Active Citizens Together

11th -17th of April 2018

Bánk, Hungary

Youth Exchange

Young people from Cyprus, Lithuania, Romania, Turkey and Hungary participated in the youth exchange Active Citizens Together between the 11th to 17th of April. The project took place in Bank, Hungary by the organization Együtt Ható and the Theater Creators .

The aim of the project was all the participants to show their ideas and feelings through acting in the activities performed. The first day was an introduction day with a lot of name games in order to create a friendly environment. During the 2nd day of the camp, each of the team had to performed a small theatrical play focusing on particulars issues that our society faces. Discrimination and social exclusion are examples presented by some of the teams. Despite the amusement that these plays offered to the team, it is important to emphasize that all plays passed a strong message.

Our staying in Bank included some serious discussions and debates. One of them was discussion about the human rights. Demonstration of human rights is probably one of the most important achievements of the history but unfortunately for lots of people are still a luxury. Firstly, in order to learn more about human rights we played a game. In this game we took some carts with historical events and we tried to find out the right historical order. After this, we discussed about different situations and rules we have in our countries and we took a position on how we agree or disagree. It was very interesting to see different opinions from different people.

An unforgettable night was the intercultural night. That night, we met all the participants’ cultures. Shortly before the start, all the countries had placed on a table traditional dishes and drinks and their flags. Then, we took parts in different games and dances and watched some videos from each country. Then we had the opportunity to taste the pentano-style dishes and traditional beverages of each country that participants prepared. It was very interesting to see how different but also some similarities on food habits from each country.  

The next day, we had a visit in Budapest. The day started with a lot of excitement as our mission was to complete a Treasure hunt. The theme was to visit different sites of the city and take action as active citizens. We interviewed pedestrians what active citizenship means to them and what is their awareness on human rights. Interesting answers were gathered and used in our newspaper and videos we created at the end of the project.

During our time in Hungary, a small community was formed among all the participants. We created this small tradition which had a serious impact on the group as it have helped on the establishment of such strong friendships. Our small tradition was the bond fire we had every evening. From the very first night it was suggested to have a bond fire, bring some marshmallows and as easy as that it became a tradition. The fire gave us a warm environment underneath a clear filled with star sky, and this created a very comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for everyone there to join. It helped all of us to open up, step out of our comfort zone and integrate with other people from completely different backgrounds and stories. I will never forget the smiles, the laughs, the games and all the meaningful conversations we shared during that time of the day. Moreover, the background music made everything even more like a scene from a movie; it makes you wish that you can have something similar.

Exchanging ideas with people in our age from other countries is a unique opportunity that this program gave us and we will always be grateful that we were given the chance to experience this project.