A project that we were recently a partner of was the 10-day Dare to C.A.R.E.-project in Athens, Greece. This Key Action 1 mobility project consisted of 10 participants each from Greece, Romania, Sweden and of course the Netherlands.
In addition, participants from these countries were all internally diverse as well, varying from cultures all over the globe. In this article, you will learn about the projects, its aims and get to know some participants and their experiences.
What did the Dare to C.A.R.E project entail?
The main objectives of this project were for its participants to gain insight into how the youth in Europe can tackle modern day environmental challenges by way of their own lifestyle. Thus, how can an eco-friendly lifestyle positively influence the planet? And what exactly is an eco-friendly lifestyle? With this, the project aimed to increase the knowledge of the participants about sustainability. Examples of topics that were discussed were the circular economy, sustainable products, and the cultural differences on the outlook towards sustainability in their country. These goals were reached with the use of non-formal education, implying a more informal way of learning within which the participants had the leading role. Every day of the project a different country was in charge, they were “the moderator” of the day. The moderator would host discussions and presentations. During these activities the participants made presentations, plays, filmed a short movie or interviewed people on the street.
Maartje: Yes, definitely. At home I am behind my laptop all day reading articles and writing papers, but during the project we were able to use our creativity. Most of the days we had really fruitful discussions and afterwards we decided how we would present our results to the rest of the participants. For example, we made a play, did presentations, debates and made a magazine. For this reason, I really liked the non-formal education as it was very refreshing.
Anneke: The activities I liked were cleaning the royal gardens and creating sustainable art in the park. In addition, an activity that can definitely not be forgotten in this list, is the cultural night within which we shared the Dutch culture with the other participants and enjoyed learning more about Swedish, Romanian and Greek culture as well.
Maartje: For me it is really difficult to describe one specific moment. Interestingly enough my favourite moment is probably the last day of the project. We discussed what we learned during the project and evaluated our expectations. An expectation was that we would grow as close during this project to be a little family, and we certainly did. Therefore, the group hug on the final night was definitely one of my favourite moments as you could feel how close we all grew together. Activity wise I really liked cleaning the park and learning about
Romanian, Greek and Swedish culture.
Kayleigh: I absolutely loved the project, the people I’ve met inspired me. I learned about how to communicate in a team of internationals, to evaluate learning experiences, to do research and find suitable sources.
Maartje: Wow! Where do I start? I absolutely loved the whole experience. I thought I would go to Greece to learn more about sustainability, a subject I was already quite familiar with, but I gained so much more than just knowledge on this topic. I made friends, understand what it is to be connected with my fellow EU-students, other young people, their viewpoints and what they find important. I got many insights about my own feelings and things that are important in my life through having conversations with many different people with different perspectives. The organisers were kind and involved, they did their best to give us the best experience and I really appreciate that. I travelled, saw new places and got insights into Greek, Swedish and Romanian culture and much more!
Quyen: This project was my first time meeting many international friends and sharing about our experience, not only in sustainability but also in life. I improved my knowledge towards sustainability and I also achieved more different sights towards this aspect.
Gaby: I went into this project with no expectations at all and I can tell you that I have been pleasantly surprised. The project, the people, the cultures shared, the environment, every aspect of it was something to never forget. I have never met a group where every single participant/individual was so nice and open. Because of this, I gained more knowledge about sustainability as well as being surrounded by other people.
Jitske: I am really grateful for our Dare to Care Youth Exchange in Greece. I was able to learn about sustainability and the circular economy in a fun and interactive way with people from all over Europe. It was really interesting to hear all the participants’ different perspectives and stories, especially because I did not know much about Romania or Greece. Moreover, I’d say that I grew as a person, by being more open to other cultures, but also by learning to present and take various roles in group projects. .
Rifaisha: My experience in the Youth Exchange in Greece was amazing. I loved learning new things about sustainability with an amazing group of individuals, a couple whom I am proud to call my friends now, even in the Netherlands.
Kayleigh: Inspiring open-minded people collaborating in a beautiful learning experience
Jitske: I loved the project as it enabled me to learn more about sustainability but also enabled me to grow as a person.
Gaby: Good energy, amazing people, a bit chaotic but that made it more fun.
Jorinde: I would really recommend it to everyone who wants to meet new people and learn about various topics.
Rifaisha: I would totally recommend this project or other Erasmus+ projects to people, because you could see that everybody tried their best to make you feel like you were part of a hectic and nice team of friends.
Thank you everyone! This definitely sounds like an amazing experience, as yEUth we are very proud of this project and hope you will cherish these experiences and knowledge for the rest of your life.