IDEA! Intercultural Diversity for a Europe in Action was a youth exchange , hosted by the NGO “Invasioni Creative”, in Montecatini, a small city in Italy. The project gathered 49 participants from 7 different European countries, including Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Spain, Cyprus and Lithuania, during the 6th-12th of November, 2017.
The main objectives of the project were, among others, to foster the dialogue between youngsters from diverse cultures, to promote tolerance and respect for the cultural diversity, to encourage a positive approach towards other cultures and to improve the communication skills among people coming from different cultures and backgrounds, as well as to promote new methods of communication.
Through “Non formal Education” methods and techniques, the participants had the chance to discuss productively about serious issues in Europe, like intercultural diversity and its huge importance nowadays. The outcome of the project was a small graphic book about topics connected with intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, created by the participants.
The activities organised by each delegation covered fully the theme and the purpose of the youth exchange, which was to introduce us to a diverse and tolerant Europe, without barriers and borders created by all kinds of racism and prejudice. We are confident that this purpose was thoroughly achieved by the Spanish delegation’s session on conflict resolution concerning the forms of sexism today and how to move forward towards gender equality; also through the role play organised by the Italian delegation, concerning “Sleepyville” a city which had been divided by racial and religious prejudice and racism. We think that these two activities were important because they ‘forced’ us into a deep and serious discussion and brought in light some ugly realities that not only Europe but the global community in its entirety faces today.
At the same time, the participants had the great chance to explore the beautiful city of Florence, which was an amazing experience!
All in all, this project was definitely a special experience for all the members of the group, as we had the opportunity to get to know other people with whom we discussed and exchanged certain views on a wide range of issues that directly concerned what is happening in Europe and the world at large today.