Water games and mixing cultures


One of the most powerful activities we did during the youth exchange was the game we prepared and played with the Italian and Byelorussian kids of the day summer center.

The idea was to mix people from different countries, of different ages and interests. Did it worked? I think yes: we discovered that we still like to play with water despite we are all over 18. The kids went along well with us and started to recognize us in the following days. At the end we managed to involve everybody, which I think was the main purpose of the activity.DSCN1401

I think that this has a lot to do with being European. Many countries with different interests and situations are nowadays trying to cooperate and take decisions that could fit for each of them. We all know that that politics is much more complicated than organizing games, but I think in both cases there is a good way to make it: taking care of those who need more attention and help, like the kids who were in our teams.

DSCN1393I personally loved to be connected with many others during the game and the youth exchange in general;
as I was a part of something bigger I felt I had chances to do great things.


About our youth exchange…

Doing this project I tried to get as much knowledge and exDSCN1709perience, as possible. I met different people from other countries and inquire, how do they living in their countries. Thanks of trainings I’ve got some experience in common working. I’m glad, that there is such project and appreciate for a organizers, because they done everything on a high level.

Sasha, Ukraine



I liked this project so much. I met a lot of people from different countries, open for me their culturies, learned their national dances. Thank you for this opportunity.

Kristina, Ukraine





Participating this project I’ve got a great experience about English for me and also such program helps me to do my EVS better, as much, as I can. I ‘ve found a lot of friends, with whom  I’ll continue our communication. Thanks a lot!

Lena, Ukraine





10 days in Italy were super for me. I was impressed because of communication with a different people. I learned a lot of new about their cultures, life. Thank You for a great opportunity to learn more and more, for practicing English. It was very important for me. Hope we’ll continue our communications and relationships  with friends.

Kateryna, Ukraine .


DSCN1395I was satisfied  with a project. Here I met A lot of great friends. During project I was tried to share my experience with 3 different countries. Also thanks to the different trainings I’ve learned how to cooperate with  a different people in the team. I destroyed some my stereotypes. Everything was organized on a high level, we have to do such project more.

Misha, Ukraine



This youth exchange was my first one and I don´t have much to say about it because it exceeded my expectations. It was a show of cultures, languages, countries, differences… I encourage the other European youngsters to go on this kind of adventure. I really liked it. Thanks!

Joao, Portugal

Youth Exchange “Young People Living in Liquid Frames” at Villa Olanda

DSCN1356This summer, life decided to put Torre Pellice on the map of visited places of 28 youngsters. The village was the center of happenings during the period of 13-22 July, where by means of workshops, activities and other forms
of informal education
we managed to dive into every sub-theme of the main one – “Young people living with liquid frames”. All of us were given the precious opportunity to learn something new, to express ourselves, to speak up, to listen to other experiences and to bring our countries closer to each other.
Unlike every other beginning in life, this one was surprisingly well and we blame it on the friendliest people ever :). We had our shy moments of course, and God knows how much trouble we went through with the names, but we managed to solve it quite quickly with the help of the name games. Even though everyone was tired from their trip, we still wanted to spend time together and get to know one another because time DSCN1202flies. Regarding the serious part our schedule was pretty tight. We were starting our days off with energizers to give us the energy needed to accomplish everything planned. Day by day we were engaging ourselves in different activities, facing different challenges. Some of them were including other people, for example the Olympics which included children from Belorussia and Italy. We were divided in teams and played different water games. Also, one more serious activity was the Storytelling with Ibrahim and Shahin, people who came in Italy looking for freedom and a better life. Besides this, we IMG_20150717_111651played simulation games such as Engineers and Derdians and Building houses. Their main purpose was to bring the people closer together and provoke the communication between them. After each and every one of these activities we had discussions in which we shared our thoughts and feelings about the dynamics of the games. Now, it´s time for the fun part!!!DSCN1351
Our lovely hosts took us on trips like hiking in the mountains which included swimming in a wonderful
, natural pool. Sure, it took a long time to get there and sure, we were dead tired, but it was worth it and we will remember it for a long time. The other trip was to Torino. It was the first time to visit the city for most of us. We had a chance to do some sight-seeing and to visit places according to our taste. Our small group visited the museum of cinema – Mole Antonelliana. It was amazing and it left us speechless! We also DSCN1711visited a café on the square and tasted some delicious Italian cake and coffee. Of course, you don´t leave Italy without some shopping, so we spent some time and money to enrich our wardrobes :).
Apart of the tasty, world famous Italian dishes that we were enjoying every day, one of the evenings we got the chance to try Indian food. It was served in a place which hosts old people and we were invited as their guests. We would also like to mention the not only the Italians have good taste for food, but they also know their beverages! 😀

