New Friends and Knowledge

New Friends and Knowledge

Violeta Zlatkova

(Bulgarian Youth Forum)

The training course “Active Youth Participation”, part of the program Erasmus +, took place in Rovereto, Italy, from July 27th through August 4th and it gathered representatives of 10 different European countries – Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania. The course agenda was quite intensive and it included role plays, simulations and team work. We discussed the different levels of participation, the main problems and challenges the countries are facing, we shared experiences and good practices; in the game “Perfectville” we made a simulation of election process and in “Equaland” we checked what it would be like if all rights were equally respected and everybody could express freely their opinion. In “Theater of oppressed” we could share experiences and had to play on stage different stories, either imaginary or from real life. The topic on social inclusion had a special place in the project, we also learned what discrimination is and the game “One step forward” sparked the interest of all participants. We made two school visits as part of the program. The first one was related to the Peace Bell, the story of the creation of this place with regional importance and the activities of the foundation, which coordinates meetings of different leaders with the objective of peacekeeping. The second visit took place in Smartlab, the Youth Center of Roverto, and it brought together the project participants and the representatives of the local administration – the municipality of Rovereto, the Trento region and the Tyrol–South Tyrol–Trentino Euroregion. We exchanged good practices for youth activation and discussed the current projects and the upcoming events.

The program also provided some free time for the participants in the training to enjoy the natural beauty of the Lago di Garda, the waterfront streets of Riva del Garda, the sun-drenched narrow streets of Rovereto, the fortress and the hidden plazas of the town, the Museum of contemporary art, or to go to Trento, where we could immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of Italian architectural masterpieces, good music, strong ” ristretto” and the obligatory “gelato”.

I was extremely impressed by the perfect organization, the intensive program and the variety of activities. During the project I worked with representatives of different countries and organizations, which helped me enhance my knowledge and make new friends. I look forward to attending the next training which will take place in Baitz, Germany.