20 youngsters between ages 18 and 30 from Germany, France and Serbia took part in a ’’Get up – Crossing borders’’ trilateral youth exchange in a city called Klosterbuch. We spend one week in a community farm where we were able to learn, exchange and listen to other people’s experiences from previous wars, and to find out how it looks like working on the field with refugees and migrants coming to Europe through the so-called Balkan route.
Workshops on cultural differences, discussions about migration and workshops concerning identity and our own beliefs helped us in connecting our inner world and realizations with the things happening nowadays in Europe, but also in other parts of the world.
The idea was that participants get involve in local initiatives and projects concerning refugees and migrants once they come back to their home countries. Beside these workshops, we had a chance to hear about the history of a nearby city called Döbeln and the topic of WWII, forced labor and hardships people had to face at that time. The tour was given by local activists that are part of an social center from the city – Treibhaus e.V.
”People should know more about Serbia and it’s history!”
”Migration should be looked as something positive, always.”
quotes from workshop on Cultural differences
,,To me, they are all refugees – whether they escape war or poverty.’’ (on What is a refugee/What is a migrant?)
’’Bombing countries for ’’peace’’ is not what peace is about.’’
’’We should think about weapon lobby as well.’’
from Discussions on migration
’’You have to go inside yourself, so you can help others’’
’’Help yourself – help humanity!’’
insights from an Identity workshop
Here is what one of the participants, Tanneguy from France, had to say about this experience:
This youth exchange helped me to understand more the migrations in the world. In each nation, there was a lot of migrations. It’s not just about migrations from the Middle East or North Africa to Europe which are happening currently. Each country, each culture, is made from migration. Since the dawn of time, migrations are buiding the world. Understand how, and why did they happend is important to understand the world in which we are living. In this exchange there was also a lot of self-reflection, which was really important. What is my place in these migrations ? On what level should I deal with migration ? If I want to work directly with refugees, with people, I need to be in agreement with myself. I need to know myself to be ready to see or heard hard stories. And this is that I’m gonna share with my peers. All that things that I learnt, but also, and not the least, all that fun that I had with people, all the differents points of view and debates which allowed everyone to grow up in their reflection, and these really nice people that I hope I’m gonna see very soon!
Next youth exchange will take place in Serbia during spring 2018. Stay tuned for more information!
This project is implemented thanks to the cooperation of 3 organizations: Treibhaus e.V. – Startseite, Les Petites Graines and Volunteers’ Center of Vojvodina
with a financial support of L’Office franco-allemand pour la Jeunesse (OFAJ)