Our wonderful Monika Tunkulaite shared a great story about how youth exchanges give wings. Thanks Monika for the openness. “From 15 to 26 May this year, I had to take part in the Hi (King) Nation youth exchange in Georgia. The project was initiated by the Center Des Sureaux (France), Youth For the World (Georgia) and the Innovative Generation ( Together with participants from Ukraine, Latvia, Moldova, Armenia and the Czech Republic, we met in the village of Pona, Kachetia region, to share thoughts, ideas, opinions on the current situation in Europe and the world, migration, diversion, discrimination and outdoor activities, sports, active lifestyle. This project stands out from the others in that it is completely “outdoor” – that is, we lived in tents for all 12 days, eating and doing outdoor activities, and the project activities were focused on sports and active lifestyles, so every day we started with morning exercise, organized the olympics with our own games and competitions, and participants from different countries presented the national sport of their country, well, and the “cherry on the cake” was day and night hikes in the local area. It was a great way to gain each other’s trust, develop tolerance, adapt and respect each other, work as a team, care for and support each other, and assess their physical fitness.
Other activities focused on the topics of the project allowed us to develop critical thinking, reflect and draw our own conclusions. Various discussions, simulations, and forum theater allowed us to look at certain things from a different angle, to reflect on and re-arrange values, to get rid of stereotypes, and to broaden our horizons. We learned to work in a team, trust, support each other, so we created a safe and cozy space to be ourselves, to speak openly and express our opinions.
During the cultural evenings, we were able to get to know each other better, the countries we came from and their culture, taste traditional dishes, learn one word or another, or even speak the language of that country, play various games, learn trumpet dances. During the trip to the town of Signagio and a walk around the village of Pona, we learned what Georgian sincerity and hospitality mean, we got acquainted with the cuisine and traditions of this country.
We had the space to unfold and offer and conduct our own activities. We developed creativity in acting improvisations, creative writing, dance classes, gained motivation and self-confidence, and even learned the subtleties of massage.
We ended each day by an evening by the campfire, with a guitar playing, silence and conversation.
It was a truly amazing experience! Thanks to the organizers for unforgettable memories! “