Name of the project: Open heart, open mind, Open Europe

Date: 10th to 17th November 2018

Country/City: Poland, Rajcza




What was the main topic of the event?

Mari Piirisalu – Interculturality

Sonja Maria Roosson – Tolerance and multiculturalism

Jarnis Leenurm – Tolerance

Aleks Volkov – To be more open-minded, creative and polite.

Pavel Zakutailo – Be open minded


What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?

Mari Piirisalu – Dealing with people who I don’t necessarily get along with.

Sonja Maria Roosson – Definitely the street campaign. Our team chose to spread tolerance towards everybody by sharing free hugs and asking people if they would still hug us knowing that we are gay/drug addict/homeless/muslim etc. It started a lot of conversation and made people actually think about why they judge people differently based on their religion/skin color/sexual orientation etc, because at the end of the day, everybody is a human being just like them. The whole team felt very good after this campaign, which lasted for only an hour, but we still managed to share about 200 hugs.

Jarnis Leenurm – That people are very different.

Aleks Volkov – No matter from which countries we are, we always can find something in common with each other and work together pretty well

Pavel Zakutailo – Critical learning and helping homless people.


Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?

Mari Piirisalu – Yes. I would like to participate in more youth exchanges.

Sonja Maria Roosson – Yes, I plan on participating in other exchanges and maybe do some volunteer work also in the future. Following the street campaigns (spreading tolerance and acceptance) we did in Bielsko-Biala, which had amazing results, I want to try something like this in Estonia, too.

Jarnis Leenurm – Yes definitely, i want to be paricipant

Aleks Volkov – I would like to share my new knowledge with other people in my surrounding. To involve them to participate in projects like this one.

Pavel Zakutailo – I want to participate in more projects for learning and after use my knowledge to help people.


Would you recommend it to your friends? I yes, why? If not, why not?

Mari Piirisalu – Yes. I think that youth exchanges help you learn about yourself a lot and overall grow as a person so I would definitely recommend it to everyone.

Sonja Maria Roosson – Yes, because although this kind of an experience might force you to broaden your comfort zone and open yourself up more than usual, it teaches you several life lessons, makes you a more accepting person and connects you with people from all around Europe. I think this kind of a youth exchange is a good change of scenery to your home town/country and gives you a new perspective on diversity and problems surrounding it.

Jarnis Leenurm – Yes, because it is a good way to discover new places and meet awesome people

Aleks Volkov – Of course yes. Every project in my live is gifting to me a lot of energy, feelings and emotions that i don’t always have in my home country.

Pavel Zakutailo – I would recommend because its change the way of you thinking about your life.


More comments or anything else you would like to share? You can add here in your own language, if you want!

Sonja Maria Roosson – It’s only a week (at least for us it was) and you’re going to miss the people and the place right away, so make the most of it while you’re at the exchange! I’m very thankful for our trainers Aga and Basia in Rajcza, who are very kind-hearted and smart women and a good inspiration for me to work harder towards my goals in life.

Aleks Volkov – Проекты делают нашу жизнь полноценной, богатой и очень разнообразной. Много новых людей, много новых интересных открытий и тем. Много опыта, который помогает тебе лучше развиться как самой личности.

Pavel Zakutailo – This project was the best because we really tried to help people.


This Project was financed by European Commission’s Erasmus + Programme