Erasmus Youth Exchanges 2021

Integrating with Disabled Young People in Greece – September 21

Creativity Beyond Borders, run by a young organisation called Kids In Action, took place in Greece at a summer camp called Tsaf Tsouf, Costa Ofrynio, Kavala which is 98km away from Thessaloniki. The exchange aimed at coexistence and interaction between people with and without disabilities, in which participants took part in organised educational, recreational and cultural programs to explore, exchange ideas and explore diversity. The participating countries included Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Slovakia, Malta and the UK.

The exchange offered the unique opportunity for us to learn about how disability is handled in Greece and how it contrasts our understanding of disability in the UK, allowing out to participate in joint activities and develop skills related to our ability to empathise, develop an awareness of disability issues but also growing our social, communication and artistic skills.

The exchange’s workshops consisted of Dance, Circus, Cinema & Video, Creative Installation, Music and Photography. The workshops were focused on allowing participants to feel as if they can do anything they want, regardless of whether or not they know how to do those things. Taking Covid-19 into account, we were sure to test ourselves often and we had a doctor on site that aided in ensuring safety measures were maintained during the duration of the exchange.

With Creativity having been “born” in Greece, returning to the roots of the exchange was an extremely enriching experience and we learned that Creativity is essentially a platform for young people to express themselves using artistic means in a variety of topics of primary interest to them. Creativity is an accumulation of bodies, minds and souls that meet and clash together to further grow and develop.

Exploring Youth Employment in Hungary – August 21 

Creativity Hungary took place in a camp called Bodajki Falutábor in a small city called Székesfehérvár. The exchange was run by a youth organisation based in Hungary called Szabad Tér Egyesület (Open Space Association) in which the participating countries included the UK, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Malta, Romania, with guest participants from Sweden and Germany.

The exchange aimed to address the levels of youth unemployment in the EU, in which young people tend to face endearing challenges in the transition from education to the world of work, in which they are often blamed for failing economies. These economies are always changing and are impacted negatively by great structural changes and with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic many people, both young and old, have been laid off from work or struggling with the changes within their education which resulted in the mission to find a job becoming harder than before.

The exchange followed the traditional Creativity formula in which several workshops allow for others to showcase their creativity whilst developing an understanding of what it means to make yourself employable as a young person and the different ways in which we can do so. The workshops consisted of Photography and Film, Cooking, Dance, Drama, and Arts & Crafts and focused on the participants creating a final product that would be presented to the other participants at the end of the exchange.

Overall the project helped build connections between the various organisations and in developing and improving key competencies that would be applicable both in and out of the world of work, and with covid having forced many young people out of employment the exchange has been extremely helpful to the pursuit of even part-time work for the participants.

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