While we are writing this, we are surrounded with people who are preparing for our intercultural evening which will be also our goodbye party. So, with this article we would also like to thank the organizers for being great hosts, for their patience DSCN1729and understanding and for organizing a successful project. We learned so much and made close friendships.
We hope to see you all again in the future!DSCN1740

Written by Aleksandra and Ivana from Macedonia

“It is hard to change”: building houses at the Youth Exchange

The Exchange wasDSCN1587 brilliantly organized: the proposed activities were according to the subject of the reunion between Portuguese, Italian, Macedonian and Ukrainian people. One of the activities was particularly interesting to do, and even more to reflect on. I am referring to the exercise, in which the group of participants were divided in small communities, each one with a set of specific material resources to build a house big enough to shelter every inhabitant. Obviously, there were richer communities in certain items than others, developing natural inequalities that we can actually find in the real world.

DSCN1594Another very interesting thing was the internal dynamics and the relations between communities. Mine being the poorest (we had sticks more than enough to build a solid structure of the house but not enough cardboard to build the walls and roof), we felt the inequality more intensively. Our first reaction was of inferiority comparing to other communities, and we felt almost immediately the injustice and despair. Our second reaction was to get our hands dirty.

At this second stage, each member of my community took a particular position. Some acted straight away and started building the house with what they had – after all, it’s the Poor Mentality: if you have beans and potatoes, and your neighbour has meat and pasta, it’s not worth looking at his plate and drool, might as well make some soup with what you have.

Others tried to see the big picture and come up with DSCN1573alternative solutions with the wealthier neighbors.
They asked them what was their building plan, to see if it was compatible in any way with ours, they questioned them about the chance of swapping materials, and in every attempt a negative response came. The wealthier community could not understand that we had things they needed (the structure), and they had things that we needed. Fortunately, during the game, we could find some solidarity from other communities that helped us without wanting anything in exchange.

In the end, everyone had incomplete, ugly and broken houses. Only afterwards, we’ve been told that we could have made ONE house, together, uniting forces to overcome each community’s limitation, that we could step out and observe the bigger objective of the exercise. We had failed on finding consensus, unity and flexibility. Naturally, the frustration was installed between all participants, such as an uprising for the lost time and despair about how to start over.

It is DSCN1600expected some resistance to change. It is hard to accept that our efforts have turned out useless, that we need each other to reach what we want. Those who have too much don’t want to share out of fear of the future; those who have too little fear asking for help and be forever in debt of the past. Overall, it’s hard to leave in the present and think that it is possible to live in harmony with different cultures, and that it is possible to overcome barriers that seemed at first sight insurmountable.DSCN1591 It is possible to look beyond what we’ve been taught since we were kids about rules, and stereotypes, and right or wrong. It is hard to change, but it is possible, and more than that, it’s a necessity in the current world.  We are all Made in the World.

Rita Nunes

Youth Exchange Project

Youth exchange project, I guess, is the perfect background for developing yourself as an independent person, who can firmly stand on its own opinion and be able to speak, expressing  feelings, remaining confident, that  you will 20150715_154712be heard.

It was a part of a beg program of EU , which called Europe4All?. Before the beginning of Youth Exchange Program the leaders of groups were gathered in Agape Centro Ecumenico in Prali to create plan and prepare activities for adults.

Activities were created in the way to urge persons with absolutely different temperaments stay together, discussing, finding solutions in controversial positions following the main aim – saving good relationships in groups. The way of sharing were different – debates, role games etc.

All for them had only one goal – to break all prejudice and stereotypes, that we had about different  countries, because here were gather four countries from European continent but not all of them consist in EU. Portugal, Italy, Ukraine and Macedonia  – perfect combination of cultures from the western part of continent till eastern. The common language was English, despite of some problems in understanding, because of speaking level  four languages were heard.

During one day I had a pleasure to observe a diversity of people’s character beauty in some role game, where adults were separated on two groups, each of them got a task to perform generally a little bit different roles according to their community and absolutely opposite to the other second group. They had to be as united unit, defending interests of community in dialogs with their neighbors. One of the group was an engineers, another was independent country, that wanted to have something, that engineers could offer them. As the result, both of team achieved installed tasks and game was finished successfully.

For me, as for participant from non EU country was a great experience to figure out, how do the people from union live, which are their problems and how do they perceive opinions from outside of EU.

Also I’ve got a lot of interesting facts about im IMG_20150715_153552migrants problems after interviewing fellows from Gambia and Bangladesh, they opened for me the world of live of refugees.

I’m sure, that this experience as a participant and also as a leader of my group will help me in my future life to achieve more, than I have.

Vitali Solonýna