Ticket2Europe

“Passion4Action”: Testimonials

This August, Ticket2Europe sent 6 youth from Ares and Ferrol to #Passion4Action youth exchange in Gvozd, Croatia. It was a particularly important project for them and us as it was written entirely by young people for people,  including Veronica and Alvaro who were just 16 years old at the time. The project was about using your passions for community change, as well as leadership and active citizenship. We are so proud of the hard work and results of this project, as the youth all trained each other and had a more fruitful experience for it!

 

“August? August.

Believe it or not, this sentence is how Passion for Action was born. Some youngsters from Croatia, Lithuania and Spain got together in a YE in Rietavas, Lith., on august 2018.

There, we started dreaming about how cool it would be to create a project together. At first, it seemed just like a non-realistic dream to me, because I was just taking part in my second youth exchange so there was no way I was able to collaborate in writing and implementing a project!! ”I have no idea” I thought.

However, it felt so great to dream so we started talking more about it in our free time and by the end of the project everyone seemed so convinced it was happening.

We even set a date!- that’s where ”August? August” came from, originally as ”September? September.”

Then, on our way back home, magic happened. We came up (actually Vana from the Croatian team) with a cool topic- using our passions for community development!

We (13 youngsters) all agreed on it, and we just started working. The process was challenging at first (coming up with the problem tree, finding time for skype calls, answering application questions..) but it was so rewarding when we finished. I felt amazing and powerful- I had just collaborated in writing my very first project!! And the hard work payed off, because we got the highest mark of Croatian october deadline.

As the year past I was absolutely focused on studying so I almost forgot about our YE, but around may it was time to choose participants, so we (Romy and I) thought the best idea was to bring people from our community who had taken part in the youth club Álvaro and I launched that year for the first time. This particular thing made me so happy, as I felt I was really using my passion for action even before the project by providing youngsters with that opportunity.

Finally, the time came and we flew to Croatia to implement the youth exchange from a project that started many months before!!

I really wanted to have no expectations, but from the first night I could feel that that group was going to be great. People were open to learn and share and it was nothing but good vibes. By the second night I already felt conected to the participants, and it made the learning process so much easier. I can’t put into words how much I’ve learnt in this youth exchange. I discovered new passions and hobbies and rediscovered my own, I trained on and at the same time learnt so much about leadership and active citizenship, among other topics, I explored cultures, learnt new methods…. anyway, and I can say it just now after a month of reflecting, my biggest learning outcomes are three:

1- empowering others is so much more rewarding than doing it always yourself.

2- magic does exist when a group of youth talk about making the world a better place.

3- there is no limits to the impact young people can have in their communities and, therefore, in the whole world.

I could not believe my eyes when, after a week of working on passions and active citizenship, people of all ages showed up to our open space event in a community where everyone said there was no youth and absolutely nothing to do. Watching them have fun and reflect on what could be done to improve their town inspired me so much I’m not even able to explain it yet. It reminded me of the reason why I decided to work for my community development and gave me the motivation to keep on doing it when I needed it the most.

And those are my reasons to say that this project taught me that dreams do come true if you believe and work enough, specially if you do it with the best people around. 

I couldn’t be prouder.”

Verónica Rodríguez Martínez

 

 

“I can’t even explain in how many ways this project made an impact on me. The idea of this youth exchange came up in August 2018, just after #EmotionsinMotion, in Rietavas. Some of the youngsters – including myself – showed really passionate and interested to create our own project. A youth exchange developed, written and implemented by young people – doesn’t it sound amazing?! Maybe not… but it did for us, and I am sure none of us regrets about that crazy short idea. After some weeks, we saw it was getting closer to reality: we started brainstorming, creating problem trees of our communities, setting community needs and objectives for the project, and so on… Actually, it was happening. I would like to point out that without Luka and Romy – the experienced guys in project writing – nothing of this could have even started, not just because of their knowledge and experience, but also because of their ability to motivate and encourage us to make new things and always get out of our comfort zone, that situation where we all feel safe, comfortable and we don’t really have a learning outcome.

After this, October deadline arrived. It was long, challenging and required a big effort from all 13 of us, but we managed to handle it. We saw as a result our project “Passion for Action” coming true with 92 points out of 100 and as the #1 project in Croatia. Unbelievable, but it was definitely happening. After some schedule resets and last details like creating a Facebook group or making the logo, we finally got to Gvozd, a little town with big needs of motivation for young people to work with their own community.

This project was stunning from the very beginning for me. The second day I was already talking about the amazing connection among the group I was experiencing. So many participants taking part in workshops, being empowered to share, creating a safe environment… I just have no words for that. Even on the 5th day there were lots of emotions going around already. That, in my opinion, made the project. I remember when Vero and I finished one of our sessions, which was focused on leadership and active citizenship, and just when everyone was leaving for the coffee break, a group of 5 or 6 participants approached us and asked if we could make a deeper explanation about how leadership can happen in more than one way when we talk about a situation of power, and after that they showed how interested they found our session and how they appreciated it. That was definitely the best feeling I had in the project as a participant taking part in session making. Just seeing how others are inspired because of your work results really satisfying. Also seeing the project t-shirt with the logo I made was amazing for me. Just everyone wearing it and being represented with it was something that made me feel so proud not just of myself, but of all 13 of us that created this project and made it become true.

