KA2, Partnerships for Cooperation - Small-Scale Partnerships

Project ID: KA210-YOU-1CA6708F