Between the 9th and 17th of September 2021 “The youth orientations and the European environment” youth exchange took place, a project funded by the Erasmus+ programme. It was organised in Thessaloniki, Greece, by Ihnilates Tou Fotos organisation.

This youth exchange gathered 45 young people belonging to 7 organisations from the participating countries: Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Slovenia, Italy and Spain. Its main objective has been creating an open space for discussion and reflection on major issues that the young EU generation has been called to debate on. The project was structured in 7 days of activities, each of them organised based on each subject of discussion, all of the activities consisting of writing proposals and plans, debating or role-plays and interactive games.

Thus, the main activities of the project consisted of: the 1st day of the project was dedicated to get to know each other and name games, followed by a group activity with the aim of establishing the expectations, objectives and rules of the project by the participants themselves. The 2nd day was dedicated to entrepreneurship, but this topic was approached in a different manner than usual because the purpose of the activity has been creating and promoting a business plan for a product or service that would help the society of the 19th century (hence, all participants came up with original and creative ideas that were debated in the end). The 3rd day of the project continued on the topic of entrepreneurship – this time, the participants were taught how to make a business plan and worked in teams in order to learn new business knowledge and skills. At the end of the day ”Dragon Dreaming” activity took place – this was a game in which all participants were guided in order to understand the role each one of them has in the society (dreamers/doers/evaluators).

The 4th day was focused on the topic of ”employment/unemployment in the EU”, in which case the participants worked in teams in order to create a song or poem capable to reflect the challenges and issued directly linked to this topic. Then, debates and conclusions on the topic took place, all of them in an interactive manner. The day continued with a session on the topic of inequality of chances and ended with the multicultural night dedicated to presenting the traditional background of Romania, Italy and Bulgaria. The 5th day was dedicated to a session on goal setting, an intriguing and complex seminar on wildfires delivered by experts in this field, a session on problem-solving as well as the second multicultural night, this time dedicated to Turkey, Slovenia, Spain and Greece. The last two days of the project focused on economy-related topics. Participants discussed about various notions, such as circular economy or alternative economy, both of them having an important impact at EU level. Lastly, all the participants visited the city of Thessaloniki and its main tourist attractions.

In conclusion, “The youth orientations and the European environment” project was a project focused on a variety of topics and subjects of major interest for the young people who are citizens of the European Union, filled with dynamic activities that represented both a call to action and a factor that generated more curiosity and new perspectives for every participant involved.

The youth orientations and the European environment

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