“Design your future” was a youth exchange that took place between 7 and 13 December 2019 in Galapagar, Spain. The project was created to cover those deficiencies that young people need for their full cognitive, personal and social development that are not sufficiently covered by the formal education system and can be solved through non-formal education. Participants from eight different countries took part in the exchange: apart from the hosts from Spain, young people from Romania, France, Italy, Cyprus, Turkey, the UK and of course our group from Bulgaria.
Coming from all different parts of Europe, all of the participants needed a little time to get to know each other and get used to communicate and exchange ideas between themselves. This is why the first day of the youth exchange was devoted to workshops and games, which were designed to help us feel more at ease and learn something about all the other young people.
The main objective of the youth exchange was to help the youth to develop their own unique points of view about some basic social problems. Moreover, learning new skills and working as part of a multicultural group were essential parts of “Design your future”. Some of the activities divided the participants into multicultural groups and gave us a task. One of the most interesting ones like this was a game which showed us just how important communication and exchanging information. Without having the benefit to speak to the other members from the group, each of us was given part of a code, which when combined gave us the answer we were all looking for. With only a single person failing to put forward their part of the puzzle, the key couldn’t be found.
Two of the days were planned in a way in which we ourselves had to create and facilitate the working processes. We, the Bulgarians, along with the people from the UK had to come up with a way to create a discussion, based on the advantages and disadvantages of volunteering. We separated the whole group into two and each had to come up with points of argument for their topic and later try to convince the other group. In the end it all was really fun and beneficial for all the participants.
Other major parts of the project were different presentations. A former CEO of Citibank gave us a lecture on the importance of not giving up and continuing to pursuit your goals no matter the obstacles in your way. By giving us some examples from his own professional career, he presented us with his own viewpoint and way of thinking, which was really inspiring. Another part of the project like this one was a presentation on gestures and movements, defined by psychology and what do they all mean.
To sum it up, “Design your future” was both really fun and educating youth exchange. It not only gave me the opportunity to visit Spain and learn about the culture, but also thought me some interesting and valuable skills. Participating in such kind of project was great and I recommend it highly to all young people.
by Ventseslav Todorov
YE “Design your future” in Galapagar, Spain