To finish, I am just so happy to have shared this experience with every single participant of this project, for getting to know so nice amazing people and also for getting stronger relationships with people I already knew from other projects. Now it comes to my mind one quote I read once about this: “You will never be completely home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere – that is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” It describes perfectly how I feel about this project. It had the biggest impact on me in my life and it really helped me in knowing what do I really want, who am I and I also ensured myself that I want to make more projects become true, because these experiences really make better people and make the world a better place. Already looking forward to more adventures! Just can be grateful to all of you. Thanks!”

Alvaro Freire Ares

 

 

“Este proxecto para min significou moito xa dende o día en que recibín a mensaxe de Romy dicíndome que fora seleccionado para participar no intercambio xuvenil “Passion4Action” porque tiña moitas ganas de ir, dende ese mesmo día querería que chegara xa o momento de coller o avión e viaxar ata Zagreb para comezar esta experiencia que rematou sendo inolvidable. No tempo que pasou dende a mensaxe de Romy ata o comezo pensaba moito en como sería o proxecto, o que aprendería e moitas máis cousas pero, en ningún momento cheguei a imaxinar todo o que aprendín e toda a xente incrible que coñecín durante estes nove días. Recordo cando chegamos á Gvozd e estaban todos os xóvenes alí, comezamos a xogar ao voleibol con eles, esa mesma noite Luka fixo un xogo para que poideramos falar con todos os participantes, nese momento foi cando me din conta de que todos tiñamos as mesmas ganas de coñecer a outra xente e iso pareceume moi bonito. Os primeiros días do proxecto costaba máis falar coa xente entón o equipo lituano fixo unhas sesións de “teambuilding” que nos serviron para coñecer máis a xente traballando en equipo. Os seguintes foron incribles xa que aprendín moitísimas cousas tanto da vida en xeral como de culturas de diferentes países, tamén me gustaron moito as actividades que fixemos para pensar en ti mesmo porque te fan aprender moitas cousas que non sabías sobre ti. Neste proxecto tamén me pareceron moi interesantes as sesións de liderado e das pasións porque penso que aprendín a ser mellor líder e tamén me parei a pensar nas miñas pasións xa que había algunha que non sabía. Tampouco me podo esquecer das noites, sobre todo as noites interculturais que foron moi divertidas e interesantes pero, tamén se pasaba moi ben xogando a “mafia” ata as 5 da mañá, indo ao lago a contar historias e falar de todo ou cando xogamos ao  “passion game” porque descubrimos moitas pasións dos demáis.

Estes nove días para min foron dos mellores da miña vida e repetiría esta experiencia moitas veces máis porque o que aprendín sei que me vai ser útil para toda a vida e gustaríame seguir aprendendo cousas con educación non formal.

Por último quería agradecer a Romy, Vero e Álvaro por deixarme participar e tamén a todo o equipo galego e a todos os participantes en xeral por facer esta experiencia inesquecible.”                                                               

 Martín Rodríguez Sanjuán 

 

 

“El día que me dijeron que fui seleccionada para el proyecto “Passion 4 Action” en Croacia no sabía como sentirme en ese momento ya que era la primera vez que participaba en un proyecto de este estilo, tenía un poco de miedo porque no sabía muy bien de que trataba. Cuando llegué a Croacia mi primera imagen fue un grupo de adolescentes con una gran sonrisa en la cara, emocionados por el proyecto. Este proyecto fue, sin duda alguna, la mejor experiencia que he vivido porque nunca pensé en conocer a gente tan estupenda como la que conocí en Croacia, gracias a todas esas personas, a cada una de ellas, por sacarme la mayor sonrisa posible y por hacer de este proyecto lo mejor de mí. Nunca había pensado en aprender tanto en tan poco tiempo, nunca me había parado a pensar en mi como hice allí, nunca me había visto capaz de lo que soy capaz ahora (por ejemplo ser una líder), nunca me había sentido tan orgullosa de mi misma. Agradezco muchísimo a la persona que me seleccionó para vivir esta experiencia única. La repetiría mil veces! Intentaré poner en marcha los nuevos conocimientos que he aprendido en mi comunidad.”

Irune Fornos Fonte

 

“Para mí el viaje a Croacia fue una experiencia muy buena. Estuvimos en una casa en Gvozd (Croacia) 9 días con personas de Lituania, Croacia y 2 personas de Estados Unidos. Hicimos muchas actividades sobre el liderazgo, en donde aprendimos que tod@s podemos ser líderes, y otras actividades sobre pasiones; cada un@ compartimos las nuestras y así hubo gente que pudo descubrir alguna de sus nuevas pasiones. Pudimos aprender sobre nuevas culturas, aprender nuevas palabras en idiomas que no conocíamos (lituano y croata), enseñar palabras en nuestro idioma, practicar nuestro inglés, descubrir nuevas comidas y conocer a gente nueva. Hicimos dos noches interculturales, en donde cada equipo de cada país decía y preguntaba cosas sobre su país y al mismo tiempo hacíamos juegos para descubrir la localización del país, su música o significados de palabras en otras lenguas. Al final, cada equipo presentaba platos típicos de su país para que las personas de los diferentes países los pudieran probar. En nuestro tiempo libre, hablábamos, jugábamos a las cartas o íbamos a un lago cerca de la casa en la que estábamos a contar historias. Otro día repartimos papeletas a personas del pueblo invitándoles a ir asistir a una presentación sobre el proyecto que se realizó en Croacia en la que la gente del pueblo podía jugar al baloncesto, ping-pong, bailar y comer comida de Lituania, Croacia, Estados Unidos y España.

 Pienso que fue algo increíble, algo que recomiendo y que volvería a repetir.”

Beatriz Arias Ramos

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