Name of the project: “Connect With You(th)’’ Youth Exchange
Date: 16th – 25th April 2023
City/Country: Vilanova de Arousa, Spain.
What was the main topic of the event?
Kertu Purde – Main topics was about important of wellness and expressing ourself through art.
Herta Velner – Connection with yourself and others through self expression and exploration.
Laura-Maria Mats – Connecting with yourself.
Daria Ptitsyna – The main topic of the project was learning to connect with your inner self, exploring the meaning of love and healthy relationship with both you and others. Learning to give yourself time to rest or reflect on your day/emotions.
Daniela Jesin – The main topic of the project was connections. In the project we talked about different problems and relationships what young people have. Also we learned how to deal with emotions, problems, stress. We learned what “love” means for people and how does it make feel different people. We learned how to connect with yourself and other people. Also we learned how to love yourself and how to direct bad emotions, thoughts and feelings away.
What were the biggest learning moments of the event for you?
Kertu Purde – My biggest learning moment was when I overcome my many fears. I was afraid to talk about my feelings and be honest with other people about them. One of my project highlights was, when I did my own workshop and yoga class in the English language, and it was my biggest fear, but after I felt strong and confident, and the feedback was super!
Herta Velner – My biggest learning moment was probably the immersive energy that could be created by pure optimism of one group of people. I think during our days in the project, each person felt safe and secure to be who they really are, which resulted in people opening up in their own time and movement. It gave me inner retrospection that even tho it somewhat still matters what culture and country you come from, it also doesn’t. We are all human after all. What is the most primar is the common ground, for us being our age and our open mentality. From a steady and safe environment so much unknown potential is unlocked in every person! Both physical, mental and spiritual deepness and connection to oneself is achieved when being positively open to one and other.
Laura-Maria Mats – That I have to listen myself more and not worry about future that much.
Daria Ptitsyna – Personally, my biggest learning moment was, when I had to open up to the group about the negative feelings, that I had in the beginning of the project. I am not used to expressing my negative thoughts/worries to other people at all, especially such a big groups, so when I started crying in front of 40 people, at one moment I felt really vulnerable and like everybody could see the real me. You can’t even imagine how valuable I felt when people started to get up, come up to me, hug me, ask if everything was fine and try to calm me down. Something clicked in my mind and my perspective completely changed when I realized, that its completely fine to tell people how you are truly feeling and that conversations are the key to solving all the misunderstandings.
Daniela Jesin – For me was biggest learning that maybe we all came from different countries and with different backgrounds, but it doesn’t matter, because a lot of us had common problems and things that make us feel stressed out. So I realised that all of us are so different from each other, but at the same time so similar.
Do you have any plans to continue being active in the field? If yes, in which way?
Kertu Purde – Yes, I learned many techniques on how to self-check myself and change my old habits and mindset patterns. I also got the confidence to start doing my art project more bravely. Before the project, I was hesitant about many things in my life, but after the project, I finally found the truth about what I plan to follow.
Herta Velner – For these topics i believe it was crutial to integrade the new knowledge into my daily life. Because even tho the knowings were mostly core level values, we learned some very helpful and practical connecting excercises aswell. These i can use in many of the teams i am part of to help eachother build a more genuine and pure connection. The project inspired me to parttake in more events and projects with strangers, to overall be more openminded. Therefor i plan on organizing similar gatherings in my own country one day. My obsession with art and its social impact got integrated so very deeply.
Laura-Maria Mats – I don’t know.
Daria Ptitsyna – Yes. but not socially. I will be definitely meditating and contributing more time to myself.
Daniela Jesin – I don’t know yet, one part of me wants to do projects in Estonia, another one no. I have to finish college and focus on it, but at the same time I would love to do something cool in Estonia, so I think that I need to wait a bit until college is over.
Would you recommend this experience to your friends? If yes, why? If no, why not?
Kertu Purde – 101% I would recommend that experience to everyone! Especially for young people who are always busy and don’t have time and knowledge to develop their mental wellness. We talk too less about the importance of wellness and how important it is to express yourself each day. I and many people who were participating in this project can witness how our usual mindset and stress started to disappear while we took our time to ourselves. We had a chance to take a look at our minds and connect with other people in different ways than social media and be present in each moment.
Herta Velner – It was my first ever Erasmus project and it was an over the top good experience! Surely i want my peers to also experience this kind of connections with poeple from other cultures. I am all about sharing positive ways to improve oneself, so i am sure many of my friends will also parttake in upcoming projects. If they ask why it was so good, i will answer followingly: the most unexpected decisions in life lead you to the things you did not even think you wanted. During the project you will live in a bubble of an imaginary society and the feeling of being an outcast yet tootally understood is one of a kind.
Laura-Maria Mats – Yes, because it was really great way to learn more about yourself and also other cultures.
Daria Ptitsyna – Of course I would. Its kind of a life changing experience for everybody! I would say that its not even necessary to go to another country to participate in a Youth Exchange. The most important thing and the thing which I love the most about the projects is that its informal education. You are learning and at the same time exploring different countries ( you can even learn something new about your own country), meeting new people aka socializing, practicing your English skills and a lot more.
Daniela Jesin – Yes! Traveling and meeting new people is making always my head fresh. First, it’s a challenge and of you can do it, it makes you feel very good because you did something out of your comfort zone and routine. Second good thing is to see people from different countries and get an idea what is going on out of your country. How other people live, what problems they have, what they do for living better life, how they deal with their problems etc. In summary, it’s very eyes opening experience.
Other comments or anything else you would like to share? You can answer in your mother tongue if you want!
Kertu Purde – I would like to say thank you to the Arousa Moza organization for changing so many young people’s life, and making their best each day!
Herta Velner – Suur aitäh Eesti esindusele, kes programmi oma Facebookis jagas ning aitäh Facebooki algorütmidele! Oleks au kunagi korraldada midagi sarnast ka Eestis!
Daniela Jesin – Thank you for the opportunity!